auto repair: do mechanics typically charge for an estimate?

  1. New Member
    heftylefty58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    118
    Level
    5
    Lv. Percent
    15.61%

    auto repair: do mechanics typically charge for an estimate?


    I'd like to get my brakes checked/serviced. Do mechanics typically charge a fee just to estimate the necessary repairs? If so, what do you think they charge in your area JUST TO COME UP WITH the estimate?

    Thanks.

  2. Board Supporter
    Rage (SoCal)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,928
    Rep Power
    1079
    Level
    32
    Lv. Percent
    35.91%
    Achievements Activity ProPosting Pro

    What kind of car? If you are mechanically inclined, I suggest you do it as its very easy. Maybe you have friends that can help? Is it all 4 brakes? Are they all discs?


    Chances are you can count on Mechanics charging you anywhere from $70-100/hr. Usually, they don't charge for estimates so you can shop around. What kind of car are we talking here?
  3. Registered User
    Ronin13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Age
    43
    Posts
    531
    Rep Power
    372
    Level
    18
    Lv. Percent
    56.43%

    brakes are not something you want to mess with if you have no mechanical skill sets especially if the car is anything newer.
    •   
       

  4. New Member
    heftylefty58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    118
    Level
    5
    Lv. Percent
    15.61%

    I have a 2002 Nissan Pathy (4WD). As a first-time homeowner, my handyman skills are at their early stages. However, I don't have many handy neighbors/friends, so I'm a little leary of taking on this job myself. One concern is the rotors: How can I tell if they're warped? If they are, what would I need to resurface them?
  5. Registered User
    rocketscientist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Age
    46
    Posts
    227
    Rep Power
    220
    Level
    12
    Lv. Percent
    73.39%

    Depends - if they have to do work to give an estimate they will charge you for that, e.g. taking the wheels off and stuff like that. I've never payed for an estimate itself however...

    Most important thing IMO, ask all your buddies, better - ask everyone you ever meet - for a shop that you can trust.

    And don't be afraid to say 'no', pay the estimate fee and take your car to another shop to have it checked if you think there is something fishy with the estimate. Also, ask to let them show you what is wrong before they attempt to fix it and always ask to see the parts they (supposedly) replaced.
  6. Registered User
    Ronin13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Age
    43
    Posts
    531
    Rep Power
    372
    Level
    18
    Lv. Percent
    56.43%

    How many miles are on it? I got 80k out of mine and I rode my car very hard and actually took it to the track a number of times but........ some manufacturer's rotors can be funny. You could have enough material left to refinishing them (need to take them to an auto shop like Pep Boys or Auto Zone and they can measure them and let you know if you need new ones). Most places like that offer lifetime replacements as long as you have the receipt.
    I recall Nissan's and Toyota's used to have a special brake tool for the calipers, not sure if they still do though.



    Quote Originally Posted by heftylefty58
    I have a 2002 Nissan Pathy (4WD). As a first-time homeowner, my handyman skills are at their early stages. However, I don't have many handy neighbors/friends, so I'm a little leary of taking on this job myself. One concern is the rotors: How can I tell if they're warped? If they are, what would I need to resurface them?
  7. Elite Member
    yeahright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,368
    Rep Power
    10347
    Level
    52
    Lv. Percent
    98.41%
    Achievements Activity ProPosting ProPosting Authority

    Most mechanics won't charge for an estimate. Take the thing to two or three different places, if they tell you the same thing then have the repairs done at the place that you felt most comfortable with.
  8. Diamond Member
    Jayhawkk's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  230 lbs.
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Age
    39
    Posts
    12,790
    Rep Power
    11682
    Level
    67
    Lv. Percent
    47.84%
    Achievements Activity AuthorityActivity ProPosting ProPosting AuthorityPosting Veteran

