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Outback Expen$ive Brake Job - Opinions Wanted Please!

 
J
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
We bought a 2000 Outback a week ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a
moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)
informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored
and seller implied he had been estimated $300. We took that off the
price and bought the vehicle. We live in the Boston area.

During an oil change and state inspection yesterday, we were informed
that the brakes were "very bad -- almost metal on metal" and if we
drove it much more the calipers would be eaten. I asked for a ballpark
figure and was told $110 each for four rotors, $100 for a set of 4
ceramic pads, about 180 for labor. Ouch.

So I took it to the mechanic I have used for the last few years. I
basically trust him but he's pulled a few things (keeping the core
charge even though he also keeps the parts) to make me a bit wary.
He's given me a good price on some other things, though, and seems to
be thorough. He put it on the lift right away and confirmed that the
brakes were extremely bad and the rear rotors could even possibly
shatter during sudden, emergency braking. He offered to do the brakes
right there and then, and with the holiday weekend and an out-of-state
trip coming up, I agreed. As far as "saving money," I said that my
wife would be driving the car and it had to be safe. But I was
confident that the total would be less than the first off-the-cuff
quote I was given.

Less than two hours later all was complete and I went in. He said the
rear pistons had been "frozen" so we were basically only using the
front brakes. I asked whether the new rotors were genuine Subaru and
he said yes. Said he used semi-metallic pads. Also said he had checked
all fluids and found low oil in the rear differential. The bill was as
follows:


Basic front disc brake job includes installation of new front disc
brake pads, shims, two new front disc brake rotors and press, clean
and lubricate existing calipers $89.95

One new set of front disc brake pads and shims $66.23

Two new front disc brake heavy duty rotors $246.42

Basic rear disc brake job includes installation of new rear disc brake
pads, shims, two new rear disc brake rotors and oress, clean and
lubircate existing calipers $89.95

One new set of rear brake pads and shims $67.62

Two new rear brake heavy duty rotors $240.92

Check and refill all fluids (no charge)

-----------------------------------------
Total (with tax) $832.15


I felt a bit like a sucker but what's done was done and I paid and
left. The brakes felt good on the way home.

At home I did some searching online and see aftermarket rotors for
40-80 bucks. So I feel like maybe I didn't do my homework on this one.

Questions to the group:

Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?
Should I continue to use this mechanic?
Did I really need heavy duty rotors?
Are pads really that expensive?
Am I a dope?

Thank you for any and all educated opinions provided.

J
 
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Mark Bergman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
Seems a bit, but not much, high. Your mechanic had to buy parts from a

Subaru dealer. There are no worthwhile aftermarket brake parts for Subarus.

Next time, when time isnot of the essence, buy your parts from

Naticksubaru.com or send your mechanic to them. They'll sell to you for

wholesale. Ilive in NY and I buy from them on-line regularly.

Mark

"J" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

news:<(E-Mail Removed)>. ..

> We bought a 2000 Outback a week ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a


> moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)


> informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored


> and seller implied he had been estimated $300. We took that off the


> price and bought the vehicle. We live in the Boston area.


>


> During an oil change and state inspection yesterday, we were informed


> that the brakes were "very bad -- almost metal on metal" and if we


> drove it much more the calipers would be eaten. I asked for a ballpark


> figure and was told $110 each for four rotors, $100 for a set of 4


> ceramic pads, about 180 for labor. Ouch.


>


> So I took it to the mechanic I have used for the last few years. I


> basically trust him but he's pulled a few things (keeping the core


> charge even though he also keeps the parts) to make me a bit wary.


> He's given me a good price on some other things, though, and seems to


> be thorough. He put it on the lift right away and confirmed that the


> brakes were extremely bad and the rear rotors could even possibly


> shatter during sudden, emergency braking. He offered to do the brakes


> right there and then, and with the holiday weekend and an out-of-state


> trip coming up, I agreed. As far as "saving money," I said that my


> wife would be driving the car and it had to be safe. But I was


> confident that the total would be less than the first off-the-cuff


> quote I was given.


