The Big Brake Ripoff

Opinion #1 – The Big Car Dealership Service Department

When replacing brake pads on a standard family car the brake discs must always be machined to nano-scale smoothness to match the surface of the new pads so that braking is maximised, because of course if there are slight imperfections in the disc when the pads are squeezed against the disc, your car won’t stop.

Total cost: At least $700 back and front including disc machining and new pads. Ka-Ching!

New discs sooner rather than later: $800 per set of 4. Ka-Ching!

Opinion #2 – The Big Independent Car Servicing Franchise

When replacing brake pads on a standard family car the brake discs must always be machined to nano-scale smoothness to match the surface of the new pads so that braking is maximised, because the warranty of the pads only applies if the discs have been machined.

Total cost: At least $700 back and front including disc machining and new pads. Ka-Ching!

New discs sooner rather than later: $800 per set of 4. Ka-Ching!

Opinion #3 – The Small Independent Mechanic

Discs rarely need to be machined. Only, for example, if a chunk of gravel has become wedged in between the pad and the disc and has carved a deep groove in the disc. Even then your brakes will still work fine with a groove in the disc, but it may wear out the pads a bit quicker. You probably won’t even notice the difference.

Pads are consumable, discs shouldn’t be.

Machining discs reduces their life and empties your wallet unnecessarily.

In the vast majority of cases, brake pads can be replaced without machining discs and not compromise safety.

Total cost: Less than $200 – happy wallet, equivalent safety. 🙂

Comments and additional opinions welcome. Bring it on!

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2 thoughts on “The Big Brake Ripoff

    1. Richard Leonard Post author

      I don’t believe you. You also know how to have a good holiday! And you’re not too bad at throwing words together either. But I’ll accept that cars are probably not your thing. 🙂

      Reply

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