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View Full Version : How much for Brake service?



robojoo3231
02-17-2009, 03:21 PM
HI, dudes

I got a warning light for brake this morning, which means the time for big bucks.

Anyway, local independent mechanic (he is good and well known in MD) gave me a suprising quote. $650 for front and $550 for rear. Of course, includes brake pad, sensor and rotor. I can't believe it.

I paid $880 for front and rear and it came to me only after 30k. (too soon!!!) The price skyrocketed in a few years.

What do you think the reasonable price should be? DO I need to look for other independe shop?

THanks for sharing your ideas.

robo

P.S. I'd appreciate any shop you recommend in MD (Montgomery county).

pseto
02-17-2009, 03:30 PM
cant DIY? you'll save plenty of $, probably min $300. my wife did this last month: bought the rotors, pads, sensors from Tischer, and did the work herself at the DIY

woodym3
02-17-2009, 06:50 PM
The warning light means one of your front or rear pads is down to the wear sensor. With normal driving you could go many more months. No reason to think both front and rear are close to needing replacement. No reason to think the rotors need replacement. Have someone help you determine which axle needs new pads, get a new set when warm weather sets in (aftermarket pads are much cheaper). You'll want a new sensor too. As Paul said, you can change them at a DIY or with a friend's help. It's so easy a caveman can do it. Total costs maybe $200 - $300.

mlytle
02-17-2009, 10:18 PM
shops have to make money to cover overhead and stay in biz, but brake work must be the highest profit margin job. it takes maybe 15min to change pads and rotors on a bmw per corner...if an experienced tech goes slow. takes me less than that and i am totally anal about getting everything right. the parts aren't that expensive.

working on your bimmer is fun and satisfying. highly recommend attending a diy to do your brakes. fun, comraderie and save money!

OwnedbyDuncan
02-18-2009, 09:18 AM
A flat rate manual would tell you the hours they bill.

But a shop loses money chasing codes and doing other repairs that take more time then the book says.

And every once in blue moon you get rotor retaining screw whatever that breaks off or causes a problem.

For a good indy shop that is reliable and will squeeze you in because you are a good customer I pay the bill. Never argued a bill etc if I didnt have time to so it myself or just didnt want to be bothered. And remember a good reliable tech at good shop is worth what he/she is paid and they bill
more a hour than govt lawyers.

Dave Apker and the collies

1996 328ti
02-18-2009, 09:27 AM
P.S. I'd appreciate any shop you recommend in MD (Montgomery county).I like Dan Martin over by the airpark.

Don't know your car, but brakes are really easy.
Like Woody said, a caveman could do it.
Even me. You need minimal tools.
Best bet is to find a member to look over your shoulder while you are doing it.
At the most it should cost you a beer and a couple slices of pizza for the help.

Dirichlet
02-18-2009, 10:56 AM
If you are capable of un-screwing a bolt, DIY (do it yourself)

The total job should only be a few hundred in parts (total for front and rear).
Order the parts (rotors, pads) from www.bimmerworld.com or www.bavauto.com, and then follow any of a million online tutorials. I can assume from your name that you drive a 323i, which is exactly what I drive...

Some things are worth paying a premium for - this is not one of those things. Installing new brakes is about the easiest job you can do on a car.

Cheers,
~C

JC5
02-21-2009, 07:11 AM
Sign up for one of the club DIY's, and do it there

prentissra
02-21-2009, 09:25 AM
I've got to agree - DIY it. It is an easy job and its the first one I did at a DIY because of the exact shop quote you got. I bought aftermarket rotors and pads.

Car54
02-22-2009, 08:43 PM
This is probably one of the best DIY's for brakes I've seen:

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_front_brake_pads.shtml
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_rear_brake_pads.shtml

mcoupemindy
02-23-2009, 12:58 PM
This is probably one of the best DIY's for brakes I've seen:

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_front_brake_pads.shtml
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_rear_brake_pads.shtml

No kidding. That's a great writeup!

Munchenman2
02-23-2009, 01:53 PM
Yes, terrific writeups, except they do'nt mention the most important step:

After you finish, and before you move the car, start the engine and PUMP your brakes repeatedly until you reclaim your brake service.
Unless you do the above, your brake pedal may go to the floor without any noticable braking action the first several times you try the brakes. Please review Step #1 and PUMP.
A close friend, and frequent DIYer, "finished" a brake service in the driveway at dusk one evening and went to bed without PUMPING. The next morning, the friend started driving to work, and at the end of a very short block, depressed the brake pedal to make a turn. Result: $1300 worth of damage to the car, even at a low speed. Please see Step #1 and PUMP.
Please remember that the single most important non-human system on your car by far is the brake system! Just for further emphasis, and for the sake of your family, your friends, enemies, others, and yourself, please PUMP.
Please re-read Step #1.
Hope you never forget; other perfectly sensible people have!

