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  #1  
Old 10-04-2009, 05:01 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Has ANYONE Ever Gotten Out of Midas With a $79.95 Brake Job?

I am always suspicious of car repair chains-the advertise absurdly low prices, yet everybody I know (who has gone to them) winds up paying 4-5X the advertised price. They always seem to charge for every pary ($15.00 for buffler clamps), and always want to upsell you.
Still replacing your brakes (one axle) should not cost more than $30.00 for pads-figure 1 hour labor (@ $110.00/hour) should be reasonable-ha anyone had a brake job at Midas for $140.00?
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
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Like the tire "sales". Yeah, this obsure size of tires that no actual car uses is $29.99 each, but they're only guaranteed for 3 miles. The ones you need for your car are $99.99 each, and then you'll need to pay extra for balancing, mounting, air and lift fees.

My father called around a couple of months ago for tires for my car and this place said they had a pair for $59 each, plus other stuff. When I got there, the guy (one man shop) claimed he didn't have them and tried to sell me another set for $79 per. I pointed out that three days earlier, he'd quoted my father the lower price and I made ready to depart. At that point he dropped the price to $59 each.

Tires Plus, Car X, Valvoline, Rapid Oil, hell, the entire auto business, is all built on "Get you in the door on a coupon, then upsell EVERYTHING."

I went to Car X for a $19.99 oil change coupon. They kept me there nearly 3 hours hemming and hawing over my car while trying to sell me nearly $1,000 in other services. To say that I wasn't happy and won't ever go back to that store is a mild understatement.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:36 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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This is not a Great Debate.
I was tempted to send it to IMHO, but it looks moire like a rant.
Off to the Pit.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:07 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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Well, I didn't the last time, but I can't remember when, in the past 150,000 miles, I had last gotten the pads replaced and suddenly a shoe was dragging so I knew I was eating at least the caliper and probably the rotor.

Then as I pulled out the engine died and I couldn't get it started. It turned into an episode of "House," with each tech taking a turn to diagnose it.

"The computer says it's your ECM, but we're checking every wire and cleaning every connection."

"Why don't you just replace the ECM?"

"They're expensive and NAPA will only rebuild your old one and you'll be without a car for a couple weeks."

"I can't afford to pay for six hours of your time while you try to save me money."

"Oh, we won't charge you for our time. This is educational."

"I'll see if I can find a cheaper and faster ECM."

I went home and reflexively checked the net, then realized that I live in the Chicago area and if I couldn't find one for less locally, well, it was unlikely that I couldn't. The second parts store I called could get me a rebuilt ECM for as low as I could find one online, and I picked it up the next morning. I brought it to Midas, waited for them to install it, and then tried to pay.

"No charge!"

So yeah, I think Midas did alright by me.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:46 PM
A.Selene A.Selene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
I am always suspicious of car repair chains-the advertise absurdly low prices, yet everybody I know (who has gone to them) winds up paying 4-5X the advertised price. They always seem to charge for every pary ($15.00 for buffler clamps), and always want to upsell you.
Still replacing your brakes (one axle) should not cost more than $30.00 for pads-figure 1 hour labor (@ $110.00/hour) should be reasonable-ha anyone had a brake job at Midas for $140.00?
I work in the business - not at Midas but at a small independent shop - and your labor figure sounds about right. The 30 dollar pads aren't very reasonable though - you can find pads for 30 dollars, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to put them on my vehicle. I'd say the 60-70 dollar range is more likely, and I'll tell you we normally put ceramic pads on most of the vehicles that come into our shop, and those are going to run you more like 100-120 for a set. Well worth the price tag though.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2009, 10:45 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Went to Monkey Wards several years back to get a "$59.95 for most models!" brake job. When I got there, I was told that my rare model didn't qualify, and that my brake job would cost $109.95.
I owned a 1984 Plymouth Horizon!
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2009, 10:58 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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My first job as a mechanic was in a chain brake shop; No one ever got out for the advertised low, low price.

In fact, there were low price brake shoes, medium price brake shoes, and high price brake shoes. The price of the brake shoes went up with each grade and so did the mileage guarantee.

