Brakes on your car are a necessity. Driving without brakes is almost always lethal or injurious to you and someone else. Yet, the cost of replacing your brakes can be quite daunting. You want to replace them, but financially speaking, you want to avoid the whole mess. The truth is, the expense with brakes is not with the parts themselves. It helps to understand what the true expenses are and why, and what you can do to lessen the expenses of brake services.
Labor is almost always the primary expense of any car repair. You could have a classic, twenty-five-year-old vehicle, but the brakes would still cost less than a hundred dollars. In many cases, the brakes will cost less than eighty or ninety dollars, a true drop in the bucket. It is the labor that will always get you.
You should know, too, that what a mechanic charges for his/her labor varies widely. Newbie mechanics could charge around twenty-four to thirty dollars an hour. Mechanics that have been in the business a long time could charge two to three times as much.
Then there is the labor exerted to get to the brakes; some makes and models of cars make it almost impossible to get to the old brakes and remove them. This often doubles the length of the time needed to get the job done. Double the time, double the labor costs.
Finding out That There Are Other Wheel Problems
Brakes are comprised of calipers, rotors, pads, and a couple other lesser parts. Sometimes, when you go to replace the brakes, you find that there is something else seriously wrong with the wheels or the drive train. If you replace the brakes, you may only be applying a band-aid solution to something else that is really wrong.
If this other problem causes your vehicle to break down, you are going to be quite frustrated that your car has to go back into the repair shop again. When your mechanic tells you about this extra problem and gives you the option to fix it, it is going to add to your repair expenses. However, repairing the extra problems ensures that you will not have to come back into the shop again for anything wheel/brake-related again for a while.
Reducing the Expenses
If you know someone who can do your brakes for free, that is a good option. Just make sure he/she knows what he/she is doing. After that, your next best bet is to find a junior mechanic, who is fresh from college, to do your brake work. He/she will not charge as much for labor as a master mechanic will.
Finally, buy your own parts to replace the brakes. You can find a really good deal on parts when you shop around. Then have the mechanic or a brake person, such as at Norco Auto Tech, install the parts.