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  1. #1
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    Car brake repair: Dealership or repair place?

    Ok .. I have a 99 chevy malibu and its brake replace time
    When I slow down the car shakes a little bit (not too bad yet) and I get that good ol fixmeI'm getting old brake maintenance squeak going (80k miles so not too bad.. although I'm assuming the dealership replaced the brakes before I bought it (I got it used in 2000)).

    Now .. my problem is this..
    My warranty is good until 100k miles so that's not the issue, however brakes are a maintenance item so not covered. So should I take it to the dealership (known to be more expensive) to get it fixed in case there are "other" problems like a bad rotor..
    Or take it Midas or another brake place to get it fixed because they're supposed to be cheaper and of course you get the warranty?

  2. #2
    shahani
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    Brakes (and steering) being a safety item, I'd not take a chance. Unless you know for sure the dealership is not good at repairs.

    For other repairs, you're probably better off at a local repair shop.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kenyg's Avatar
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    Go to a reputable local garage. If you don't know of any, ask around at work, or ask neighbors.

    Dealers parts & labor charges are usually pretty high.

    Myself, friend of mine owns a garage - thats where I go.

    Ken
    Cracking Cancer for Team Techimo

  4. #4
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    I like the dealership they're not bad at all..
    The only reason I'm considering the dealership is because if a warranty item is broken that is covered and I get a free rental car lol
    What's the odds with a shimmy in the car when braking that a non maintenance item is bad?
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bigblue77's Avatar
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    I myself would do the work myself, but thats just me. If I were you I would pay the extra to take it to the dealership because chances are they will give the entire car a quick look. That way if there is anything out of order you will be informed of it.
    Thats the way it worked at the GM dealership I worked at once.

    Jer


    EDIT-> Vass, your shimmy is 80% surely a warped rotor IMO.
    Last edited by bigblue77; August 24th, 2002 at 08:31 PM.
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  6. #6
    Ultimate Member osprey4's Avatar
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    For a lot of things I'll go to a repair shop (Firestone, etc.), but for brakes, they take too many shortcuts and don't replace all the parts. They put parts back in the car that should be replaced. The dealer will do the job right.

  7. #7
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    That's what I was afraid of Blue arghhh lol
    But I do like the dealership they've always been fair to me in the past.. I'll probably take it to them.

    Well if I was at home I'd go over to a friend of mines and we could do it there.. but out here in townhouse hell you're not supposed to do car repairs in the parking area not that I'd trust myself to do it myself anyways lol
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  8. #8
    Tech IMO Bug Finder pickel's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Such a deal!!!

    If you know nothing about repairing your brakes, etc. I would suggest you go to Midas Muffler shop. It's a little more costly ( maybe not, compared to Firestone, Goodyear) but they offer a LIFETIME warranty on brakes, shocks, etc. I've had my mufflers replaced 4 times since 1978 when they were first installed, saved me about $400-500 dollars and I got to choose which ones I wanted to get !
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  9. #9
    CRAP! Brainchild's Avatar
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    What's the odds with a shimmy in the car when braking that a non maintenance item is bad?
    Vass that sounds like the rotors need turned (resurfaced to make them true again) new pads and you're good to go I would prolly call a nice garage, to do the repair. I would also call the parts suppliers around and price the brake pads, and getting the rotors machined, just as a reference. The unimformed pay more at somplaces, sad but true. And Call around

    Or drive her to MO, and I'll do it for ya
    The impossible takes more time,and costs more money.
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  10. #10
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    vass, a little food for thought - There IS a difference in parts quality, and dealership techs have access to more info. (if they read it..) You said the original brakes went 80K?? Why on Earth would you even consider having anything other than those exact same parts installed??

    When trying to save a buck on repairs, always remember this - if it doesn't run, you'll stop. But if it doesn't stop...

