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I?ve recently taken my 2001 Nissan Sentra in for an oil change at a Nissan Dealership, asking them to take a look at the brakes I walked out with a 900 dollar bill, for a power boost valve, front brake pads, rotors and related hardware (the oil change was free! Don?t I feel great!). I asked about the brakes because of stiff braking when the car first started up in very cold weather. Here are (what I think) all the relevant facts.

Make/model: 2001 Nissan Sentra

Miles: 30,000 miles

Driving habits * 2/2001 ? 9/2001; mostly highway driving ~55 miles/day.

* 9/2001 ? present; almost all local driving ~ 7.5 -8 miles/day

Relevant prior repair: Brake front pads replaced 10/2005 at 22,700 miles (with non-Nissan parts, at a tire place).

Other major repairs (aside from scheduled maintenance): Replace Exhaust Gas Valve and Gasket 5/2008 at 29,200 miles.

The tech at the Dealership said that Nissan did not make the rotor thick enough enable grinding, requiring replacement.

My questions here are the following:

1)Was any of this repair expense unwarranted? In short, was I taken in any way (aside from my repair on 10/2005).

2)Don?t brakes start to ?squeal? when it is time to replace them?

Any useful comments on this matter would be appreciated.

The power booster was probably causing the stiff braking in cold weather, and was replaced for safety reasons. This is legitimate.

Most rotors are too thin to turn these days, so that’s also legit. Your local, short-distance driving may explain why the pads were worn out at less than 10,000 miles, but that’s just a guess. Without seeing the pads it’s impossible to know.

Many brake pads have wear indicators attached to them, and they make a very annoying noise when they wear down to the indicators. The non-factory pads may not have had these indicators.

You probably could have had this work done for less by an independent mechanic. Dealers are usually the most expensive place for repairs, but at least you know you have genuine Nissan parts.

In my opinion, the only thing you should buy at a tire shop is tires.