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I have a 1998 Volvo S90 that needs front brake work. The grinding sound began suddenly Sunday. Any way I can get an estimated repair cost? Don’t want to go to a shop totally blind. Thanks much.

Anywhere from $150 for pads to $900 for calipers, rotors, pads. Depends where you live and what is wrong.

Sorry about range.

If you go to a repair place that advertises a “$99 brake special”, or something to that effect, just bear in mind that you are unlikely to get out of the place without incurring a lot of extra costs, many of which will be completely legitimate.

The “special” brake pads may be of very low quality, and you may be offered higher-quality, name-brand pads for an additional expense.

The “grinding” that you noted may be an indication that you waited too long for brake pad replacement, and it is entirely possible that the brake calipers have already damaged the brake rotors. Thus, a hefty additional charge for new rotors is possible.

Most shops will want to “machine” your old rotors, for an additional charge. Personally, I recommend simply replacing the rotors, as replacement does not cost much more than machining the old ones.

Brake fluid should be flushed every 3 years or so, and thus you should probably specify that you want your brake fluid flushed when you have the pads replaced. This will obviously result in an additional charge.

On a 14 year old car, it is entirely possible that the brake calipers need to be replaced. Yes–an additional charge.

Your brakes are probably the most important safety system on your car.
Don’t “cheap out” when having brake repairs done.

My independent mechanic charges ~100 for pad replacement and $250 for pads and rebuilt calipers for my 2000 Blazer. Expect to pay more for a Volvo, a lot more if you take it to the dealer.

VDC said a lot better, as usual. I’ll go to a dealer before I’ll use a chain store. A good independent mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold. Ask friends, family, and neighbors for a recommendation.

Ed B.