    Think about it!
    Ed

  11. #11
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    Ed, I also said I think the dealership changed the brakes before I owned it

    Thanks for the info folks.. it sounds like the thoughts of TechIMO are just as confused as my own thoughts lol
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  12. #12
    IRONyMan RedFury's Avatar
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    Brake parts come in a variety of flavors from a variety of places. Rear disc brakes on GM's are made of a composite metal to avoid warping, but you can buy a steel replacement ( cheaper initially, but will probably warp faster ). I know we aren't talking about the rear brakes ( most likely ), but the point is that you should get the better quality parts. Whoever you go to, ask them about the brakes, the parts they use, how long they should last on average, etc. I've been doing my own brakes forever, and I usually use middle ground parts because I keep an eye on my cars. The brakes on most peoples cars go mostly unnoticed unless they start acting up. Ever see a car with one dirty hubcap? I'd bet they have a binding brake on that wheel. 10 to 1 says that they don't do anything about it until that brake pedal starts pulsing, or the brake starts squealing. Use good parts and your brakes will serve you well. Use the cheap stuff, keep an eye on them and replace the pads at the first sign of trouble, not to mention taking a look at them on occasion.
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  13. #13
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    When I go to stop it stops in a straight line so chances are my brakes aren't quite to the point of having a frozen brake but yes I know what you mean, I've been there and done that lol
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  14. #14
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    I've been at the same private shop up here in Wa. state for 10 years and I can tell you that a reputable local shop can do the same quality job as the dealer. As noted in previous posts you should use the better parts instead of cheapy stuff. Just mention it when you drop off the car. One of the biggest problems on the newer front wheel drive cars is that the rotors are light weight units and are fairly thin where they mount to the hub. Make sure they use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts so you don't have to bring it back to them with your teeth chattering from the pulsation of warped rotors again.

    U.G.

    p.s. I don't get to do gravy brake jobs! I get most of the driveability and electrical nightmares that come in..... argh!

  15. #15
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    ouch, nope those don't sound fun at all lol
    Especially those damn electrical issues... tiny little short somewhere hehe
    Helicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.

  16. #16
    CRAP! Brainchild's Avatar
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    Welcome to TechIMO UncleGus. you mean tose little shorts that only happen when the moon is full, 71 degrees,and a slight wind blowing? I hate those things

    Hey vass, whatever you do, get the reciept, and good luck.
    The impossible takes more time,and costs more money.
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  17. #17
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    Thanks Brainchild,
    I've been lurking about for awhile. I also came over from Sysopt way back when. I just try to only put in my two cents where I have a chance of being helpful.
    I come home worn out mentally every day way more than I was physically tired doing our Engine Building. Crashed crotch rocket made my wrist a little on the crappy side for lifting blocks and heads all day long. So I get to work my brain. Ouch!

    U.G.

  18. #18
    Ultimate Member RayH's Avatar
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    The question is whether or not you have a reputable independent mechanic. If you don't know of one, just go to the dealer. The speciality brake shops are also good if you don't know an independent dealer.

    Based on a San Francisco metropolitan price, you are probably into the job for some $350-400, including the price of new rotors, turned rear drums, and metallic pads and shoes. Ask for metallic they cost a bit more, but are worth it. Most of the cost is in labor.

    You will probably be told you need new front suspension parts. As to whether or not you want to replace them right now is your call. Your car will run better (although you may not notice).

    The reason a Mercedes is so costly to run is they have a maintainence schedule that replaces parts BEFORE they wear out. Average car drivers don't replace parts UNTIL they definitely wear out.

    Along with being sold new front suspension parts, you have to get a rebalance of the front end. If you get into it for everything, you're looking at well over $1000!

    You can get the suspension parts later. When you get new tires, they'll try to sell you the same suspension parts. You always need suspension parts!

  19. #19
    Ultimate Member Cruez's Avatar
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    You may wanna take it to the dealership, just for the fact that we have two of them at work and they had the same problem...

    personally I think GM screwed something up in the brake design.
    No one dies a virgin, Life screws us all.

  20. #20
    Kdp
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    Dealerships are experts on the cars they sell and service. Their mechanics are factory trained on those models, and will only replace the items that NEED replaced. Midas (and franchise shops like them), on the other hand, SELLS brake parts, and LOTS of them. They will sell you parts you DON'T need, and charge you inflated prices on those parts, while smiling the whole time. I wish I had a dollar for every customer that had a set of calipers replaced for UNEVEN pad wear (a normal occurance due to lack of lubricant on the sliding mechanisms) or wheel cylinders replaced due to leakage, when in fact it was only assembly fluid (all wheel cylinders have traces of it). In 99% of the cases, you'll pay more at Midas. Don't believe me, show this to your dealership mechanic---they'll agree.

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