>


> Less than two hours later all was complete and I went in. He said the


> rear pistons had been "frozen" so we were basically only using the


> front brakes. I asked whether the new rotors were genuine Subaru and


> he said yes. Said he used semi-metallic pads. Also said he had checked


> all fluids and found low oil in the rear differential. The bill was as


> follows:


>


>


> Basic front disc brake job includes installation of new front disc


> brake pads, shims, two new front disc brake rotors and press, clean


> and lubricate existing calipers $89.95


>


> One new set of front disc brake pads and shims $66.23


>


> Two new front disc brake heavy duty rotors $246.42


>


> Basic rear disc brake job includes installation of new rear disc brake


> pads, shims, two new rear disc brake rotors and oress, clean and


> lubircate existing calipers $89.95


>


> One new set of rear brake pads and shims $67.62


>


> Two new rear brake heavy duty rotors $240.92


>


> Check and refill all fluids (no charge)


>


> -----------------------------------------


> Total (with tax) $832.15


>


>


> I felt a bit like a sucker but what's done was done and I paid and


> left. The brakes felt good on the way home.


>


> At home I did some searching online and see aftermarket rotors for


> 40-80 bucks. So I feel like maybe I didn't do my homework on this one.


>


> Questions to the group:


>


> Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?


> Should I continue to use this mechanic?


> Did I really need heavy duty rotors?


> Are pads really that expensive?


> Am I a dope?


>


> Thank you for any and all educated opinions provided.


>


> J




"J" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> We bought a 2000 Outback a week ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a
> moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)
> informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored
> and seller implied he had been estimated $300. We took that off the
> price and bought the vehicle. We live in the Boston area.
>
> During an oil change and state inspection yesterday, we were informed
> that the brakes were "very bad -- almost metal on metal" and if we
> drove it much more the calipers would be eaten. I asked for a ballpark
> figure and was told $110 each for four rotors, $100 for a set of 4
> ceramic pads, about 180 for labor. Ouch.
>
> So I took it to the mechanic I have used for the last few years. I
> basically trust him but he's pulled a few things (keeping the core
> charge even though he also keeps the parts) to make me a bit wary.
> He's given me a good price on some other things, though, and seems to
> be thorough. He put it on the lift right away and confirmed that the
> brakes were extremely bad and the rear rotors could even possibly
> shatter during sudden, emergency braking. He offered to do the brakes
> right there and then, and with the holiday weekend and an out-of-state
> trip coming up, I agreed. As far as "saving money," I said that my
> wife would be driving the car and it had to be safe. But I was
> confident that the total would be less than the first off-the-cuff
> quote I was given.
>
> Less than two hours later all was complete and I went in. He said the
> rear pistons had been "frozen" so we were basically only using the
> front brakes. I asked whether the new rotors were genuine Subaru and
> he said yes. Said he used semi-metallic pads. Also said he had checked
> all fluids and found low oil in the rear differential. The bill was as
> follows:
>
>
> Basic front disc brake job includes installation of new front disc
> brake pads, shims, two new front disc brake rotors and press, clean
> and lubricate existing calipers $89.95
>
> One new set of front disc brake pads and shims $66.23
>
> Two new front disc brake heavy duty rotors $246.42
>
> Basic rear disc brake job includes installation of new rear disc brake
> pads, shims, two new rear disc brake rotors and oress, clean and
> lubircate existing calipers $89.95
>
> One new set of rear brake pads and shims $67.62
>
> Two new rear brake heavy duty rotors $240.92
>
> Check and refill all fluids (no charge)
>
> -----------------------------------------
> Total (with tax) $832.15
>
>
> I felt a bit like a sucker but what's done was done and I paid and
> left. The brakes felt good on the way home.
>
> At home I did some searching online and see aftermarket rotors for
> 40-80 bucks. So I feel like maybe I didn't do my homework on this one.
>
> Questions to the group:
>
> Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?
> Should I continue to use this mechanic?
> Did I really need heavy duty rotors?
> Are pads really that expensive?
> Am I a dope?
>
> Thank you for any and all educated opinions provided.
>
> J



 
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Jkpoulos7
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
>Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?

