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05 Dakota Brake job

I have an 05 Dodge Dakota 4X4, with about 37,000 miles. For about a week, I noticed it pulling hard left, and not coasting well. The final straw comes in the form of smoking brake pads and a scorching hot left wheel.

I take it into my local auto repair place, and he tells me it’s the left caliper sticking, and he needs to replace the left AND RIGHT calipers, pads, and rotors, along with a flush, and I need to replace the hoses, since they are showing cracks. Total bill $1450!!!

I question the repair of the right brake calipers and rotors (I understand replacing both pads), when the problem was just with the left. He said that if you replace one, you have to replace the other to have equal pressure applied to each side, or else they will pull when braking to the side of the new brakes. This place has NEVER tried to give me the B.S. service upsell that others have, so I said, ok, do it.

Later on, I have several conversations with people, questioning the need to rebuild the right when the problem was with the left.

Is this standard procedure, or did I get taken?



I think the replacement in pairs is prudent. If I were doing my own work, I would certainly have done it that way. In this case, I think the mechanic doesn’t want to hazard a lawsuit or any other liability caused by replacing one and not the other, if the one that is not replaced fails in any way. That is his call, his business.

A DIY-er can do what he/she wishes, and the liability is on them. It sounds like your mechanic is keeping your system in good shape.

The only thing wrong was charging so much for a $700 job. Maybe the price was right because 4WD isn’t the average Sunbird. You would have saved some money if you got the truck into the shop right away. The right side could have waited as calipers sieze when they feel like it and not on any known schedule. I think that the left ones are more vulnerable but I have no proof other than my own left ones failing when the right doesn’t.