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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
UPDATE 4: Here's the quote email:

Scott,

Please see the list of things needs to be changed for k your vehicle.

1-Rear brake pads
2-Rear left brake rotor
3-Rear right brake rotor
4-Rear left caliper
5-Rear right caliper
6-Brake fluid flush
7-Rear E. Brake shoe set
8-Rear hardware kit
$1200

9-Rear left hub and bearing 289.95
10-Rear right hub and bearing 289.95
11-Rear left backing plate 48.99
12-Rear right backing plate 48.99
plus tax and no labor
$800
 

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You need to reason out the rest of the condition of the rest of the vehicle. Is it worth fixing? If you spend the money to have it repaired will it last awhile longer. Versus having a car payment? If the rest of it is in decent shape, spend the money to get it fixed, if not and you can afford trade it in.
 

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Think Hammerhead summed things up well. Replace backer plates from pics - yes. Thank New England Salt. Hub bearings? They are obviously rusted but life probably is more dependant on how many potholes you've hit . They could easily last another 100k miles or be junk now. Since they have to come off to replace backer plates suggest ask mechanic to see if they can pre spray them and see what they feel like after they come off. They may be rusted but spin fine and good to reuse or they may really need lots of pounding to remove and be very questionable. Suggest at least asking them if they can pop one off and make the call then since so expensive. Problem they have is it ties up a lift . Ultimately think you're gonna have to trust mechanics best judgement here
 

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UPDATE 3: Hub & bearing: $289 x 2 + Backing Plate $40 x 2 and G offered to waive the labor charge for that installation, so now the whole out the door quote has jumped to $2000. Are they incrementally upselling me?

I requested everything printed to my email before saying yes again…
Doesn’t sound like an upsell to me. Those backing plates are in rough condition and that’s where the parking brake shoes mount to. The wheel bearing assembly has to come out to change the backing plate, so that’s up to you. Might as well change it, if it was mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
UPDATE 5: Here's what still bothers me: this garage is saying the parking brake wasn't holding because the REAR CALIPERS WERE FROZEN. The calipers that grab the rotors! How can that have anything to do with the parking brake? Neither the owner, nor the mechanic were able to give me any explanation that sufficiently answered this…just vague stuff, like "it's all interconnected"…"the backing plate holds the parking brake cable in place" It just doesn't wash. I don't dispute the parts should be replaced…but what does that do for the parking brake? Why wasn't it working?

That, combined with the rather shoddy quote list (that I had to ask for: items 1-8 not broken down, and the math for items 9-12 plus 6.25% MA sales tax does not add up, AND getting me to commit to the $1200 quote, and just THREE MINUTES LATER, "Oh…whoops! Call me back (it's gonna cost another $800)" And the mechanic several times emphasizing that I would be getting "a whole brand new rear braking system…at the dealer, it would have been extra." But what are you doing to fix the PARKING BRAKE???

I just replied to the emailed quote asking for more details and exact costs for every part & labor, and that I'm willing to wait until after the holiday to give them time to compose such a statement, including a guarantee that the parking brake will be functional for MA inspection at no additional charges.
 

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Another option , see if they will let you supply your own parts. Some will Some won't.
Only downside to that is no warranty except on parts.
If you go that route, make sure you get quality parts.
 

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$2000 for all that work sounds reasonable.

2 new calipers, 2 new rotors, brake pads, 2 new backing plates, 2 new wheel bearings, parking brake shoes, brake fluid flush, and hardware, labor, tax.

If you don’t like the quote you can take it somewhere else, but I think you’ll be suspicious of that mechanic too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
$2000 for all that work sounds reasonable.

2 new calipers, 2 new rotors, brake pads, 2 new backing plates, 2 new wheel bearings, parking brake shoes, brake fluid flush, and hardware, labor, tax.

If you don’t like the quote you can take it somewhere else, but I think you’ll be suspicious of that mechanic too.
I'm not saying it's unreasonable for that stuff: just how does it fix the parking brake?
 

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I'm not saying it's unreasonable for that stuff: just how does it fix the parking brake?
The backing plate, parking brake hardware and shoes will.

You said the rotors were rusty, the parking brake shoes use the inside part of the rotor.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the calipers were frozen because once they get all rusted the pistons and slide pins will be sticking. That will cause brake pad wear.

The only thing you might not need is the wheel bearings. They look like crap but if there’s no growling from them they might be able to be reused, but if they fail later you’ll have to pay for labor again, that’s why I’d replace them now while they have to come off anyway if it was mine..
 

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Also I would ask if they are using “coated” rotors and calipers. The manufacture puts on a protective coating that helps prevent them from rusting and corroding. They’re worth the little extra money.

I was going through brakes constantly because the Firestone shop used the cheapest quality rotors they could find (though not cheap in price, they charged a lot) and a year later they were all rusting away, same with the calipers.

The parts had a “lifetime” warranty but I still had to pay labor. I finally learned how to do it myself and used coated rotors and calipers on my 2011 Soul 3 years ago and the brakes are still in good shape, hardly any rust.
 
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