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Old 07-11-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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My 2001 Dodge Neon failed its safety inspection. I took it in to firestone complete auto care, and they want $415 to replace both rear brake cylinders and the pads. Is that a reasonable price?

I need the work done asap, and they are one of the few places in the area open Sundays. Thus, I don't necessarily want to wait until Monday to get competing bids, if that price seems reasonable. Seems a little steep to me, but I don't know how much to expect.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:46 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
My 2001 Dodge Neon failed its safety inspection. I took it in to firestone complete auto care, and they want $415 to replace both rear brake cylinders and the pads. Is that a reasonable price?

I need the work done asap, and they are one of the few places in the area open Sundays. Thus, I don't necessarily want to wait until Monday to get competing bids, if that price seems reasonable. Seems a little steep to me, but I don't know how much to expect.
Holy Crap! What are they replacing them with? Titanium?

Why are they replacing the rear cylinders? Are they leaking? If not, they need to leave them alone.

As a technical (and not too important) point, your Neon will have brake SHOES on the back. They're drum brakes. The price for said brake shoes is anywhere from $15 - $35, depending on which kind you get.

You DEFINITELY need to get other bids!
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Yeah, they said they are leaking. Well thanks for giving me a sanity check. Crap, we are supposed to be leaving on vacation early next week. I guess I'll call around early Monday morning.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:02 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
Yeah, they said they are leaking. Well thanks for giving me a sanity check. Crap, we are supposed to be leaving on vacation early next week. I guess I'll call around early Monday morning.
I'd bet they're lying to you.

If they were leaking, you'd see two things: First, there will be brake fluid on the inside of your back rims & tires. Second, the brake fluid in your reservoir would be gone. Third, you'd almost certainly notice a change in the feel of your brakes - perhaps severe.

Shoot, drive to Omaha on your vacation. I'll change them for you. It'll take about 30 minutes. You can buy me coffee and a donut and call it good.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
Yeah, they said they are leaking. Well thanks for giving me a sanity check. Crap, we are supposed to be leaving on vacation early next week. I guess I'll call around early Monday morning.
Take it to a shop for the same inspection. See if they find any issues. Don't tell them why it failed.

Parts are cheap but sometimes people on here forget mechanics have other expenses to pay as well. Shop rent/lease/mortgage, equipment, wages, taxes, insurance, etc.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Take it to a shop for the same inspection. See if they find any issues. Don't tell them why it failed.

Parts are cheap but sometimes people on here forget mechanics have other expenses to pay as well. Shop rent/lease/mortgage, equipment, wages, taxes, insurance, etc.
You're absolutely right. And said mechanics can make a GOOD living by doing it honestly.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
You're absolutely right. And said mechanics can make a GOOD living by doing it honestly.
You're also assuming the OP knows what they are talking about and repeated what the mechanic said word for word. How many "non-car" people do you know that when told something about their car they repeat it word for word? Most twist what they hear.

I did a quick search and found some models did indeed come with disc brakes so it's possible the calipers are leaking. $100/each for the caliper, $100 for the pads, and $100 in labor sounds like a reasonable price to me. I went to a chain once and they wanted $180 for brake pads on my Volvo.

Or maybe they aren't leaking but they are in horrible shape. My wife's Jetta had some bad looking calipers. I had to spend quite a while with a wire brush, some anti-rust liquid, and a new rubber caliper glide pin boot kit to bring them back to par. If you were getting the work done it would've been more cost effective to just replace the calipers.

They did however turn on nicely (unfortunately no before picture, they were completely rusted):


Last edited by wheelsup; 07-11-2009 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,105,592 times
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Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
You're also assuming the OP knows what they are talking about and repeated what the mechanic said word for word. How many "non-car" people do you know that when told something about their car they repeat it word for word? Most twist what they hear.
True. But I also know that $415 to put new brake shoes on a Neon is an absolute screw job.

I really have no problem with shops charging, for instance, $100 per shop hour. Anybody who thinks about it, knows that there's a lot of overhead involved in an auto-shop business.

But no shop needs to resort to screwing people over to the tune of $415 for a $15 set of brake shoes, cylinders that almost certainly don't need to be replaced - especially in light of the fact that, even with the cylinders, the entire job could be done in less than 1 hour.

That is why so many people have such negative views of car mechanics. It's NOT all of them, but enough...
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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I have no idea how drum brakes work, how labor intensive is it to replace the wheel cylinders? More cost effective to replace? Maybe they are completely rusted? Maybe they are giving him the "worst case" scenario, as you don't know if they need replacing until you open it up I would assume.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:59 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,105,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I have no idea how drum brakes work, how labor intensive is it to replace the wheel cylinders? More cost effective to replace? Maybe they are completely rusted? Maybe they are giving him the "worst case" scenario, as you don't know if they need replacing until you open it up I would assume.
Of course.

But one clue is that the OP said he took it to "Firestone Complete Auto Care". Those chain joints like that are notorious for ripping people off. It's no different with - for instance - Brake Masters. They offer a cheap deal on oil changes, but when people come in for the oil change a "mechanic" always tells them what horrible condition their car is in, and scares them into agreeing to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars of repairs.
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