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Cost of Front and Rear Brake Job?

Hey All,
I have a 2006 Honda Civic EX Coupe. Brought it in to the dealer for a coolant flush and they’re saying my pads are down to 3mm and should be replaced soon. The estimate they gave me for front and rear pad replacement and rotor resurfacing - $1100. Does this have boat payment written all over it?
Many thanks,

PS Location is outside the Boston area…

Your area is a high labor rate area and resurfacing of rotors definitely adds to the labor total.
Even with machine work factored in it sounds a bit high to me.

If they’re down to 3 MM then they’re due. You should price this job around at an independent shop and factor in new rotors for the job instead of machining the old.
There’s nothing wrong with machining them unless they’re cut underneath the minimum thickness or someone is doing a so-so job of the machine work.

When weighing the cost of machining rotors it’s often more cost effective to just replace them.
Hope that helps.

I would get a couple more estimates. Contact a couple of trusted independent mechanics and see if the quotes get better. My last brake work cost me $439, including brake flush, new front pads and new front rotors, all name brand. I would expect your costs to be a bit higher (east coast and all that), but the dealer quote sounds high.

Front brake parts (new rotors and pads) on our Acura are just over 200. If you resurface an old rotor, you can do it for about $15 a piece and I live in a similar area near NYC so this area isn’t cheap either.
It takes about an hour to put them on.

Yeah, at $1100 I say they are overcharging you.
In their defense, a new dock for that boat ain’t cheap.

Perhaps take this opportunity to learn to do your own brakes. They are easy to do. On lots of Hondas the rotor just kinda falls off once you’ve loosened the wheel and take the caliper bracket off. Buy new rotors the first time, swap them on and the next time you resurface the old ones so you always have fresh rotors at your disposal.
Your car will be just as safe as when they do it for lots cheaper.

For a number of years, all through the 90’s and into the 200x years, Honda used a captive rotor, which is very difficult to remove. Most Honda dealers have a resurfacer that does the rotors without removing them. These rotors came with plenty of meat on them so they can be reused at least once, sometimes twice. Somewhere in the 200x years, they began switching over to the more common type rotors that do “just fall off” once the calipers are removed.

If they are resurfacing the rotors on the car, or they are the newer type rotor, then I’d say that $1100 sounds a bit high. For this money, they should also be servicing the bushings and putting on new hardware with the pads as well as flushing and bleeding the brake lines. You might find that Honda includes all this where other shops may consider these services optional and are extra cost.

be sure they use ceramic pads, they last about twice as long.

This site estimates $260 front and $245 rear in Pittsfield, MA. This is the high end price, BTW. Get another couple estimates. If you don’t know any independent garages, ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers for some. Eventually, you will see the same names several times. Try those places.

Wow. There’s nothing unique or exotic about a Honda Civic brake job. If in fact the car just requires pad replacement and rotor resurfacing, we routinely do that for under $200 per axle. Replacing rotors would bump it up to under $250 per axle. For $1100, I’d expect new pads, rotors, rebuilt calipers front and rear and complete system fluid flush. Are you sure it was just pads and resurface rotors?

Captive rotors were used on the Accords from the mid to late '90s and were out of use by either '98 or '99. I believe Civics have always had the “just fall off” rotors and doubt that Honda would start using this design on other, later model vehicles. I used to turn those Accord rotors by pulling the whole steering knuckle (which takes maybe 15 minutes per side) and chocking the works up on the lathe rather than pressing the hub apart and risk damaging the bearings. It looked kind of goofy, but worked very well.

Regarding this $1100 for pads and machine rotors, I would check your estimate, and if there is nothing but pads, machine rotors, and brake labor, I would run away and never go back. That is very high, even for east coast dealership work.

run don’t walk they our screwing you get at least 2 more estiments.

DIY!! buy a haynes manual and the parts and save yourself 900 dollars.

In my experience the price is right in line with typical dealer prices. An independant shop can do just as good a job for 1/2 the dealer price or less. Shop arouond.

The Dealership is the LAST place to bring your car for routine service…Just to give you a place to start, the front and rear PADs, can be purchased new for less than $75…The time it takes a skilled mechanic, using air-tools, to change those those pads is about 1.5 hours. That’s the CORE of your brake job. Whether or not the ROTORS need ANYTHING is another issue…

Today, to avoid “come-backs”, complaints about squealing brakes, most shops just replace the rotors whether they need it or not because consumers have come to expect that…But squealing brakes can be addressed by other means than replacing the rotors…I mean, why do a $200 brake job when with just a little more effort you can parlay it into a $800 brake job…

There are times when the rotors are indeed in need of replacement, but to do it automatically is just taking advantage of car owners ignorance, which has become a national pass-time in the automotive service industry…

Thanks guys. I checked again, and the $1100 quote is actually for brake pads and rotor replacement not just the resurfacing, but still sounds quite high. I’ll check in with a bunch of local shops and see how their prices compare.