ACURA TL rear brakes

Just took my 2003 Acura TL to dealer for oil change; advised to get all the filters and fluids changed for 60K check-up. Okayed it at a cost of $514! Shich seemed exorbitant, but I love the car, which has 59K on it. Car was at dealer 4K miles ago, for oil change. No comments from them. This time I was told that my rear brakes had to be replaced, including rotors, was down to 1/32. Shouldn’t I have been told about the rotors 4K miles ago, when perhaps they could have been rotated? They want $522 to replace rotors and pads. There are 4/32 on front brakes, which, they said, will cost a bit less than the rear. Don’t they rotate rotors any more, or am I being taken?

The change of all fluids and filters is, I’m sure, part of the 60k service. If you want to verify this, just open your glove compartment and consult “the world’s least-read best seller”, namely the Owner’s Manual. While the cost does seem high, this is an upscale marque and dealers of upscale marque cars tend to charge upscale prices–even for the standard services listed in your Owner’s Manual.

You did not tell us if the brake pads on this car were ever previously replaced, or if the rotors were ever previously machined, or “turned”. (Note: Tires are rotated. Rotors are machined or turned.) If they were previously machined, it is likely that they are now too thin to machine again. If they were not previously machined, then you might want to ask the service manager why you were not given the option of machining, rather than replacing, the rotors. Just be prepared for an answer that doesn’t necessarily make any sense.

If there is a competent, independent, foreign car mechanic in your neck of the woods, he would likely charge less than this dealership. But, the key word here is competent. Just because an independent mechanic says that he knows foreign cars, this does not necessarily mean that he really has expertise on them. And, just because someone is cheap, that is not necessarily a reason to go there, as the cheap guy may not be using OEM parts. And, I can tell you that on Japanese cars, non-OEM brake pads will frequently be much noisier than the real OEM ones. And, of course, if the cheap independent guy uses crappy brake rotors from China, then the bargain price is not really a bargain.

Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations on an appropriate mechanic in your area. Just be sure to ignore people who make general statements such as, “you’re always better-off with an independent mechanic”. Like all generalizations, this is sometimes true, and sometimes bogus.

In all fairness to the dealer they probably didn’t inspect the brakes at the time.

But I do have to say the cost is VERY VERY high. And second…The front brakes usually wear out much faster then the rears…and Third…if there is pad left and the rotors aren’t scared or warped they DON’T have to replaced…and FINIALLY…Find a good local mechanic who’ll probably do the work at 1/3 the price with as good or better parts. Just stay away from the national chains.

I would advise like others to find a good local mechanic. Your car is nothing more than a glorified Honda Accord V6(relatively common) so its not special to work on requiring Acura expertise.

No they don’t rotate rotors anymore. Its not cost effective given the labor charge usually nearly equates out to replacement cost of rotors themselves.

they probably didn’t check the brakes at your previous oil change, it’s probably not a part of the 55k check.

My VW Passat also needed rear brakes, but at 40k miles, for a cost of $420 (at a dealer).

Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.

You’re right about at the normal dealer rate for 60,000 mile maintenance. Those drums/rotors aren’t too thick andprobably can’t be resurfaced anyway and would cost half their worth to do it anyway. It costs less for an Echo 0r Civic. And don’t feel bad about being upset about it, a lot of people think that they can drive forever with no maintenance. 50% of them think that the dealer should tell them how much maintenance will cost before they buy the car. Fat chance of that happening. I’m going to insert this rant here for the benefit of all the readers with apologies to this Acura owner. There seems to be a lot of Acura owners that can’t afford premium fuel or scheduled maintenance lately. What’s up with that? They drive right by my Yaris and think they’re so much better off than me. People driving a Yaris probably own a house. I had a family member who bought the most expensive stuff that could be found, just to put it in a rented house. There were a lot of lifestyle questions that recently came up. They sounded like regrets. Sort of like premium fuel or scheduled maintenance.

I didn’t know they ever rotated rotors. While the are expensive, you chose a more expensive car and are going to the more expensive dealer. They will almost always replace rotors, because if they do not you will bring the car back the first time it squeaks from the pads seating.