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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 :D). 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!

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.

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.

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?

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 )

I got out of Midas with a $79.95 brake job.

In 1978. :smiley:

Actually, I did. At a Mr. Tire about 2 years ago.

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.

I once got out of Midas with a blown head gasket when they drained all the coolant and forgot to put some back in.