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Location: Clifton, NJ
I need my brake pads replaced and my rotors either resurfaced or replaced. I am getting quotes from the usual places like Midas, Meineke, etc. . The part prices they quote seem really high. I can get the same parts elsewhere for much lower. But I definitely cannot install the rotors myself. Will these shops install parts that I bring in and charge for labur only? If these shops don't, will local private auto repair shops do that?

Most of the time when I go to car service places, I feel ripped off because they seem to oversell things that I cannot do much about because the car is already opened up and they insist that the additional stuff must be done or bad things will happen. So what is the best cost-effective way to go about this?


   
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Location: Oregon
of course, the best cost effective way is to do it yourself.

a shop has a lot of expenses you never see up front. They have to pay their techs. the techs have to pay for tools and training. the shop has to pay for rent, tools lifts, brake lathes, diagnostic machines and garage insurance in case something goes wrong. How much does that all add up to? Then they have to make a profit to stay in business. Add all that up and maybe that seems to much that you have to pay for...

You can buy the same parts much cheaper but who's going to figure what's going on if it doesn't go right? If you have the knowledge, experience and the tools and time yourself, that would be the best way to go. You don't have to worry about warranty. you don't have to worry about liability if something goes wrong and some kind of damage happens. Especially if someone gets hurt. But you saved so much money.

It's just brake pads and rotors or refinish the rotors. How are the caliper slides? Does it use caliper slide bolts that have to be checked and lubed or do the pads rely on metal hardware to be replaced to insure they slide correctly? Are you going to install any kind of coating to the back of the pads to help keep the pads from vibrating? Or lube the caliper bracket where the pads rest on? Are you going to clean the areas where the hub and the rotor touch to make sure the rotor will sit flat on the hub? If you resurface the rotors, are you going to use an off the car lathe and then measure the rotor runout on the car for the truest fitment? Or use an on the car brake lathe to insure the runout is flat?

here's the best information I can give you. If you can do it yourself have the tools, and you know what you are doing, that will save you the most money.

when it comes to what a shop wants to get paid, just like food places, there are good places and there are really good places. And there are always places you never want to go to again. Find a place that has been around for a while. That means they must be keeping their customers happy or they would go out of business. Clean and friendly helps a lot.

As for shops that will install your parts, Yes, there are shops that will do that. My shop does that. There is no warranty on customers own parts invoices. Not on parts or labor. The invoice won't even say what parts we install. It will just say install customers own parts. no warranty.

what quality are the parts you bought for your car? Most parts places have at least three grades of pads and two for rotors. Many parts places have even more level of quality and different materials that pads are made from. Our shop sells the top grade of pads to our customers. They last the longest, make the least amount of dust and noise, don't cause excessive rotor wear and have a good brake feel when stopping. We have a warranty on parts and labor. We use the online service information for torquing all the bolts and nuts to make sure everything is tight without breaking any bolts off. And you can be confident that your ride will be safe for you and the other people out on the road.

Many shops won't install customers own parts but you should be able to find some that do. Just make sure to check their shop out to make sure they have a good reputation.


   
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