A little DIY and what it can save you

Mark W.

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lets see at 9:28am I told the guys on my firearms discussion group I was going out to work on the wifes rear brakes on her car. And 10:20 including finding my tools and washing up afterwards (less then an hour) I was back in my office done. Cost for new pads $20.00.

Les Schwab (local regional tire shop) wanted $320.00 of course they would have ground the rotors (which they did not need) and replaced the calipers with remanufactured ones (which they did not need to be replaced) I went to PCC (commnity college) for auto tech and took brake class.

So I just made $300.00 in an hour not to mention had a little minor workout now what can I spend it on LOL
 
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I agree, I do all my own work and save a LOT of money. I have a buddy that has an auto repair shop and they do the same thing as Schwab but in their defense, it comes down to liability and greedy lawyers is the reason they go as far as replacing the calipers.
 
A little advice next time rebuild the calipers not that hard to do either. A small chunch of 2x4, a little compressed air and a good kit is all you need.
 
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Mark W.

Mark W.

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A little advice next time rebuild the calipers not that hard to do either. A small chunch of 2x4, a little compressed air and a good kit is all you need.
OH I know how to rebuild calipers. But in this case there was nothing wrong with them and if the car lasts another 25K I will be amazed. It's at 235K now.
 
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Mark W.

Mark W.

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Unless you are into young men in tight pants, I see no need to visit Les Schwab....not even for free beef.
Well thats cause your not as old or smart as I am. Les Schwab will check your brakes for free and then give you a print out of their condition. SO I had the wife take the car to Schwabs and they took the wheels off and looked at the brakes figured out what they needed and gave the wife a print out.

Saved me the time and effort to do that. All I had to do was stop at the autoparts store on the way home and buy the pads.
 
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In my OPINION, replacing just the pads means you only did half of the work needed. Even though you can't see it, your rotors need to be turned so that they are "true". By doing this, you help to ensure a completely flat surface for the new brake pads, which allows them to work to their full potential.
 
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Well thats cause your not as old or smart as I am. Les Schwab will check your brakes for free and then give you a print out of their condition. SO I had the wife take the car to Schwabs and they took the wheels off and looked at the brakes figured out what they needed and gave the wife a print out.

Saved me the time and effort to do that. All I had to do was stop at the autoparts store on the way home and buy the pads.
While i applaud your efforts to be more self-sufficient, you are doing it at the cost of the staff at the LS you visited. The guy that inspected your brakes, the guy that provided the estimate, the guy at the parts store that provided pricing for the job. All these people rely on the 'free brake check' to get the opportunity to earn a pay check. I was on the receiving end of this behavior when I was a mechanic and I can tell you, it sucks. They all work hard to provide a service. If you had your wife get the brakes checked out while you were purchasing tires or an oil change, then maybe not so bad, but to send her just for a short cut to savings, bad form.

In my OPINION, replacing just the pads means you only did half of the work needed. Even though you can't see it, your rotors need to be turned so that they are "true". By doing this, you help to ensure a completely flat surface for the new brake pads, which allows them to work to their full potential.
Several years ago, several vehicle manufacturers stopped specifying a 'cut-to' dimension for brake rotors. I figure it was a cost saving move, but they probably decided that it cost them less to manufacture a rotor just big enough to wear out as the brake pads wear. Rather than machining, they were to be replaced if they were a) under spec. dimension, or b) out of parallel (warped). Replacement parts came down in price dramatically and tech simply started recommending replacement. I would always just scuff the rotors with an abrasive pad to take the sheen off of them and never had a problem, so long as they were over minimum thickness.

Source: I was an ASE Certified technician from 1993-2005.
 
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Mark W.

Mark W.

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As to the poor guys at Les Schwab having to check my wife's brake while I do the job. LOL I have spent more money buying tires and batteries and alingments at Les Schwab over the 25 years I have had an account with them. That this year when I have been without work since Nov. and only now are we getting 32-35 hours a week in when in a normal year by this time in the construction season I would be clearing 45-50 hours. I don't mind letting them help out.

And the time it took to drop a single rear tire and tell her yes they needed to be replaced wasn't screwing anyone.

I would have had to work for 21 hours to pay for their brake job. Which they would have done in about an hour. Instead I got the wifes car back on the road with safe brakes that will last until we get rid of the car or it finally dies for $20.00 and a wee bit less then an hour of my time on a Sunday morning.
 
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unless im missing something here, all schwab did was give him a price for doing the work. that's not work. i do that all the time- sometimes people go with me, other times i never hear from them again... but climbing around on your roof for 15 minutes with a tape measure isn't "work," and i fully understand that i'm doing it with no better than a 50/50 chance of getting the job.

i have no problem with this, and i'm driving to YOUR place, not you bringing your place to me. it's just part of doing business. business works for some people, it doesn't for others... it's working JUST FINE for schwab.
 
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unless im missing something here, all schwab did was give him a price for doing the work. that's not work. i do that all the time- sometimes people go with me, other times i never hear from them again... but climbing around on your roof for 15 minutes with a tape measure isn't "work," and i fully understand that i'm doing it with no better than a 50/50 chance of getting the job.

i have no problem with this, and i'm driving to YOUR place, not you bringing your place to me. it's just part of doing business. business works for some people, it doesn't for others... it's working JUST FINE for schwab.
This. It's just like getting a collision repair estimate and deciding to fix that dent yourself. I see nothing wrong with it, been doing all my own work on my vehicles since I could lift a wrench and saved myself a ton of money in the process.
 
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I am sad to read bad-mouthing of Les Schwab stores! They always treat me well and go to great lengths to find what I want. Who else will find you an American-made motorcycle battery? They make an effort to stock mainly American-made products. And I get my little-red-wagon-with-the-big-tires aired up for free---with no attitude at all! Me like-um............................elsullo
 
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I am sad to read bad-mouthing of Les Schwab stores! They always treat me well and go to great lengths to find what I want. Who else will find you an American-made motorcycle battery? They make an effort to stock mainly American-made products. And I get my little-red-wagon-with-the-big-tires aired up for free---with no attitude at all! Me like-um............................elsullo
people cant believe their stupid policies and ridiculous labor charges. other than that, you're right- they seem to be "good guys," in general. if they bubblegum something up, they make it right.. if they give you the wrong tires and you drive around on them for days before your husband notices they gave you road tires when he SPECIFICALLY asked for ATs, they'll take them back and swap them out at no cost... etc, etc.

i still will NEVER let them charge me $450 to do my brakes. takes me 15 minutes and costs me $45.
 
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Yeah they are a real time saver. Like the my wife took her truck in to have a flat fixed. They decided to take it upon themselves to pull all the tires and check the brakes...ended up snapping a lug stud and took all day to fix.

Oh yeah, I've had the slow leak on my trailer tire fixed twice by them. Still leaks.

Plus the years of business dealings with them. Quoting one price, having it be a another. Failure to stand behind their crappy batteries...the list goes on and on.
They can give away all the free popcorn they want but I will make my own diagnosis on my cars and I will sure by my tires someplace else!
 

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