2010 Honda Accord - Rear brake replacement


When I went in for my last vehicle maintenance I was given a thumbs up on everything except the rear brakes which I was told was down to 2mm. The dealer said that it would cost approx. $285 to replace the pads, Machine the rotor (including labor). I took my car to Les Schwab and they said that they will replace the rotor and put new pads in and it would cost ~$600.

My car has about 69000 miles on it. Well maintained.

Question: Do I go with the dealer approach or Les Schwab approach?


Dealer. Les swab price is rip off and dealer reasonable for oem parts and dealer labor.

Third option - find a good independent mechanic (I’ve use the ‘Mechanics Files’ link, above). I’m surprised the dealer wants to turn the discs instead of replacing them, I’d rather just replace them. That Les Schwab $$ seems high, even with new rotors.

As long as the dealer does not machine the rotors underneath the minimum thickness I’d say go with the dealer. That’s a fair price.

My assumption is that if someone is competent enough to operate a brake lathe they’re also competent enough to not go under the min. thickness spec.

$285 For Pads & Turning Rotors?
$600 For Replacing Rotors & Pads?
Unbelievable. What Makes It So Expensive?
What’s Labor Rate These Days?

When I do my own brakes, I plan on $200 to $300 for new front and rear rotors and pads, premium ceramic pads.

I just pulled the receipt from a September/2015 one axle brake job I did on the Bonneville. 2 new rotors, premium ceramic pads came to a total of $85.96 + $5.16 tax = $91.12.

Also, it’s quicker than taking someplace.


I’d suggest getting more estimates too. Replacing the rotors and pads should be about an hour for me, and maybe a half hour for someone with a lift and a lot more experience. The total with labor would be between $150 to $200 at $100/hr for labor with ceramic pads and replacement rotors. I’m guessing because I do it myself. Based on that rough estimate, the dealer price seems about right for a dealer, but you can do better. Ask everyone you know for a shop recommendation. When you hear a name several times, you should get an estimate there.

I’d ask the dealer to do it, but request they just replace the rotors rather than attempt to re-surface them. Once turned they are thinner and more likely to warp, either from heat or improper wheel installation technique, which is a problem you don’t want to have to deal with.

I think the dealer price is very reasonable

Labor rates are over 100$/hr, and dealer brake pads are not cheap

Since they’re planning to machine rotors, versus pad slap, sounds like they’re doing a proper brake job

One HUGE advantage of having the dealer do it . . . factory pads fit correctly, and will almost certainly not make noise. Can’t say the same thing about many aftermarket pads, even some of the good ones. And when I say “the good ones” I’m including ceramic

I’ve machined plenty of rotors, and I’ve not had too many problems resulting from that. And remember, I’m fleet. So if something goes wrong, I’ll know about it, because the vehicles come back to our shop.

The only problem, if you can even call it that . . . if I machine rotors, the next time the pads are worn out, may need rotors at that time, also. But no performance problems at all.

I’ll make a few comments about rotor servicing in a respectful manner.

  1. Machining a rotor down thinner does not make it more prone to warpage. If it’s shaved well below the MIN THICK spec then it’s possible that point could be valid.
    That also means the problem is not the rotor; it’s the guy peeling 25% of the rotor off with a carbide bit…

  2. I do not agree that overtightening lug nuts automatically means the rotors will distort. That depends.

I strongly suspect that in most cases where a problem surfaces after a brake job the cause of that problem is related to something else (slide problems, rusty hub faces, suspension or wheel bearing wear, etc) and the machining or lug nut tightening are the ones to get the blame.
Just my humble opinion anyway… :smiley:

I agree100% with @ok4450

Blanket statements are just that

Such as . . .

machining a rotor WILL result in warpage

hitting the lug nuts with an impact WILL result in warped rotors

Take it from a guy who does this for a living, and has done both of these unspeakable deeds on a daily basis, and hasn’t had any problems as a result :tongue: