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How Badly Did Midas Fuck Me? (Brakes Question)

Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I got the front pads and rotors replaced (not resurfaced) for my 2001 Buick LeSabre. Midas charged me $400 and some change for it.

So, my question is, how badly was I fucked (if at all)? What is the going price for work like that?

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Posts

  • powersspowerss Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Um, that's not too bad. Alot of brakes on a buick, but not unreasonable.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    pads are cheap, rotors are expensive.

    At least, that's how I understand it, but it's been a while.

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  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited July 2008
    That's not so bad, really. I mean, the only way I can see you having taken care of your rotors cheaper would to be to have done them yourself.

    Front rotors can be a real bitch to replace sometimes as well. I'd say you probably bought $200 worth of parts and the rest went into labor, which is about right.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    400 seems a bit expensive to me, parts shouldnt be more than 125/150 dollars. Breaks are easy to change. especially disc brakes. learn how to do it. Save yourself time and money.

    I did the brakes on my mazda protege and it cost me 90bucks for rotors, pads and degreaser. Took about 45 minutes to do the work. I had buddy who does cars come over and instruct me, and it was a piece of cake.

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  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    200 bucks in labor? Taking off a caliper and getting at the brake disc doesn't take that long as webguy20 said. I'd say Midas is charging you a pretty hefty sum for labor or parts or both. Do you have a breakdown of the bill you could look at?

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  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    webguy20 wrote: »
    400 seems a bit expensive to me, parts shouldnt be more than 125/150 dollars. Breaks are easy to change. especially disc brakes. learn how to do it. Save yourself time and money.

    I did the brakes on my mazda protege and it cost me 90bucks for rotors, pads and degreaser. Took about 45 minutes to do the work. I had buddy who does cars come over and instruct me, and it was a piece of cake.

    But did you replace the rotors? Thats where repairs get expensive.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I think rotors alone can run in the 80's a piece, at least that's what they were on my car several months ago.

    I mean, it's a franchise auto shop so there's going to be a markup but it's not like you got screwed.

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  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    400 seems a bit expensive to me, parts shouldnt be more than 125/150 dollars. Breaks are easy to change. especially disc brakes. learn how to do it. Save yourself time and money.

    I did the brakes on my mazda protege and it cost me 90bucks for rotors, pads and degreaser. Took about 45 minutes to do the work. I had buddy who does cars come over and instruct me, and it was a piece of cake.

    But did you replace the rotors? Thats where repairs get expensive.

    Yup. Brand new OEM rotors.

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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited July 2008
    First, Midas is always an expensive place to have work done. It's just fact. You're going to pay 20% more there than most places.

    Second, random google for the rotors puts them at $160 for just two. Not saying it's a great source or the best price, but frankly, neither is Midas.

    If they did all four rotors ($160 for two, remember), pads ($20 per set), and labor ($75/hour, 1 1/2 hours)? $400 starts to look cheap.

  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    He said they just did the fronts.

    You should be able to find a place that will work for less than 75 per hour. Replacing a brake rotor and pads could be done at home and it's an extremely easy job for a skilled mechanic.

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  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I've gotten new brakes and rotors for around $175 or $200 at I think a Pep Boys before. But yeah, pads/rotors isn't really a hard job. Did they break down parts/labor? Most places usually do. I'd be curious how long they charged for as you can easily change both front sets in under an hour.

  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited July 2008
    The best price I found (online, local pricing would be higher) was 64.95 per rotor with basic pads running about $35. The price might be as much as 20-30% higher for local pricing. Then there is the labor. Depending on the make of vehicle, and how rusty/dirty it is, front brakes can take less than an hour to do or take several hours. They probably use a flat rate manual either way.

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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Point is: $400 is about right for Midas, you didn't get fucked.

    You could've paid $250 from a local mechanic. Next time go local, and have the advantage of starting a relationship with a mechanic who you can trust. Pay on time, and be kind and courteous.

  • FearTheCowFearTheCow Registered User
    edited July 2008
    gmpartsdirect lists rotors at $85/each, and pads at $51 for a grand total of $241 in hardware, how do you know they used genuine GM parts? why did you need new rotors? generally unless you do something really bad they can just be machined for $15 a piece and will be good as new.

  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Just a quick anecdote.

    I've had one experience with Midas. I just moved to DC from Boston, so I figured an oil change was in good order. Not having the facilities right now, I decide to go to Midas. After waiting an hour (not really a big deal, but the DID say 1/2 hour max) the mechanic comes in and tells me my left brake light is out. We go back and forth for a moment discussing whats wrong. Finally I suggest we go into the shop to look (a whole 5 yards from where we were standing, I could see my car on the lift).

    I finally convince him to go in, and have him step on the brakes. Both light up fine. Both have worked fine since that time last week. Interesting.

    Fuck midas. I'll never take my car to a shop like that again.


