need brake job but ...

Messages
26,076
Location
Upstate NY
Around here you can go to Mavis and get a brake job for $69.95 per axle. But they will try and up sell you rotors and other extras. They will be using cheap pads that may not even be as good as the original. My mechanic uses the Akebono pads I bring in (Wagner rotors) and spends some time cleaning all the rust off the caliper brackets so the pads will move properly. Unsure if Mavis or Midas would really do a good cleaning job to get the rust off. In other areas rust may not be an issue. In most vehicles the front brakes wear out before the rear. In my Subaru Crosstrek the rear brake pads are tiny and wore out before the front pads. Not sure if this is a trend or not with tiny rear pads.
 
Messages
3,960
Location
Chicagoland
Originally Posted by Donald
In most vehicles the front brakes wear out before the rear. In my Subaru Crosstrek the rear brake pads are tiny and wore out before the front pads. Not sure if this is a trend or not with tiny rear pads.
I know on my 300 it can alter the front/rear brake bias on the fly to prevent the rear end from sliding around. It also uses the brakes to act like a limited slip differential. The Durango and Grand Cherokee use the same thing. Not sure how Subaru does their torque vectoring though.
 
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Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
Originally Posted by Donald
In most vehicles the front brakes wear out before the rear. In my Subaru Crosstrek the rear brake pads are tiny and wore out before the front pads. Not sure if this is a trend or not with tiny rear pads.
My Subaru Impreza was the same. Rear brakes lasted 50 000 miles, fronts went 70 000 miles. Maybe an all wheel drive thing, more rear brake bias ... traction control ... stability assist ... who knows ?
 
Messages
18,336
Location
NH
Going to pile on and agree that this is "easy" and simple work. And that I'd skip Midas. No reason that front and back have to be done at the same time. If anything it's rare for both to go out at the same time--fronts usually do more work, and usually wear out at twice the rate as the rears. Usually, although there are exceptions (my Jetta wore rear brakes at twice the speed of the fronts). Now doing left side and right side at the same time is what is recommended--do the pair of brakes on the same axle.
 
Messages
7,595
Location
California
Originally Posted by mk378
There are exceptions though.
From what I hear, brakes on a Tesla are a less complicated affair than a Toyota/Lexus hybrid or a Sensotronic-equipped Mercedes.
 
Messages
7,595
Location
California
Originally Posted by Donald
In most vehicles the front brakes wear out before the rear. In my Subaru Crosstrek the rear brake pads are tiny and wore out before the front pads. Not sure if this is a trend or not with tiny rear pads.
Seems to a common issue with some cars - the brake force distribution algorithm is using the ABS modulator to adjust brake bias as a simulated proportioning valve. Hondas and Subarus tend to eat their rear brakes early.
 
Messages
4,257
Location
Central Maryland
If your regular mechanic is both trusted and brilliant you should be throwing as much work as you can at him to keep him in business, and keep him familiar with your cars, so he can keep them in good shape and keep you informed about them. I do all of my own brake work, but when having some differential work on my pickup (now that's specialty work!), my mechanic said my rear shoes needed replacement, and he already had the wheels off to pull the axles, so yeah I had him do the brakes. Then we got into a discussion about the quality of rotors, he had a short list in his head about which rotors he used for which types of vehicles, he was very particular about his choices! That kind of knowledge doesn't accumulate unless the same cars and customers come back to the same mechanic repeatedly. In chain shops like Midas, the likelihood you'll get the same guy doing your brakes 3 years from now is quite low. As others here have stated, brakes are not specialty work. It is easy bread and butter work for any shop. However some shops do them much better than others. In particular, better shops use proper lubrication, using quality components and checking runout against spec. Proper lubrication is a big deal. The factory service manuals on my cars spec different kinds of lube for the pins versus the pad backs and ears. Some shops use the same lube on both. Some pad-slap and put on no new lube. Most shops (from my personal experience) check only pin lubrication, and never lube the pad back or ears. On my Honda you can pad-slap by only removing one of the two caliper pins and swinging the caliper up out of the way. On those brakes some mechanics never check the lube on the other pin, too easy to make more money on saving a few minutes and squeezing in another job, since they are paid book time no matter what the actual time on the job is. Likewise runout is a big deal. Fresh components will work OK for 10K miles since the caliper floats, but the smallest bit of eccentricity on the mounted rotor (grit or rust on the hub for example) and the high spots will build up pad particles, have increased friction over the rest of the rotor surface, and you get the wubba-wubba feeling of brake shudder. Then you take it back and they blame you for warping the rotors by running them hot through a puddle. I'm not going to beat down on Midas, how good they are varies. It depends on the local shop, and as you found out, who you get that day. We had one locally but it went out of business some years ago. Meanwhile several local guys have been expanding. That tells you something about that particular Midas shop. On the other hand, I have friends who use chain shops with good luck, they know the owner and have a relationship, and staff turnover is low at the best-run chain shops.
 
Messages
1,623
Location
Watertown, New York
I avoid using the chain shops. Might be ok for muffler work, but usually overpriced for all other work. A friend once took his Grand Prix to Monro for a brake job and they quoted him over $1400. Told him the car needed all 4 calipers and pads and rotors all around. No way all 4 calipers were bad, I could see the rears, as those cars were known for that. A mechanic that takes pride in his work will take the time to clean and lube caliper slide pins, And remove rust from the bracket where the pads slide. Free moving caliper and pads will make for a long lasting brake job.
 
Messages
206
Location
virginia
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Brakes are a speciality repair
Jesus [censored], a brake job is the most basic nut and bolt job on a car. 9.5 times out of 10 its literally unfastening 4 bolts (2 caliper bolts to remove pads and 2 caliper brackets bolts to remove rotors if you need rotors), cleaning up a few surfaces with brake clean/brush, and making sure caliper pins are lubed. There is absolutely NOTHING specialty about a brake job. Even bleeding/fluid/caliper replacement is the most basic of concepts(open bleeder valve/pour in fluid until old fluid/air comes out/close valve). Your getting hosed by Midas. If you only need pads they are just using cheap $12 wholesale pads from their local AutoZone, Napa, Carquest (stick around long enough you'll see the deliveries), about 15 minutes of labor with power tools and charging you $150 or more. Don't know if turning rotors is still a thing since basic Chinese rotors they use cost nothing these days but I can only imagine what they charge for a brake and rotor job. Lifetime pad guarantee means nothing because a) last time I went to Midas at about 20 when I just figured I'd learn myself they still charged labor which was 4x what the pads they used cost and b) at $150/axle they could replace your pads multiple times without charging labor and still make a profit. Lastly do you think you are getting top tier mechanics at Midas?
 
Messages
8,923
Location
North Carolina
If your mechanic can't handle brakes, he's not a mechanic. They should be done in pairs, by axle. The front and rear don't usually get replaced at the same time.
 
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