Mechanics cost for brake repairs

Hey everyone, I’ve been trying to fix the brakes on my Hyundai Tucson lately… they started to feel spongy, so I changed the master cylinder, brake pads, and bled all the brake lines and ABS module. The brakes worked a little better after all of that, but they were still a little spongy. After bedding in the brake pads one night, I noticed the wheels would not turn at all the following morning. The vehicle wouldn’t roll forward or backwards. After doing some research, I thought a seized caliper piston might be causing the the brakes to lock up. (I didn’t know that I should have cleaned and lubricated the pistons). Rather than putting anymore time into it, I caved in and had it towed to a mechanic. The mechanic said the calipers were all fine, but the problem was a restricted front driver side brake hose that wasn’t allowing pressure to release. He also said it’s common for brake hoses to internally collapse on older SUVs, and mine has 214k miles on it. He quoted me $285 total, 70 for brake bleed, 85 for hose, and 130 for labor. I’m wondering if thats a fair price and if his diagnosis sounds legit. As an aspiring self taught DIY mechanic, I hated to admit my defeat and send it to a mechanic shop. What do you guys think? Did I get a fair deal?

Sounds like a reasonable diagnosis, and you have to have it done, so I wouldn’t worry about the cost, it’s within reasonable range.


This is one of those what does it matter things. You need brakes that work like they should and you will have some kind of warranty on the work .


Yes this happens. Brake hoses get old and fail internally.

Price is good. Go with it.


That price sounds VERY fair

I’d jump on it before the guy realizes he’s probably UNDERcharging you


@texases @VOLVO-V70 @Mustangman @db4690 well he called me back and said the hose didn’t fix it after all. He says the abs module is bad and they don’t make them anymore. $600 bucks for a used one or $3k to order from Hyundai apparently. I found a used 2006 Hyundai Tucson abs unit for $200 with a simple Google search. I told him I’d sleep on it while I try to decide what to do :person_shrugging:

Mechanic has YOUR car.
He has used abs unit for 600
You have used one for 200
I don’t see a common effort of trust to fix your car.
He IS guessing. You are going on HIS ideas?

Tough call but something seems off to me. Would it roll with the engine off and transmission in neutral? Is more than one wheel frozen? Personally, I’d suspect a parking brake issue, frozen caliper, bad master or something along those lines over an ABS issue. Did you press the caliper pistons back into their bores without opening the bleeders to relieve the pressure? This can force junk back into the ABS unit.

I get the theory of opening bleeders when retracting pistons. Don’t think I’ve ever seen 1 person online say they do it. But, that’s me.

Thanks for the updated information

It sounds like this mechanic may be guessing at this point

The push rod clearance between the brake booster and master cylinder may not be set correctly. Loosen the master cylinder from the booster and see if the brakes release.


Next time that happens try to determine if it is all four wheels locking up, or just one of them. Easily done by jacking each corner up and hand-spinning the wheel, one wheel at a time.

When replacing brake pads on ABS-equipped vehicles, practice often recommended here is to loosen caliper bleeder before retracting pads. Otherwise may risk pushing contaminated brake fluid into ABS unit. Another idea, some ABS-equipped cars are very difficult to bleed without a pro-level scan tool to open & close the various valves needed to perform the recommended bleed operation correctly.

Besides the other ideas above, before presuming the ABS unit is faulty, suggest to perform a bleed operation exactly conforming to Hyundai’s service manual for the car.