Cupertino Auto Repair

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Cheap Brake Jobs

Written by maryp posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

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It is amazing how many phone calls we receive and people just want to know the price of brakes. Nothing else, just the price. Not, “how good are they going to work?” “Are they BMW or Mercedes brakes? Is this what MINI recommends?” Just, “I think I need brakes – how much?” and “…the other shop told me it was only…..”

Have you really thought about the safety issues involved in stopping your BMW, your Mercedes or your MINI, (or any car)? Stopping may the the most important safety factor when it comes to getting you and your family safely from A to B, without an accident.

So why do you want to buy the cheapest brakes when you are putting what you value most, (yourself or your loved ones) into your car? Doesn’t make much sense does it? This is a question we wonder every day.

It is virtually impossible to give an accurate price for brakes over the phone, unless the car’s brake system has been inspected. Accurate is the word! A guess is just a guess, and with out an inspection, it is only a guess. That doesn’t help anyone. Best practices will entail brake measurements, and inspection.

Possibly due to better manufacturing processes, most of the European vehicles will no longer need to have the rotors “turned” or “machined”. They are actually wearing out together, and machining these new rotors does not leave enough material to be within the demanding specifications of the manufacturer. So, do not be surprised if your old BMW could have the rotors turned successfully, and your new one, does not! It is just another change in the modern vehicle that one who either drives a car, or performs repairs will see on a daily basis.

For example, the price to machine the rotors is now about the cost of one new rotor. So, in most cases on your modern European car, your pads and rotors will be replaced completely at the same time. Pads are measured, too. The brake calipers will be inspected for proper function and parts will be cleaned and lubricated where applicable. Calipers may need to be rebuilt or replaced, if they are no longer working as designed.

So, if you are getting a “cheap” brake quote for your BMW, Mercedes or MINI, it may not include the correct procedures or it may include some really cheap products that may not meet specs to stop your car as it should. Yes, those cheap products are everywhere, and they don’t last too long either. We have seen cases on BMW’s where the rotors are turned, and then they begin warping, (shortly thereafter), adding the concern of brake pulsations. Not good, but it was “cheap”. Same with pad material thickness.

Brake fluid is another integral part of your BMW, MINI and Mercedes braking system and your brake fluid should be changed minimum every 2 years, according to BMW. Fresh brake fluid vs. deteriorated brake fluid does affect stopping distance as was tested and reported a few years ago by Brembo. Yes, brake fluid efficacy does deteriorate over time. We are happy to test that for you, too.

How did the “Cheap Brake Job” became famous? (It must be famous because everyone is talking about it -like it’s a Kardashian or something). Cheap brake jobs are WAY overrated, in our opinion.

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