Well, that was scumbuckety! Car-related complaint

I’m doing a two-day BMW high performance track class on Monday and Tuesday (excited!)

In order to do the course your car needs to meet a long list of mechanical standards. Everything was in order for my car, but I decided I’d have my front brakes checked when I had a brake flush at Mavis Tire. At the *very *most the brakes have 7,000 miles on them, I had a complete replacement about two years ago and this car is not my daily driver.

You can probably guess what happens next. Yup! I’m told I need a total job, especially because the calipers are worn and pads are way below 50% (which is below the cutoff amount for the Track’s mechanical standards). The quote was $973.00. This is more than my indy BMW garage charges for a brake job with OEM parts; they are, unfortunately on vacation for a few weeks.

I declined, hoping I could show the inspectors paperwork for the brake job and the date it was done. Nothing feels weird when I brake.

On the way down to my hotel I thought “well, self, wouldn’t it really suck if you spent all this money for the course and couldn’t do it because the brake check fails?” So I went to NTB Tires & Brake and braced myself for a ginormous moola outlay.

And guess what happens? Yup, the brakes are in near-perfect shape. The pads are at 80%, no caliper, drum, rotor, etc, issues. These nice guys didn’t even charge me labor for their intense hour-long inspection and they gave me their checklist for the track inspection.

I posted a complaint on the Mavis Tire site; I don’t expect anything to come of it but I feel less pissed-off. Scammy McScumbuckets! :mad::mad::mad:

Seems like this is SOP at the chain repair places. Luckily you came out of this ok.

Independent garages are getting scarce around here. The indy I went to for years benefited from this, but then they became overly busy and lost the attention to detail. Went in for brakes, they didn’t mention that the muffler and tailpipe were badly corroded. Two weeks later back again. Same kind of one after another problem with my wife’s car. A new place opened up closer by, tried them out, doing fine so far but I think it’s just a matter of time before they go downhill too. I’m too old to crawl under cars anymore, the future looks bleak.

Calipers worn?

Is that a measurable possibility?

I love my Indy BMW garage even though they are expensive (par for the course with German cars). I used Mavis for Jeep tires and brakes, now I’m wondering if I needed a brake job . . .

Yah, I’m also too old to do my own repairs, esp. on the BMW. In us olden days cars were a lot easier to repair – just smack the starter with a hammer! :slight_smile:

I think they said something about the caliper rubbing on driver side. I heard the estimate and I think my ears turned off :eek:

Come back and tell us about the track class!

Caliper pins can get sticky, but I’ve never heard of the pistons being worn, or anything like that.

I sure will! I’m really excited!

Yeah, I looked it up afterward and and was suspicious. I think some of these places see middle-aged women as walking $ signs. They argued that brakes with 7000 miles often go bad due to alignment, bushings, rocker arms (all of which I’ve had replaced in the last 6 months, but these wouldn’t bend a caliper, to my knowledge). Bullsh*t!

If I disappear from the dope you know something went . . . very badly :smiley:

It is, but unless they took them off, and saw leakage from the pistons, found a piston seized or took them all the way apart, or unless they found the slides worn out in the casting.

Kind of doubt they looked at any of that, probably just made it up.

And caliper pins and glides you can just replace if the metal is worn, most times they just need cleaned and regreased cause everything dried up.

I just now stopped laughing! :smiley: Did they try to charge you to top off the blinker fluid? I’ve never seen a “worn caliper” on any car or motorcycle.

Actually, BMW brakes are a piece of cake to work on. 18mm wrench, Allen wrench and maybe a screwdriver (for the springy-thingy), a clamp to depress the piston and $40 for a new set of pads (the expensive ones! The cheapo’s are about $20).

Maybe a half-hour a wheel.

Have fun out there on the track! I would avoid this place in the future. They are shit-hooks.

I’d add a couple of more letters - BBB & AG’s office. Flat out lying about something as simple as the level of brake pads isn’t right. At least with the BBB, other’s can know what kind of shysters they are.

Checking in! Just did first track run , , phew, Skeery! I’m hesitant on the curves, gonna work on it next run.

And this is why you need to be my neighbor! The 530 is running like a beast, I’m do proud of my old girl :smiley:

chain shops exist for one purpose:


I’m not sure that’s even possible on the vehicles I’m familiar with. For the caliper to be rubbing the brake pad would have to be missing. Unless they were trying to describe some other issue.

But yeah, it seems like auto repair is one of the businesses most rife with scams.

And second the recommendation about letters to the BBB and AG.

Rocker arms?

Unless they were really slacking on their scamming skills, they probably told the OP that the rotors were worn, not the calipers.

Pretty sure she meant “control arm”. That’s what BMW calls 'em.

Hey! Make sure you update us about this groovy drivin’ course.