    Estimate for repair and brake inspections are two different things.
    Also while the rotos may not look warped it's usually a good idea to take them in to get lathed(sp). I'd suggest paying the cost vs. doing it yourself if you're not sure what you are doing.
  9. Diamond Member
    Jayhawkk's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  230 lbs.
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Age
    39
    Posts
    12,790
    Rep Power
    11682
    Level
    67
    Lv. Percent
    47.84%
    Achievements Activity AuthorityActivity ProPosting ProPosting AuthorityPosting Veteran
  10. New Member
    heftylefty58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    118
    Level
    5
    Lv. Percent
    15.61%

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    Estimate for repair and brake inspections are two different things.
    Also while the rotos may not look warped it's usually a good idea to take them in to get lathed(sp). I'd suggest paying the cost vs. doing it yourself if you're not sure what you are doing.
    Oh! Didn't know that--thanks J.
  11. Board Supporter
    RSX-S's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  190 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    34
    Posts
    118
    Rep Power
    197
    Level
    9
    Lv. Percent
    90.58%

    I was a mechanic for 6 years and am ASE certified.

    Typically what we would do at the dealership (I know, everyone hates dealerships) is when you bring your car to come get looked at, we charge something to look at it. To look at brakes we would charge something like $25. If you did in fact need brakes, we would apply that money towards the repair. If you didn't need anything at all, all you would pay is that small amount.

    On a larger repair or diagnosis you may pay a good bit more to find a problem. Typically 1hr of shop rate time. If the labor rate is $75, you may pay a $75 diagnosis. Again, if you decide to fix the car there, some or all of that diagnosis fee should be applied to the repair.

    As far as rotors being warped, some car manufacturers recommend turning your rotors everytime you get brakes put on. I worked for Honda, and we did not turn rotors everytime. If you do, you prematurly make your rotors too thin. You should know if your rotors are warped by if the car or steering wheel vibrates when you come to a stop.

    You can differentiate between the front and rear rotors being warped by pulling the E-brake while driving down the road. The E-brake only operates the rear brakes, so if you pull it up while driving and the car shimmys, then you have a problem in the rear brakes. Pull the brake up slowly, don't go jerking it up.

    If you do need to resurface your rotors, get them measured to make sure there's enough material to shave off. And you need a special machine to cut them straight.
  12. Board Supporter
    RSX-S's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  190 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    34
    Posts
    118
    Rep Power
    197
    Level
    9
    Lv. Percent
    90.58%

    Oh, one more thing. If you get your car in the shop, and they recommend repairs, ask to go see the problem yourself. Don't let them tell you any bull**** about insurance not letting you back there. That is your car on their lift, and they are recommending repairs. Any trustworthy shop would not hesitate to take you back there and show you what it needs and why it needs it.

    I guarantee if you take your car in to get looked at for brakes, something else will get recommended. Most mechanics are paid on a sort of commission, the more work they upsell and perform, the more money they make.
  13. New Member
    heftylefty58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    118
    Level
    5
    Lv. Percent
    15.61%

    Thumbs up


    Great--thanks for the advice, brothers.
  14. New Member
    Kam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Age
    31
    Posts
    401
    Rep Power
    306
    Level
    16
    Lv. Percent
    59.89%

    Everything he said was correct, i'm ase certified too. Midas and a couple nation chains usually have a free brake inspection deal going on. It's really not hard to do I just showed my friend how to do it and all he did was get the chiltons out from the library and did most of it himself, he just didn't know why the piston wouldn't go back into the caliper, i thought he needed to open bleeder screw but it was froze.

    Good luck, it's not so bad to do it yourself. With rotors from china being 20 bucks a piece and pads 30 for a set it's hard to understand paying 200+ for brakes but that's from my side.
  

  
 

Similar Forum Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-26-2011, 06:59 PM
  2. How do you approach your doctor for an HCG prescription?
    By BCH13 in forum Post Cycle Therapy
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-24-2011, 08:33 PM
  3. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-31-2008, 01:32 AM
  4. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-02-2008, 02:47 PM
  5. how do you import icons for your name?
    By good_guye28 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-24-2003, 12:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Log in
Log in