Yes or least got some worst case prices before buying.

>Should I continue to use this mechanic?


If you trust him overall yes.

>Did I really need heavy duty rotors?


there may only be one type available at this time

>Are pads really that expensive?

Depends on car. Some are $10 /set others $200
>Am I a dope?


Just another used car buyer who got duped. I'd never pay more than $5k for a
used car and it would be a project car that I know needs $$$ into it. I cannot
understand who would pay more than $10k for a used car when new ones are only a
bit more.


 
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George Adams
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
>From: J http://www.thesubaruforums.com/(E-Mail Removed)

>ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a
>moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)
>informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored
>and seller implied he had been estimated $300.


First of all, the car was not well maintained if the brakes were completely
shot at 42,000. Either that or the mileage wasn't right. Sounds to me like the
car was "rode hard and put away wet", and if I were you, I'd be waiting for the
next problem to show up? Did the previous owner have the first level III
service done at 30,000? If so, why were'nt the brakes done then, before the
damage got any worse.

Sorry, my friend, but I think you got took.


George Adams

"All good fishermen stay young until they die, for fishing is the only dream of
youth that doth not grow stale with age."
---- J.W Muller

 
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Jim Stewart
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
George Adams wrote:
>>From: J (E-Mail Removed)

>
>
>>ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a
>>moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)
>>informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored
>>and seller implied he had been estimated $300.

>
>
> First of all, the car was not well maintained if the brakes were completely
> shot at 42,000. Either that or the mileage wasn't right. Sounds to me like the
> car was "rode hard and put away wet", and if I were you, I'd be waiting for the
> next problem to show up? Did the previous owner have the first level III
> service done at 30,000? If so, why were'nt the brakes done then, before the
> damage got any worse.


My reaction as well. As I've stated a couple
times before, I did my fronts at 40k and found
the rotors perfect and 1/3 the pad gone, 2/3
remaining. Now I live in a flat area and I
drive reasonably. I have a stick and I use
compression braking a lot. So maybe I'm not
an average owner.
 
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DAW
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
Do you live on the same planet I do?

"Jkpoulos7" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?

>
> Yes or least got some worst case prices before buying.
>
> >Should I continue to use this mechanic?

>
> If you trust him overall yes.
>
> >Did I really need heavy duty rotors?

>
> there may only be one type available at this time
>
> >Are pads really that expensive?

> Depends on car. Some are $10 /set others $200
> >Am I a dope?

>
> Just another used car buyer who got duped. I'd never pay more than $5k for

a
> used car and it would be a project car that I know needs $$$ into it. I

cannot
> understand who would pay more than $10k for a used car when new ones are

only a
> bit more.
>
>



 
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Paul Pluzhnikov
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-30-2004
J <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> The bill was as follows:


Here is my brake bill for 97 OBW @ 91K miles done by "trusted"
Suby Specialties in Monrovia, CA, using genuine Subaru parts:

Per axle:
Pads $95.95
R&R and machine rotors: $84.00
Replace pads: $56.00

For a total of $472 (before tax).

> Are pads really that expensive?


Looks like it.
For comparison, non-subaru pads range from $28 to
$70 on the web. The rotors for $33 to $66 ...

Cheers,
--
In order to understand recursion you must first understand recursion.
Remove /-nsp/ for email.
 
