Am I getting ripped off?

$12.00 for shop supplies and another $12.00 charged for "hazardous materials."Is this reasonable. What shop supplies do you use up doing a front brake job???

This sure sounds excessive to me.
This could be one of those cases of a “lowball” price quote for a brake job, followed by several ridiculous extra charges.

I just checked the invoices for my last two brake jobs and there was no notation for either “shop supplies” or for “hazardous materials”. The real indicator of whether these guys are cheats or not is the total price for the “front brake job”.

Please give us an itemized list of what was replaced or machined, and the total cost.

Front brake pads $70
Front brake rotors $120 ( $60 each)
Shop supplies $12
Replace front brake pads $80
Replace brake rotors in front - no charge
Clean/lube caliper sliders $19
Hazardous materials $12
Subtotal $312
add tax
TOTAL $337.14

Charging for shop supplies is a way for the shop to get a tax break at the end of the year. You would be paying for the supplies regardless if they itemized it for you. But, by itemizing it separately, their been counters have that much less to account for when the government comes looking for their handout every April 15th.

Thank you

You will generally pay a shop supplies/enviro charge on any repair bill. Some are listed separately and some may simply figure it into the hourly flat rate charge where it’s not seen.

Many supplies charges usually run around 2.5-3% so on a roughly 300 dollar bill that figure is about normal.

And the supplies can encompass a lot of things. Brake cleaning aerosol spray, rags, wear/tear on the solvent in the parts washer, etc.; and even the “Welcome” mat that you may stand on at the front counter.
Someone has to pay for all of that stuff and it’s you the customer.

It’s no different than a supplies charge at McDonalds. Just consider napkins, floor mats, aged grease, and carry out bags as shop supplies.

You asked if you were getting ripped off? I would say “yes.” $337 for a brake job on just front brakes is excessive. That doesn’t mean that other places are less expensive, it only means that it is excessive. It is “creative accounting” With things like the "clean/lube caliper sliders for $19. It takes all of 20 seconds to take care of that. Installing the pads for $80 bucks? On top of paying for them at $70? I realize the cost of everything has gone up, but I still think I’m in the wrong business. I should be performing front brake jobs for half that and I’d be rich. I work for the government and I have seen excessive charges for government work, but I think the automotive field is trying to catch up with government charges/spending. If the shop did a quality job and you’re happy with the service, then you got your money’s worth. Do you know why they charge that much???Because they can. This is a capitalistic society, after all. Capitalism at it’s finest.

Thanks for your opinion, I agree. It is very hard to find anyone that is cheaper or truly honest.

Is it excessive? Oh, I don’t know. If you live in San Francisco, it may be reasonable. If you live in Minot, ND, it is probably way too much. The charge for hazardous materials is not described. Did you ask them what hazardous materials they charge for? Again, SF might have a strange disposal rule that we unwashed Right Coasters don’t pay.

You are NEVER ripped off when an estimate is presented first. If you don’t ask for one and allow work to proceed it is your problem and again you are not ripped off.

All estimates can be negotiated.

ANY shop can do brake work, get more estimates to compare. Don’t worry about the little line items. Just make sure you compare apples to apples, meaning the next shop is actually changing your rotors also beyond the brake pads.

good luck

The only thing I see which I think is out of line is the $19 for the caliper sliders. Usually those are pins which have to be removed to remove the caliper itself. I would also question the cost of the pads at $70. That seems a little high but then again, you never told us what kind of car we are talking about. If you brought them a Ferrari, a $337.14 brake job is pretty cheap. For an accurate answer to your question you need to give us a little more information.


Such questions as yours is why I learned myself to do my own repairs. I loved the feeling of saving $300 on a $337 brake job. You?

Roughly a 100 dollars labor in total for rotor and pad replacement, cleaning sliders, etc. does not sound out of line to me; especially if this is on the east or west coast.
Here in OK labor rates are generally cheaper so this this sounds like roughly an hour per side. If this place were ripping them off they would be hitting them for far more than was charged and if this shop is on one of the coasts then they’re letting them off cheap.

Pads at 70 dollars? Depends on the car, type of pad, where the pads are procured, markup, etc. Saw some Subaru/Mitsubishi pads a while back at a shade over 200 bucks a set; without a markup.

Cleaning the sliders and takes 20 seconds? Maybe or maybe not. I’ve had to remove yokes/sliders/pins and take the wire wheel to some followed by cleaning in the parts washer.
A year or so ago I spent about half an hour with the sliders on my daughter’s old Mitsubishi. Both yokes/pins were rusting (one bolt even snapped) and it took some serious wire wheel work to get them clean and useable.

Note they were not charged for rotor replacement. This means the shop actually removed the caliper yokes. This in turn means that one can look at it as 19 dollars labor for cleaning sliders AND rotor replacement. Hardly a ripoff at all.