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May 13, 3:07 AM [GMT -5]

I am a big fan of you magazine and a supporter of DIY projects. This article kind of rubbed me wrong and I'd like to correct a few things.
1.ceramic vs semi metalic brake pads
* The metalic pads cause much more wear to the brake rotor.
* The metal that is sprayed does not just make the wheels dirty the hot metal will go through protective coatings on wheels destroying the wheel.
* On aluminum wheels the hot metal will actually pit the aluminum.
* The cost of ceramic vs semi metalic 3or more years ago was prohibitive, however as virtually all auto manufactures have gone to ceramic pads on most new vehicles since 2000. the cost is not that much. (I.E. a metalic pad name brand costing about $40 in ceramic name brand would be maybe $55 - $60.

I have to say assuming that auto repair shops are out to rip you off is unfair. I have been in this business for more than 30 years. and I know most of my competition personally. We are honest hard Working people that take offense to being accused of being dishonest. I work very hard and have always repeat always done the right thing in dealing with not only my customers but my vendors and my employees. My shop is not unusual I think most automotive shops are honest

Your comment about the calipers or wheel cylinder is very odd. I did some checking and in the last 1300+ brake jobs done at my shop. We had 57 that required wheel cylinders and 39 that needed calipers. Less than 20 required the sliders be replaced . Just clean them out very good and reuse your old ones.

Now that said a shop that runs adds for a complete brake job for $69, $79 or even $99 is not going to do the job correctly or with any kind of quality parts. Very often this is a price that the company never really does a brake job for because it is the price of brakes on a 79 Pinto.

Another problem I have with the article is. On vehicles with ABS "antilock brake systems". When compressing the piston back into the caliper I would recommend opening the bleeder screw and allowing the fluid that is displaced by pushing the piston back into the caliper housing to be released into a drain pan.
It is not a good idea to push the debris back into your ABS pump. This can cause major problems with your ABS. The ABS motor pulses the brake pressure through a very very small orfice inside the ABS pump. If you push debris out of the caliper back into the pump it is not unusual for this to cause problems or require replacment of ABS pump or ABS motor.

The brake rotor part is kind of right but the easiest way to describe the rotor difference is not by name brand but by country made in. I know for a fact that automotive manfacturers of vehicles made in the United States have made in china rotors on brand new vehicles. So name brand doesn't mean that much. As most of us all know most things made in the United States are of higher Quality than those made in other countries. There is never a truer statment made than when discussing anything made of steel . The Quality of steel made in China or other countries is of such low quality it should in most cases not be used. The price difference like brake pads 5 years ago was a lot you could just about buy 3 rotors made in china for what 1 made in the USA cost. However that is not the case today. The made in the USA rotors are rarely double the price of the China rotors and the quality difference is worth every penny.

February 18, 7:51 PM [GMT -5]

Personally, I like ceramic pads for my street car due to the lack of dust and quietness.

On my track car, I use do semi-metallic high performance pads.
The same would apply to a tow vehicle or for mountainous driving.

February 18, 7:46 PM [GMT -5]

Rotors and pads are simple to replace yourself - buy the parts on line and find a instructional video for your car. Save HUNDREDS of $

Don't forget to use a torque wrench to tighten the caliper bolts and the wheel nuts: the latter is important to prevent warping your new rotors.

February 16, 5:21 PM [GMT -5]

Be sure to replace flexible brake hoses as well as change the brake fluid periodically - the fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture) and over time will tend to break down the hose material and can rust the rigid line from inside out.

December 13, 10:12 PM [GMT -5]

Not only have I had all of these rip offs done to me by a mechanic, the part store has upsold me the ceramic pads for my truck. Very imformative! Thank You!!!

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Auto Repair Rip Offs: Avoid Brake Service Costs

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