    Anyways, $400 is a bit much. Your best bet is to call the dealer and ask what their cost is on the parts. You'll pay more over the counter, obviously due to mark up but its a starting point.



  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Just a quick anecdote.

    I've had one experience with Midas. I just moved to DC from Boston, so I figured an oil change was in good order. Not having the facilities right now, I decide to go to Midas. After waiting an hour (not really a big deal, but the DID say 1/2 hour max) the mechanic comes in and tells me my left brake light is out. We go back and forth for a moment discussing whats wrong. Finally I suggest we go into the shop to look (a whole 5 yards from where we were standing, I could see my car on the lift).

    I finally convince him to go in, and have him step on the brakes. Both light up fine. Both have worked fine since that time last week. Interesting.

    Fuck midas. I'll never take my car to a shop like that again.


    Anyways, $400 is a bit much. Your best bet is to call the dealer and ask what their cost is on the parts. You'll pay more over the counter, obviously due to mark up but its a starting point.

    You'll pay less at the dealer than you will at midas, most likely, as they add markup to any parts they bring in. Usually 10%.

    Valucraft rotors from autozone (can almost garuntee you thats where midas gets their stuff, or partsource if youre in canada), 29.99 each. Valucraft brake pads, 15.99. I can garuntee you that midas didnt get you anything better than the absolute bottom of the line parts, especially if they didnt ask you what kind of parts you want, and if you didnt request anything better/cheaper/whatever. So theres 90 bucks. Replacing the rotors, one side, probably books at around half an hour, so youve got an hour labor there, and the pads probably book at half an hour, so another hour there (though if they arent dicks they wont charge you for both, because they need to take the calipers off anyway to change the rotor). 2 Hours labor, at shop rate which is probably close to 100 bucks an hour. Thats only 290 bucks. 190-250 if they dont charge full book for the pads.

    Honestly the best advice i can give you is learn a little bit about cars, learn the average prices for parts for your car, ALWAYS get a broken down estimate for repairs, and if they arent urgent, go price out the parts yourself at a parts store, and check with the guys behind the counter to see if what theyre quoting for labor is reasonable. Almost any shop will let you bring in your own parts, and if they dont, go somewhere else.

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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited July 2008
    FearTheCow wrote: »
    gmpartsdirect lists rotors at $85/each, and pads at $51 for a grand total of $241 in hardware, how do you know they used genuine GM parts? why did you need new rotors? generally unless you do something really bad they can just be machined for $15 a piece and will be good as new.

    Many modern cars have pretty thin rotors. Machining them makes them even thinner and less able to handle heat buildup. They can probabaly take a very light surfacing but removing enough material to clear any warping or cracking would make them less than optimal thickness. It also rarely solves the warping issue. If you do your own repair it is far easier to get new rotors and do the job in one step rather than running to a machine shop mid job.
    This goes for drums as well. An even bigger issue with getting drums turned is no one cam grinds shoes any more so the curve of the turned drum and new shoe do not match. They only contact in the center of the shoe giving poor braking.

    Then there is the whole issue of "getting fucked" If you cannot do a job yourself, do not bother to learn how to do the job yourself, and do not bother to get estimates BEFORE you have the job done, then you have fucked yourself. A business might be high priced(They might even be crooks. I would limit that to places that charge for work not done, not places that charge a lot) but you either need to do some research beforehand or accept the fact that you might have paid more than you had to and move on, wiser for event.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2008
    So, normally, I would do this work myself. However, I've been busy at work and unable to find the time to do it for the past couple of weeks and I was hoping I could get by. However, over the past few days, the brakes started grinding really bad. So, I decided that I had to suck it up and get it fixed. I took it to Midas since they are much more adept than I and can do it quickly.

    They ended up doing the whole deal in a little under an hour, which was nice since it was same day service. I called a few other chain shops that I know about in my home down and they all quoted the ~$350-400 range.

    As far as the part cost, the invoice listed the rotors as being $139.99 and the pads were $49.99 (I think), which does seem awfully overpriced compared to online sources. Labour was only $50, so that isn't too bad. So, it looks like I probably got fucked on the parts cost.

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  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It really depends on what they put on there. If they used bottom-of-the-barrel parts, then yeah, you overpaid. If they used midrange stuff, that's about right. You probably would have paid about the same at any brake place. Just don't ever go to Brake Team. Man, fuck those guys.

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  • MightyMighty Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    So, I got the front pads and rotors replaced (not resurfaced) for my 2001 Buick LeSabre. Midas charged me $400 and some change for it.

    So, my question is, how badly was I fucked (if at all)? What is the going price for work like that?

    i paid about 300 for mine.. at jensen tire... but the funny thing is... i didnt ask them to do the rotors... in fact i said to them "i cannot afford the rotors"
    So, normally, I would do this work myself. However, I've been busy at work and unable to find the time to do it for the past couple of weeks and I was hoping I could get by. However, over the past few days, the brakes started grinding really bad. So, I decided that I had to suck it up and get it fixed. I took it to Midas since they are much more adept than I and can do it quickly.

