VW Beetle Brake Repair Cost

My dealer has indicated my 2000 New Beetle needs new front brakes - including new rotors and pads. They indicated 20% pad to rotor contact. The estimate is $505 + sales tax.

Assuming the work needs to be done, do I really need to go to the dealer? Is there any disadvantage to having an independent shop do this work? I could save a lot of money by doing so, but this is a safety issue, so I don’t want to mess around. Thoughts?

Dealers and independent mechanics have different philosophies when it comes to maintenance and repair. Generally that means the independent will cost less and have cheaper coffee in the waiting area.

Ask your neighbors and friends for recommendations of a good independent mechanic. There are good and bad dealers and good and bad independents. Please avoid any place that involves quick oil changes, even if you only need directions.

BTW the brakes are a safety issue, but the choice of a good independent mechanic will not reduce your safety.

Advance Auto lists replacement pads (a set) for about $30 . . . and rotors for about $65 each . . . . about $160 in parts, but that's customer prices.  Bet on VW getting the parts for a lot less.  Sounds like a lot for labor, I don't know what the shop hours would list for such a job, but any mechanic could do the job in less than 2 hours.  Do the math and look for a good independent mechanic.  Rocketman

I don’t know the particulars of VW brakes, but front brakes aren’t usually real complicated. If you have any mechanical inclination, I’d suggest having someone who is familiar with brakes walk you through the job.

I have saved so many hundreds of dollars doing my own brakes that I actually bought a decent air compressor and am saving for a good 1/2" drive impact wrench to make the job go a bit more quickly.

Front brakes can usually be done in around 15-20 minutes a wheel if you do a good job. They are usually not very difficult.

With a ten year old car, the DEALER is the LAST place you should be going for service. Find a good independent shop…

" They indicated 20% pad to rotor contact." That’s just plain BS, Mumbo-Jumbo to scare you into accepting their way overpriced services. Move on…

Thanks, Caddyman. I meant to bring that up on my post but I forgot.

“20% pad to rotor contact” makes no sense. There could be 20% of original pad thickness remaining, but 20% contact is just silly.

20% contact may mean that the rust on the rotors has worn most of the lining away. Where the rust is, the braking isnt. Sort of. You do need a pad and rotor replacement if most of the rotor is not shining. The price isn’t too high but you might get it done cheaper. Rust will just wear the lining down like sandpaper will.