Hi! I have an older car, a 2001 Subaru Outback with 165K miles on it. I take regular care of it and have had a lot of maintenance done on it over the years. The car is aging however and things are starting to deteriorate. Recently, the check engine light came on. I took it into the mechanic. I had recently filled up the gas tank before the engine light came on that morning. I also asked the mechanic to check the brakes.
The mechanic said the engine light is an error code, so that is not so bad unless it comes back after it is cleared. If it comes back it is probably related to the catalytic converter.
They said the brakes are horrible and makes the car unsafe to drive. They do feel bad, so I know they do need work. The mechanic says the rotors, pads, calipers and brake lines need fixed, and the whole thing needs flushed. To do this they say that it will cost $1300 if I just do the front and $1800 if I do front and back (recommended).
I have had the rotors resurfaced and replaced in the past, as well as having new brake pads put in twice. Those usually cost $500-600 for the whole job including labor and parts, but granted it was several years back and in a different state.
My first question is: Is this a reasonable cost? I am living in MD and honestly, I think this seems excessive for around here. I went onto a repair website and $1800 would be if the charge was at the top for everything for labor and parts. Can anybody else confirm or disagree with this?
My second question is this: Even if I take it somewhere else and get the brakes repaired for less, is it worth it because at some point I need to get the catalytic converter repaired if the engine light comes back on?
I’m trying to figure out if I should make the repairs or get a new car using the repair price as down payment on a new car.
I don’t have a lot of money laying around, so it makes it all the more harder. I have two kids so I don’t want to drive around in a car that is unsafe.
The mechanics say the engine of the car is sound and everything other than the brakes and the possible problem with the catalytic converter look ok.