Windy Wiper's Steering Column

Brakes the Bank; A Question For Windy

Hello Windy,

My questions to you is, I recently took my car in for a check up from a coupon I received in the mail for a check up or should I say Brake the Bank coupon. I made the appointment and everyone at the shop seemed very nice. When I arrived they pulled my car right in while I waited in the waiting room. About an hour later, the Service Manager called me to the counter and began to explain that my brakes were getting close to being illegal and dangerous. He gave me the reason why which I was not completely understanding just what or why this work needed to be done.

I get that brakes wear, but he never went into complete detail. Just what was needed and the cost plus if I did not get it done soon, I could get into an accident. He gave me a price tag of 900.00. I about fainted, I do not have that must money sitting around. Is this common practice for shops to operate this way, putting the fear of god into every customer. Can you explain?

Beth Ann

Well Beth Ann, there is a good reason why we cars don’t hang around at certain shops. I have known shops to use that type of method to get their customers to give in and get the work done. Especially if you have no idea what it is they are talking about. They hope you’ll become afraid and just say, ” oh Please, fix it.” Not so fast. On what planet would you walk up to someone and tell her she had bad shoes and tell her she was too dangerous to function? That is no way to run a business.

There are a few things that you should do before even deciding to get the work done. First, have them show you what is wrong and why. Look at the brake shoes or pads, even if your not aware of what new ones might look like, at least you’ll be able to see if they are in fact getting to a dangerous stage. Second, have them explain what they are replacing and why. Make sure they give you a complete break down of the cost to include the parts needed. Even ask what parts house they purchase their parts from.

When it comes to brakes, many shops want to replace all the components whether or not they need it so that they won’t have any come backs, which costs the customer dearly. A snappy retort is one thing but a come back, in this case, is no laughing matter. I would always get a second opinion, that is if they can put the car back together and have it be safe on the road. Or you could be sure that you are not getting ripped off by taking a mechanic friend with you. That’s what I do 🙂 As they say and I have quoted before. Buyer beware. Happy Motoring

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