    They ended up doing the whole deal in a little under an hour, which was nice since it was same day service. I called a few other chain shops that I know about in my home down and they all quoted the ~$350-400 range.

    As far as the part cost, the invoice listed the rotors as being $139.99 and the pads were $49.99 (I think), which does seem awfully overpriced compared to online sources. Labour was only $50, so that isn't too bad. So, it looks like I probably got fucked on the parts cost.

    it may be that they installed the "lifetime warranty" gear on it, and didnt tell you. ask them about it.

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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited July 2008
    So, normally, I would do this work myself. However, I've been busy at work and unable to find the time to do it for the past couple of weeks and I was hoping I could get by. However, over the past few days, the brakes started grinding really bad. So, I decided that I had to suck it up and get it fixed. I took it to Midas since they are much more adept than I and can do it quickly.

    They ended up doing the whole deal in a little under an hour, which was nice since it was same day service. I called a few other chain shops that I know about in my home down and they all quoted the ~$350-400 range.

    As far as the part cost, the invoice listed the rotors as being $139.99 and the pads were $49.99 (I think), which does seem awfully overpriced compared to online sources. Labour was only $50, so that isn't too bad. So, it looks like I probably got fucked on the parts cost.

    You cannot base pricing by using online as a guide. Overhead for an online business is about 1/20 what a brick and mortar pays. Cheap rent(fifty cents a foot v/s $20 a foot), no need for skilled labor, no paper/tv advertising, no fixture cost, etc. They also often get you on freight, which for some reason no one counts towards cost when comparing to local, getting it right now v/s waiting three-seven days should also factor in.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • FearTheCowFearTheCow Registered User
    edited July 2008
    There is a somewhat decent chance that they get there parts from an auto store in the area. Autozone has drivers in pickups without any identifying marks on the driver/vehicle to deliver shops. If brakes hit metal to metal then yes, new rotors are needed. If you only machine a tiny bit which is all that's needed most of the time it is worth doing it, no shop will go out of a manufactures specs. They made a nice profit on you for sure. Considering that they pay their mechanics maybe $20 an hour, and overhead is not as much as you are making it out to be. Total parts and labor for the job they did maybe came out to $200 tops, so a good $200 is left for operating expenses and profit, if they didn't pocket at least $150 i would be very surprised.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It seems like some of you guys don't understand how a garage works. The reason garages charge you what they do is that their overheads are so high. It's not just wages and rent, all the other utility bills (esp. power) are really high, then there's all the different insurance they have to have, purchase and maintenance of all the equipment, advertising and franchise fees, the costs go on for a long time...

    In the truck workshop I used to work at, out of the $100 dollars an hour they charged, they only made a profit of about $20 an hour. So for six guys working 40 hour weeks, they made just under $5000 a week in the workshop. This for a company branch turning over 1.25 million a year! Luckily the parts department has much lower overheads... The two guys selling parts made a profit of about $60000 a month... Even though they tended to run their markups much lower than what head office suggested.

    More often than not, your rotors don't need replacing. Unless they're warped, or below minimum thickness, you don't need to replace them. If you are a shitty driver and the discs are glazed, then they can usually take a quick skim (deglaze), or failing that, a good going-over by hand with some coarse garnet paper. Very rarely do your discs need a 'machining'. Also if you let your pads wear down to the backing plate (metal), unless they've ground the disc rotors below minimum thickness, a light skim or hand-job will put the rotors right as rain.

    As far as pads are concerned, buy the absolute best aftermarket ones you can afford, and take them to the workshop when you drop off your car. Same goes if the rotors genuinely need replacing. Good quality aftermarket parts will last longer and give much higher performance than OEM parts, and usually at less cost.

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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited July 2008
    It seems like some of you guys don't understand how a garage works.

    Sadly, most people do not grasp how any small business operates. Instead of a small business class most colleges insist you take a bowling class, or womens studies. They have no idea of the infinitesimal contribution they make to thier own companies bottom line. The belief that something is to expensive is based, almost always, on the gut, rather than any real knowledge of the cost of operation.
    Every college curriculum should include a small business course as well as making the student survive on tips from a waitstaff position for a semester.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • FearTheCowFearTheCow Registered User
    edited July 2008
    You guys are right that it does cost more to run a business then what i implied. The bottom line when it comes to car repair and maintenance is that if you can do it yourself you will most likely save yourself about 50% of what a shop would charge. The key is to know when something is within your ability to do correctly or not.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    As far as pads are concerned, buy the absolute best aftermarket ones you can afford, and take them to the workshop when you drop off your car. Same goes if the rotors genuinely need replacing. Good quality aftermarket parts will last longer and give much higher performance than OEM parts, and usually at less cost.

    If you're just replacing pads, it's usually pretty easy to do it yourself. I mean, you've got a jack and tire iron right there in your tire change kit already. It's the rotors that are a pain.

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