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Was I Taken by my dealer mechanic?

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.

Only one post is required. Be patient. You may not get instantaneous replies.

My ppologies but, I posted again because I felt that the title of my original post us unclear. I’d like to delete the first post bacause I can’t edit it and I don’t know how to delete the first post.

My first thought is wondering why your brake pads lasted only 7,300 miles this is out of bounds.

Also it is strange that rotors that were OK at 22,700 needed to be replaced at 30,000 this would get my attention also.

The vacuum valve replacement that was done to correct a intermittent “morning hard pedal” was maybe excessive but I will not fault the Dealer for erroring on the side of safety when it comes to the brake system.

Your questions about rotor and pad replacement do have merit. It is possible that Nissan rotors are not able to be cut (this seems to be where the industry is going)

Only slightly less than 8000 miles 3 to 4 years? Thats how I read it.

Well, you stated the brake pads were replaced previously but made no mention of the rotors being serviced at the time.
Rotors should always be serviced when pads are replaced and rough rotors can eat up new pads pretty quickly.

The comment by the tech about the rotors being replaced could point to the rotor surfaces being rough or grooved and it is true that many rotors are made thinner now. Machining a brake rotor may put it underneatht the minimum thickness specification and this is not only a safety issue for the car owner but it’s also a liability issue for the shop.

If the previous shop replaced the pads only then my opinion is that they are at fault, not the dealer.

In the future you may want to consider taking the car to an independent mechanic, where that repair bill probably would have been $500-$600.

Stick with the dealer only for warranty related repairs. Just a suggestion.

I don’t know about the other questions in your post, but I have learned that brakes may make other noises beyond squealing when replacement is needed… mine clicked – at least in the front, which are disc type (actually, the clicking is still being investigated… vehicle is in the shop for the 4th time in a week, and after replacing the calipers, pads, smoothing down the rotors, replacing the master cylinder, and a bunch of other minor tweaks, it is still happening – argh). Good luck!