How Much Should I Expect To Pay For A Brake Job?
Asking this question may seem simple, but in fact, with the huge variety of car makes and models, it is almost impossible to calculate. The brakes are a very important part of your car. Maintaining a good braking system should be a top priority.
In order to determine the cost of an average brake repair, you should first do research on your year, make and model, and know what repairs are needed on the front brakes, rear brakes or both. Do just the pads need replacing or the whole brakes? If you need to replace the discs or calipers, your cost will rise considerably.
In today’s technical world, research information is readily available and it is as close as your computer. But not so fast. With many people trying to jump on the bandwagon offering advice or low cost products via the internet, what is really the correct approach? For me, I do my homework when performing a repair on a customer’s vehicle to insure that I am giving them the best bang for their buck.
Shopping locally has advantages; customer service, quicker return policy without return shipping charges, and many auto parts stores will price match some online retailers.
In your case, you need to do the same. Begin by researching to find the exact parts for your year, make and model. Many cars may look identical, when actually their parts could be very different. In my shop, I prefer to remove the old parts and bring them with me to my local parts house to make sure I am receiving like for like. Sometimes the parts look perfect, only to find out when I return to the shop, there is a small difference. If you plan to do the repairs yourself, be sure, before you leave the store.
What actually goes into a complete brake repair? Most shops will advise replacing everything: calipers, rotors, brake pads and hardware, including a complete brake fluid flush. Brake fluid like all other fluids in your vehicle, breaks down and needs replacing in order to perform at its best. Why? The most important reason is lives. If you cannot stop when the brake pedal is pressed, that could mean serious injuries to you or other drivers, or even death.
It’s not always necessary to replace all the components, but purchasing quality parts is crucial; after all, your life depends on it. Some of the less expensive brands are not the highest in quality, meaning that you will be replacing them sooner than later. I am not a fan of brake parts made in China. They indicate that their metal quality is within the United States’ specifications, but I am not convinced. I have experienced some returns when using parts made in China. This, of course, is a personal choice.
So what type of pads should you purchase for your car: ceramic, semi-metallic or metallic? I always check to see what the manufacturer’s recommendations are, and use that as my guide. Ceramic pads will last longer, but they are more expensive, and can be a bit noisy. The main factor in long life for your brake pads depends on your driving habits and terrain. If you do quick stops, or drive in hilly terrain, then your pads will wear quicker than someone who drives all highways and does a gradual slow down.
What is the life expectancy of the brake calipers? You should not have to install new brake calipers very often. They are designed to last around 100,000 miles. When they do need replacing, there are some signs you will probably notice. If a caliper is sticking, the car will pull to one side when braking. If it is seriously sticking, or just completely frozen up, the brake rotor will be smoking and you will hear a grinding sound. You should have the calipers replaced immediately. If you notice leaking brake fluid, you should have the braking system checked out. It could be a problem with the calipers. Replacing brake calipers can be tricky work, so unless you are very comfortable working on your car, you should have the work done by a pro.