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Brake service

Is checking the calipers standard with a brake service? I just paid for new breaks front and back yesterday. When driving the car away I have to push the pedal to the floor to stop completely. Took car back and they that NOW my calipers are bad additonal $130.00.

Why werent they checked during the whole brake job?

Brakes. I would think they tested it. It sounds more like air than calipers. what is “bad” and $130 is super cheap for calipers - are you sure this is what they said?

I had brake parts replaced on one car, and the new parts blew all the weakened seals so the fluid leaked out. You couldn’t tell they were bad until the brakes were used a few times. I bet it is the caliper seals.

They were, you have to remove the calipers to install new brake pads. $130 is cheap for new calipers if you are talking more than one. Your symptoms sound more like air in the brake lines, which is a matter of bleeding the brakes.

If they charge you for new calipers ask them to save the old parts for you to inspect and have them show you where the problem was with the old caliper. It should have a leaking seal somewhere.

This sounds more like a bad brake job. They tried to do it without rebuilding the calipers which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

Thank you, they said something about the calipers and it would be $130.00, now I had just paid these dudes for 500.00 for brakes,smog and oil change. It felt like to me there was no pressure in the brakes. I am angry and feel like they screwed me.

Thank you for your reply. I feel you are right about the break lines, it feels more like a pressure issue or lack there of.

"I am angry and feel like they screwed me.

Slow down man. Lets say that the calipers were bad, but they didn’t replace them. The entirety of the “screwing” - it seems to me - is that you now have to bring the car back in a second time. This is inconvenient, but it is not being ripped off or screwed. It might be cause for minor annoyance but not anger.

I’m just guessing here, but I’ll bet you would have felt like they were trying to screw you if they wanted to replace your calipers along with pads and rotors. Methinks that customers like you are the ones that sometimes have mechanics replacing parts that may not need to be replaced - just to avoid the chances of things like this.

However, lets say that your caliper seals are leaking. This may very well have started after the brake job. To install new pads you have to force the caliper pistons back into the caliper. These can often have corrosion and gunk on them, and this can mess with the seal - but this often won’t show up until after the seals have gotten some pressure on them. There are conditions under which some due diligence can prevent or reduce the likelihood of this. But there are other conditions where it is inevitable - in which case you needed new or rebuilt calipers anyway - somtimes sh!@ just happens.

All of that aside - I would also actually worry first about air in the lines. If you have the car running and pump the brake pedal a whole bunch of times will it eventually firm up? If so then its more likely air. If not, then the caliper seals are a good bet - unless its a bad master cylinder.

How many miles are on this car?

I agree that this sounds more like a faulty brake job. The car should not have been returned to the owner like this.

To the OP: do they get hard o you pump them? That would indicate air.

By the way, if you ask them to give you back the old caliper(s) you’ll pay more. Normally you’d get credit for the “core charge” and the calipers would be returned to the distributor for rebuilding. If you keep them, you have to pay the “core charge”.

No matter what, it’s the shop’s duty to test drive a vehicle and make sure everything is fine before turning it over to you.

I doubt the calipers are the problem and if your car has drum brakes on the rear instead of discs then I would suspect the rear shoes are not properly adjusted or the rear drums are worn out. (depending on what “new brakes on the rear” actually means)

Drum style rear brakes that are seriously out of adjustment due to installation or wear can mimic a bad brake master cylinder and can cause the pedal to sink low to the floor due to fluid displacement caused by the wheel cylinder pistons having to move further than they should.

They made 2 mistakes.
One is giving you your car back like this and the other would be not noticing these alleged defective brake calipers when they actually worked on the car.

Sounds to me like no one is out to screw you, but the mechanic didn’t bleed the brake line properly after changing the pads. Although it is possible to replace pads without disconnecting the calipers form the brake line, the official procedure in repair manuals is to disconnect the line. When you do that, hydraulic brake fluid spills out, and air gets into the line. The final step in the brake job is to bleed the air out of the line by pumping the brake pedal and adding fluid. Occasionally, not all of the air gets worked out of the line, which results in no braking pressure. In other words, when you step on the brake, there is little or no resistance and the car does not slow down. If rapidly pumping the brake creates temporary stopping power, you know you need to bleed the line. This is simple and quick, and the mechanic who replaced the pads should do it at no cost. It’s a mistake that any quality and honest mechanic can make.