The low prices shoes were absolute junk but the medium and high priced shoes were one
and the same. Came out of the same box, but the high price shoes had a longer mileage guarantee.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2009, 11:48 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Went to Monkey Wards several years back to get a "$59.95 for most models!" brake job. When I got there, I was told that my rare model didn't qualify, and that my brake job would cost $109.95.
I owned a 1984 Plymouth Horizon!
Note that 1984 was 24 years ago. Using my personal measuring system, which compares the year of manufacture with the year I got my licence, that works out to 1948. In other words, old. Omnirizons were common in 1984. A few years ago? Almost all had been junked, so it was nearly (missing the cutoff by a year in Illinois) an antique.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:11 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Note that 1984 was 24 years ago. Using my personal measuring system, which compares the year of manufacture with the year I got my licence, that works out to 1948. In other words, old. Omnirizons were common in 1984. A few years ago? Almost all had been junked, so it was nearly (missing the cutoff by a year in Illinois) an antique.
Sorry for not being clearer, but by "several" I meant approximately 12 years ago. A friend of mine who had 1994 Sundance was told the same thing, and when he asked to see a list of vehicles that did qualify, they refused.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2009, 02:00 AM
emcee2k emcee2k is offline
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So do they actually charge over the advertised $80 on labor, or is the complaint here that they (over)charge for parts?
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:35 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcee2k View Post
So do they actually charge over the advertised $80 on labor, or is the complaint here that they (over)charge for parts?
Wheel bearings need replacing; wheel bearing seals need replacing; wheel cylinders (braking cylinders) need replacing or rebuilding; drums or rotors need to be turned or replaced; brake lines are frayed, bent, or otherwise damaged; master cylinders need replacement or repair, tires are cupped and therefore need balancing; front end needs alignment: there are always parts that need repair or replacement along with a brake job. A brake shop with a good (slick) service manager/thief is like owning a gold mine. Even an honest brake shop is a good money maker.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2009, 06:19 AM
fessie fessie is offline
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I remember getting totally taken at CarX, asshole manager leaned back in his chair with his feet up on his desk when I had the nerve to say "No". That is never a good sign.

That's why I started just going to the dealer. Hourly rate's a little higher, but they don't stiff you - or at least Zimbrick in Madison didn't. And then the Honda dealer in State College, PA, nursed our 1988 Accord from 130k to 160k by helping us keep after bits and pieces (boots, tie rods, those sorts of incidental things ). It finally croaked at 168k in 2001 (I could've replaced the master cylinder, but we wanted those newfangled airbags we'd heard so much about). Those years of $50 items had saved us a lot of money!

Last edited by fessie; 10-05-2009 at 06:20 AM..
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2009, 07:01 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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A few years ago, when my car was due for inspection, we took it to a local garage. It cost over $1200 just for it to pass, but it was well worth it. In the years since, I've never needed more than $25-30 in work done, and that was for burned-out lamps and other small incidentals. The garage has since changed hands, but we like the new owner and he does good work, too. So we're not going to a chain shop when we can get better service at the local garage.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2009, 08:20 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
It turned into an episode of "House," with each tech taking a turn to diagnose it.
I'd watch this show (at least once or twice)! It could be called "Car," starring Hugh Laurie as Greg Car, auto diagnostician, and Tom and Ray Magliozzi as his bumbling sidekicks.
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2009, 08:57 AM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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I recently got a new pair of tires for my wife's car and as part of that they did a complimentary "brake check". Lo and behold, the front pads were merely hundreds of miles from going metal on metal (no they weren't), the brake fluid was dirty and should be changed every two years per the manufacturer (did that six months prior and Honda calls for it every 3 years not 2), and the rear brakes should get their cleaning service ($40 to spritz some brake cleaner?). I passed.

I had an experience at Midas when I was young and naive. My car was sqeeking when slowing down and I took it in to Midas. I drove out ~$250 later and the squeek came back in short order. I took it back to a different Midas and it turns out the squeek was caused by a piece of glass wedged in somewhere.

On a related note, I am curious whether anyone has ever had a "free alignment check" and NOT needed an alignment?
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2009, 10:26 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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I go to a garage that is locally owned, we have been since we moved to the farm.

We have never gotten cheated there, and in fact have been treated pretty damned good. Frex, my international Scout. Had taken it in for tires, balance and alignment, Turns out that it also needed some little widget to shim something [perhaps, no idea, this was about 15 years ago] and instead of doing the balance and alignment, and letting it go out of whack in a couple hundred of miles or so, then waiting until we got back in to put the part in and get another fee... they sent us home, ordered the part and put it in and realigned the truck free.

Of course, over the years, with all of our assorted vehicles, tires, tune ups and whatnot, they have made a good sum of money off us )
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2009, 11:29 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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I got out of Midas with a $79.95 brake job.

In 1978.
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  #18  
Old 10-05-2009, 11:57 AM
Who_me? Who_me? is offline
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Originally Posted by Baracus View Post
On a related note, I am curious whether anyone has ever had a "free alignment check" and NOT needed an alignment?
Actually, I did. At a Mr. Tire about 2 years ago.
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:15 PM
Gesturing Mildly Gesturing Mildly is offline
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I can beat that - I went to a S&S Tire for an alignment, and they told me I didn't need one!

re: brake jobs - if you just need pads, try doing it yourself. You'll save a ton of money.
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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I once got out of Midas with a blown head gasket when they drained all the coolant and forgot to put some back in.
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  #21  
Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 PM
RoniaBorkason RoniaBorkason is offline
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How timely! I took a car to Midas last week for a brake job, and they gave me an estimate of almost $600 - machining rotors, replacing pads, changing fluid. It wasn't urgent, so I took it to Les Schwab right after, to get their estimate. $330, including new calipers.