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TG
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-31-2004
Check NAPA, rotors for under $50 each and ceramic pads well priced. TG

"J" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> We bought a 2000 Outback a week ago. Clean, maintained, etc. with a
> moderate 42,000 miles. Trustworthy seller (as well as a test drive)
> informed us the brakes were in need of repair -- rotors were scored
> and seller implied he had been estimated $300. We took that off the
> price and bought the vehicle. We live in the Boston area.
>
> During an oil change and state inspection yesterday, we were informed
> that the brakes were "very bad -- almost metal on metal" and if we
> drove it much more the calipers would be eaten. I asked for a ballpark
> figure and was told $110 each for four rotors, $100 for a set of 4
> ceramic pads, about 180 for labor. Ouch.
>
> So I took it to the mechanic I have used for the last few years. I
> basically trust him but he's pulled a few things (keeping the core
> charge even though he also keeps the parts) to make me a bit wary.
> He's given me a good price on some other things, though, and seems to
> be thorough. He put it on the lift right away and confirmed that the
> brakes were extremely bad and the rear rotors could even possibly
> shatter during sudden, emergency braking. He offered to do the brakes
> right there and then, and with the holiday weekend and an out-of-state
> trip coming up, I agreed. As far as "saving money," I said that my
> wife would be driving the car and it had to be safe. But I was
> confident that the total would be less than the first off-the-cuff
> quote I was given.
>
> Less than two hours later all was complete and I went in. He said the
> rear pistons had been "frozen" so we were basically only using the
> front brakes. I asked whether the new rotors were genuine Subaru and
> he said yes. Said he used semi-metallic pads. Also said he had checked
> all fluids and found low oil in the rear differential. The bill was as
> follows:
>
>
> Basic front disc brake job includes installation of new front disc
> brake pads, shims, two new front disc brake rotors and press, clean
> and lubricate existing calipers $89.95
>
> One new set of front disc brake pads and shims $66.23
>
> Two new front disc brake heavy duty rotors $246.42
>
> Basic rear disc brake job includes installation of new rear disc brake
> pads, shims, two new rear disc brake rotors and oress, clean and
> lubircate existing calipers $89.95
>
> One new set of rear brake pads and shims $67.62
>
> Two new rear brake heavy duty rotors $240.92
>
> Check and refill all fluids (no charge)
>
> -----------------------------------------
> Total (with tax) $832.15
>
>
> I felt a bit like a sucker but what's done was done and I paid and
> left. The brakes felt good on the way home.
>
> At home I did some searching online and see aftermarket rotors for
> 40-80 bucks. So I feel like maybe I didn't do my homework on this one.
>
> Questions to the group:
>
> Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K miles?
> Should I continue to use this mechanic?
> Did I really need heavy duty rotors?
> Are pads really that expensive?
> Am I a dope?
>
> Thank you for any and all educated opinions provided.
>
> J



 
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alex3324
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-31-2004
It doesn't matter what the consumer's over-the-counter price is. You'renot
buying the parts, the mechanic is. It seems your mechanic charged the
full retail MSRP for the replacement parts. Very common in the auto
repair industry. Unless you can do the work yourself, you are at the mercy
of the mechanic and the prices he charges. One question to ask the
mechanic before replacing the rotors is: can they be machined? Were they
at or below the minimum thickness? At 42k miles, they would probebly be
near the wear-limit, but since the rear brakes weren't working properly,
the rotors might still have been serviceable. Ahh hindsight.

Alex

 
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Todd H.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-01-2004
J <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Should I have shied away from a car with four bad rotors at 42K
> miles?


It is an indicator that the previous owner wasn't terriby ginger with
the vehicle. However, late model subaru's are damned hard to find, so
your pickings are typically pretty slim and it's a tradeoff.

As a result of this slim pickings phenomenon, I ended up purchasing
new.

> Are pads really that expensive?


I paid about $30 for a pair of front pads for my vehicle recently at
an AutoZone. They seem to be working fine.

Sorry to hear of your story. Looks like you did pay a pretty penny,
but given that you'd gotten a car with brakes in that bad a shape, you
weren't exactly in a great position to drive around and get a lot of
prices.

Don't beat yourself up. Enjoy the car, and remember that brake job is
just 2 car payments, and hopefully you saved more than $800 buying
late model used than getting a new one. Wrap yourself up in the "used
late model Subes are a bitch to find," and go on with life. :-)

Best Regards,
--
Todd H.
2001 Legacy Outback Wagon, 2.5L H-4
Chicago, Illinois USA
 
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