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2012 Toyota RAV4 - Brake shop suggestion?

best place to replace front brakes. meineke, pep boys, pope and davis or dealer?

A good chunk of the regular posters on this forum will encourage you to try to find an independent shop, i.e., not associated with a national chain nor a dealer. Talk to those around you and see if a shop shows up more than a couple of times.
Dealers tend to be expensive. National chains can have policies and practices that are not in your best interest. Examples would be upselling or lack of training for the mechanics.


That is a pretty good list of places NOT to get your brakes replaced at. Don’t be fooled by national chain advertised prices. Their bill will be multiples of that price.

The problem is that consumers see the cheap price the chains advertise and don’t realize that nobody gets the work done at these chains for less that 3 to 5 times the ad price and they get sloppy work and cheap parts and often additional unnecessary parts.


You could learn to do your own brake job if you are handy and want to save big $$$. Plenty of youtube videos on the subject. Its an easy job!

Check out the ‘Mechanics Files’ at the top of this page, local folks give recommendations of shops they like. Ask friends, co workers etc who they like to go to. Independent shops have to live off their reputation and generally are a much better choice. National chains are not always the best place

I’ll add some food for thought . . .

There are some aftermarket brake pads out there which make a lot of noise, the kind that would be objectionable with a person with even halfway decent hearing

Wagner Thermoquiet is one such brand . . . the name is a cruel joke, as they are anything BUT quiet

I’ve generally had no noise complaints with factory brake pads, be it Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, or what have you

Sure, they’re more expensive, but your chances of satisfaction are greater

There are also aftermarket brake pads which will make a lot of noise, chew up the rotor, and the stopping distances are also INCREASED . . . yet they are supposedly the correct ones for the application

Again, no such problems with factory brakes

here’s a compromise idea . . . buy the brake pads from the Toyota dealer, but install them yourself, as @COROLLAGUY1 suggested

I’m not familiar w/pop & davis, but from among the others I’d say a dealership is the best. If I were making the choice myself for a 2012 Toyota, I’d choose a well-recommended independent mechanic and ask them to install Toyota oem parts.

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