I like Les Schwab. They've always seemed to be one of those good-customer-service companies, like Bel Air (for you Californians).
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2009, 01:28 PM
tacoloco tacoloco is offline
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Originally Posted by Gesturing Mildly View Post
re: brake jobs - if you just need pads, try doing it yourself. You'll save a ton of money.
If I did this, it'd be in the papers the next day:

Mr. Tacoloco was injured today in a bizarre incident involving brake failure.

I leave all of my car maintenance to the pros.
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  #23  
Old 10-05-2009, 01:30 PM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I'd watch this show (at least once or twice)! It could be called "Car," starring Hugh Laurie as Greg Car, auto diagnostician, and Tom and Ray Magliozzi as his bumbling sidekicks.
My Dad...back in his day...was really something and he wasn't a mechanic.

I still remember someone bringing a car to him once and explained that the car had been worked on by 3 different mechanics...had a bunch of work done on it and still wasn't solving the problem. They all gave up.

He stood there with his knee in the bumper...hood of the car down (not up) with his elbow on the hood and supporting his head and he listened for a couple minutes as the car idled. He then said "I bet it's the {soandso}. " he went to the part store, replaced it and the car ran fine.

I was pretty young at the time but my older brother (who was much more into cars than I would be) said he was a god among men at diagnosing problems.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2009, 03:19 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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In case you think it is just you.
For some reason my wife insisted on taking her car to one when we lived in New Jersey. Pretty much incompetent and a ripoff. And stupid - when her car got damaged she sold it to a mechanic there who thought he could fix it. He couldn't. She got a good price for a worthless heap of metal too.

Here we go to a local garage who is scrupulously honest. They have screwed up once or twice, but they always make it better for free. And they usually come in under the estimate.
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  #25  
Old 10-06-2009, 04:21 PM
SSgtBaloo SSgtBaloo is offline
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A lot of places turn your rotors as a matter of course. That isn't necessary unless your brakes pulse when applied. Anyone who tries to tell you "it's neccessary any time the pads are changed" is a scam artis or not well-enough informed to be allowed to do a brake job. A local Les Schwab almost ripped my mom off for uneccessarily turning the brakes, but we took the car to a trusted local business and had them do it instead.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2009, 05:50 PM
Miss Woodhouse Miss Woodhouse is offline
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I hate Les Schwab. My husband took his car in for one tire and an alignment. They told him his brakes were so dangerous they couldn't possibly allow him to take his own car out of their shop unless they replaced his brakes.

His brakes that were making no noise, no grinding, no brake light activated on the dash, no indication at any point that the brakes were even starting to go bad, much less so bad that they had to replace everything. And I mean everything. You know how brakes are, they don't squeel for weeks before they start grinding or anything so you know when they need replaced or anything. It's all just a crap shoot because car companies don't put lights on the dash that tell you when the brakes are going bad or anything.

Then of course they could sell him a tire and do an alignment.

We ended up with a $1200 service when we expected under $200. My husband is a bit of a push over and fell for it.

This is the same company that told my sister she needed an $800 repair to her power steering. The car was an early Hundai that didn't have power steering.
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  #27  
Old 10-12-2009, 08:18 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
Wheel bearings need replacing; wheel bearing seals need replacing; wheel cylinders (braking cylinders) need replacing or rebuilding; drums or rotors need to be turned or replaced; brake lines are frayed, bent, or otherwise damaged; master cylinders need replacement or repair, tires are cupped and therefore need balancing; front end needs alignment: there are always parts that need repair or replacement along with a brake job. A brake shop with a good (slick) service manager/thief is like owning a gold mine. Even an honest brake shop is a good money maker.
Don't forget the blinker fluid. It has to be replaced as well.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:21 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is offline
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Back in 1978, I took my car into a Sears Auto shop for a new battery because mine was not holding a charge.

They diagnosed it as a bad connection, cleaned the terminals and charged me $1.
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  #29  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:38 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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My first (and last) time at Midas was back when I was a young hothead. I had a minor exhaust problem that I wanted fixed (a hanger). The guy came out with a quote for an entire exhaust system. I said no thanks and prepared to leave. The "mechanic" told me that he could not allow me to drive my car out without the work, as it was a danger. I threatened him. He got my car down from the rack and I left.
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  #30  
Old 10-14-2009, 02:08 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Rotors are so inexpensive now I can't imagine turning them for $600.
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  #31  
Old 10-15-2009, 11:36 PM
AWB AWB is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Went to Monkey Wards several years back to get a "$59.95 for most models!" brake job. When I got there, I was told that my rare model didn't qualify, and that my brake job would cost $109.95.
I owned a 1984 Plymouth Horizon!
A Horizon? Them's rare!
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  #32  
Old 10-16-2009, 01:16 AM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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For those who live in Boston, Chicago, Delaware Valley, Puget Sound, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Twin Cities, or Washington, DC, I recommend a subscription to Consumers' Checkbook. Essentially they are the Consumer's Reports of local businesses.
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