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2006 GMC Yukon - repair shop charging me for their error

My repair shop was replacing the rear brake lines for a set price, and when it came time to bleed the system, they broke a bleeder screw off. Instead of calling me to say there would be a problem, they tried the 2nd rear caliper and broke that screw off too. I want to be fair, but they want another $550 to replace both calipers now…not even a “gee we feel bad about this” offer. Should I put on the “you broke it, you fix it” defense, offer to pay $275 for the 1st screw-up but not the 2nd, or eat the whole $550 and be happy for them that they made some more money off of me. I personally would have soaked the screws in penetrating oil for a few days if necessary, rather than just breaking both screws off and calling it a day.

Can the car be driven? It is possible to bleed brakes pretty well without the bleeder screw, but it takes some care. These guys sound like they can’t be bothered, or are concerned about liability for doing anything other than putting on 2 new calipers. And the price quoted is way, way beyond what’s necessary. I’d ask for a break on the repair price but not expect it. And get the car out of there.

Seems like in the olden days we could use an easyout to remove a bleeder screw rather than replacing a caliper.

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That happened to me on my 68 Dodge. At any rate I think the general rule is that stuff happens that is beyond their fault such as old and rusty parts not coming apart. The customer pays. There probably is even some verbage somewhere on their invoice alluding to it. Even though some would argue that it should be foreseen and additional care taken etc. I do believe the customer is responsible unless obvious negligence.

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So why didn’t you do that for them, if you expected this to happen?

Did you expect the shop to hold all work for a few days until the penetrating oil soaked in?

Though I do feel the price is way too high.
why not offer to pay half.

I’ve broken a few and the best way that I found way to heat the area around the screw before trying to loosen them.


If the shop was any good, they should have been able to remove and replace the broken bleeder. Quite a common problem around here.

If the vehicle has a lot of miles and/or has resided in the Rust Belt then I can’t fault the shop because bleeders broke.
My assumption is that if the vehicle was in bad enough shape to need new brake lines then the calipers and bleeders are in equally bad shape.

Sometimes with rust and corrosion things are going to break no matter how careful someone is.

I also doubt that a shop is going to tie up a stall for several days waiting for a rust penetrant to work. Or not work; short of applying the penetrant and moving it outside.

I also strongly suspect the calipers need to be replaced anyway.