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Best place to get my brakes fixed besides Ford dealership?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by RandomEvent, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. RandomEvent


    Nov 10, 2007
    Well, my brakes are squeaking like hell, so I'm pretty sure I need new brake pads, and a bleeding on the brakes. I'm in Jacksonville Florida, and I've been told that Value Brakes always tries to sell you a bunch of crap you don't need. And the Ford dealership generally charges WAY too much for any type of service.

    I'm hoping someone here can tell me of a national, or at least Florida state auto service shop that can fix my brakes as a walk-in without me having to bust out the savings.
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Pep Boys. Out here most of these shops are pretty reasonably priced and fairly consistent in good customer service. They also do a pretty good job. I can only comment on the ones I've been to. For a domestic they should have all your parts too.
  3. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    If you have a place to do it, do it yourself. The newer brake systems are really easy; you can find instructions online if you get confused. You can do a complete brake replacement for under $50-60.
  4. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    +1. Actually, I've changed brakes before without a lot of difficulty. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dumbass. If I can do it you can do it.
  5. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    If you can't do it yourself, Midas is pretty decent for brakes.
  6. casualmadness


    Dec 15, 2005
    Another +1. I'm not a car guy at all. I know nothing about cars. But I actually changed out the brakes on my old Mercury once. I was surprised at how easy it was.
  7. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    It seems like they made it so much easier in the last 10 years or so. I remember doing them a long time ago and it seemed complicated... now it's just a bolt or two to take off the caliper, tap out the old pads, tap in the new ones, put the caliper back on and you're done.

    Maybe it wasn't that hard back then, but that's how I remember it. I can change a front set in under a half hour if I don't mess around.

    I think changing your own oil and brakes gets you a little leniency for Man Card violations as well.
  8. Brake work is not difficult at all, but it must be done correctly or your safety is jeopardized.

    I encourage you to consider doing it yourself, but ONLY with a manual for the car, and ONLY if you follow the steps precisely.

    Replacing disc brake pads is very simple; if you have to remove the rotors or have them turned, it becomes more complex unless the car is designed so the rotor comes off when the caliper is moved out of the way. If you have to work on drum brakes, I suggest that you disassemble only one side at a time so you can use the other side to guide you in re-assembly. It also helps to take digital photos of the brake assembly when the drum is off so that you have a visual record of where everything was. Get good, clear, close-up photos. Nothing's handier than a photo you can print on 8.5 x 11 paper and carry out to the car for a visual reference.

    There are PLENTY of independent shops around who can do this with their eyes closed. If you're not comfortable doing it, as your friends in the area and go where they send you.
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    While I admire the do-it-yourselfer, if you don't know what you're doing then a brake job isn't the place to learn. Too many things can go wrong that will compromise you safety, as well as those around you.

    With that being said, shop around. Most places will give a free brake check and can give you an estimate in writing. Don't always go for the lowest price, there are places out there using the cheapest Chinese stuff just to get cars thru the door via a low price.
  10. RandomEvent


    Nov 10, 2007
    Thanks for all of the help guys! I'll probably take it in, because I don't really have much time to do it myself, and I don't have anywhere that I could do it in. My driveway is elevated, so raising the car to take of the wheels is a no-go, and I don't have any friends with their own driveways or garages.

    So, Midas or PepBoys it is for me. Thanks again.
  11. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I really don't understand why people change their own oil. You can usually find a coupon for an oil/lube/filter change in most areas for $16- $20. By the time you buy the oil & filter, do the work and properly dispose of the old oil & filter, you've spent more time and money than if you'd just gone somewhere and had it done.

    And before someone chimes in with the old "rapid lube screws up oil changes all the time" answer, I've had alot of cars towed in in the 25 years I've been doing this with a filter the DIY'er mangled trying to get it off, or the vise gripped drainplug the DIY'er couldn't get loose because he didn't have the right size wrench.
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    You can find crooks everywhere, be it a dealer or a chain.

    Thank flatrate for that.
  14. marcray


    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    your local garage that's been there from before you were born, that's where I go... always cheap, nothing has gone wrong. If you worry about those places, the dealership (my father was a salesman) is possibly having an 18 year old apprentice do it anyway...

    If not, go to a Midas or somewhere where you can watch your car being worked on... I like to see who's doing the work...
  15. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I agree. Oil changes are just messy. I'd rather pay for someone throwing it up on the rack just to avoid the hassle.
  16. I change mine most of the time.


    1) It's another $10-$20 I can do something else with.
    2) The quick change guys DO screw things up more often than I'd like - and it's my engine if the oil drops. (But I run synthetic so I have more safety margin.)
    3) When I'm doing the oil change, I can check around underneath, freshen the front end lube and get a good look at the front tires. I can also look for fluid leaks. The Quick Lube guys are unlikely to do any of those.
    4) I CAN do it - why shouldn't I? I get tired of having other people perform services that I can do better than they can.
    5) I have NEVER had a car towed for something I did wrong - and I don't intend to have one towed for something one of the "monkey-boys" did.

    I've been working on cars for 40 years, and I can see more and do a better job than the Quick Lube guys when I get under that car.
  17. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    95% of the DIY'ers would never give the attention to detail like you would. To most it's oil out, oil in and what the heck is a grease fitting?
  18. You're absolutely right. Still, there ARE good reasons to change your own oil, provided that you take advantage of the opportunity. It's not my fault that so many people are lazy and won't spend another five minutes doing simple things that extend the service life of their car.

    Maybe that approach is why my 25-year-old car looks better than most 10-year-old cars.

  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    A guy I know who owns an independent garage told me about a customer of his who changed his own oil on a Jetta with a 1.8T 20V. He forgot to tighten the drain plug. The guy's wife was driving the car to Arizona, and at about the state line the engine died. Permanently.

    I know, a shop could make the same mistake, but it would be insured. ;)
  20. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Most of the places that are doing $20 oil changes are using recycled oil.

    Besides, after all the crap you hear about from places like EZ Lube, Jiffy Lube, etc... I want the piece of mind knowing that it was done properly.

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