Alan :tongue:
DIY #3 Coordinator

clutch
02-23-2009, 10:33 PM
Along with the madrussian write-up, this one also gave me confidence that I could DIY the brakes and rotors. Lots of good details and tips in this one:

Doug's Domain BMW E36/E46
Brake Replacement DIY (http://www.dvatp.com/bmw/diy/brakes/)

Jenson Button
02-24-2009, 12:03 PM
I don't know where you are, but if near Towson, I have a lift and tools and work for beer. Several of the Baltimore area locals swear by "Manor Motor Werks."

woodym3
02-24-2009, 04:48 PM
After you finish, and before you move the car, start the engine and PUMP your brakes repeatedly until you reclaim your brake service.
Unless you do the above, your brake pedal may go to the floor without any noticable braking action the first several times you try the brakes.

Excellent point Alan. I changed front pads a week or so ago, went inside to eat lunch, came out and put the car in the garage. The only thing that stopped me at the back of my garage was a stack of tires.
And some years ago a friend nearly totaled her M3 after changing pads and finding no brakes at Summit Point's turn 1.

1996 328ti
02-24-2009, 05:20 PM
I swapped pads and fluid. Pumped the brakes.
Get in the car for a little test ride.
I had the sneaking feeling I forgot something.

After a few minutes I realized I forgot to torque my lug nuts.
I'm glad I went with my gut feeling to rethink my steps.

Jenson Button
02-25-2009, 02:02 PM
And some years ago a friend nearly totaled her M3 after changing pads and finding no brakes at Summit Point's turn 1.


Its been a while since I heard that story mentioned. Ooops!

1996 328ti
02-25-2009, 02:35 PM
And some years ago a friend nearly totaled her M3 after changing pads and finding no brakes at Summit Point's turn 1.Is that what led to the divorce?

robojoo3231
02-25-2009, 03:09 PM
I don't know where you are, but if near Towson, I have a lift and tools and work for beer. Several of the Baltimore area locals swear by "Manor Motor Werks."


Hello, Jenson

Thanks for Great help!!! Since I failed to participate in upcoming DIY session as a worker, I have been frustrated.

I want to ask you to help me DIY. I can drive to Towson from Montgomery County.

First, where can I buy rotors and pads (sensors, too)?

I found one source from the forum:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1175662

Is it OK or OEM better?

My BMW is 2000 323i.
Anybody will be welcome to give me some tips on buying parts.

Thanks, all.

pseto
02-25-2009, 03:17 PM
glad you chose to DIY. you'll definitely thank yourself after your brakes are done.

Tischer gives CCA members 20% off of retail.

their online parts dept is outstanding http://getbmwparts.com/

John in VA
02-25-2009, 03:22 PM
Check the pricing at the provided link, if you can't find a deal locally.
Olympus Import Parts used to be my local go-to, but the last 2 times I needed something (relay, final stage resistor) they didn't carry them. They offer(ed) a BMW CCA discount.
Steve Haygood, a former NCCer before relocating to the Atlanta area, is a pro mechanic & has great deals on parts:
(706) 647-0302
automobilesolutions@<hidden>

http://www.autohausaz.com/

Balo, Brembo, ATE , or Zimmermann rotors will all do the job.
I'm running Mintex pads on our '00 328i.
Do get a pair of new rotor locating bolts (use anti-seize when installing the new ones), and a front & rear pad wear sensor.
You might consider replenishing/changing the brake fluid, too, depending on Mr. Button's hospitality.

JC5
02-25-2009, 04:16 PM
This guy is also good for hardware, and he's a bit of a brake guru http://www.zeckhausen.com/technical.htm

Bob
03-03-2009, 10:07 AM
Check the pricing at the provided link, if you can't find a deal locally.
Olympus Import Parts used to be my local go-to, but the last 2 times I needed something (relay, final stage resistor) they didn't carry them. They offer(ed) a BMW CCA discount.
Steve Haygood, a former NCCer before relocating to the Atlanta area, is a pro mechanic & has great deals on parts:
(706) 647-0302
automobilesolutions@<hidden>

http://www.autohausaz.com/

Balo, Brembo, ATE , or Zimmermann rotors will all do the job.
I'm running Mintex pads on our '00 328i.
Do get a pair of new rotor locating bolts (use anti-seize when installing the new ones), and a front & rear pad wear sensor.
You might consider replenishing/changing the brake fluid, too, depending on Mr. Button's hospitality.

Or better yet, chuck the rotor bolts, I've yet to figure out their purpose, except for holding the rotor in place when the caliper is off! A dubious distinction, at best.

Car54
03-03-2009, 04:28 PM
Or better yet, chuck the rotor bolts, I've yet to figure out their purpose, except for holding the rotor in place when the caliper is off! A dubious distinction, at best.

Perhaps you have a specific personal reason to omit parts, you should not be suggesting those habits to someone who's trying to do their first brake job.

mcoupemindy
03-03-2009, 04:54 PM
Perhaps you have a specific personal reason to omit parts, you should not be suggesting those habits to someone who's trying to do their first brake job.

Weight reduction?!?

OwnedbyDuncan
03-04-2009, 06:39 AM
Don't forget to have the proper torque specs for the job.

Dave Apker and the collies