Today I went into my local Mazda dealership to have my oil changed when I was informed that I needed all new tires, new brake pads for the front and back, new rotors - the whole nine yards basically. Their estimate came out to around $1900 with parts and labor included. Needless to say this routine oil change turned out to be anything but. I told them that I would hold off on doing anything until I can make an informed decision, which is why I find myself here.
Now, some important details. I bought this car two years ago and it had 14k miles on it at the time. Currently it’s at 26k, so it’s not like it’s gotten a ton of use since I bought it. Most of the places I drive to including my work are close by. I should also point out that I drive carefully and responsibly. I’m easy on my brakes and never slam on them unnecessarily or do anything that would cause excess wear and tear. Of course I can’t speak to the first 14k miles as I was not the owner at the time, but I can say that I haven’t had any issues with the brakes and even now don’t see any signs of worn down brake pad or rotors. There is no audible sound that emits when I brake nor have I had any problems braking in general. Nothing at all.
From what I’ve read brake pads should only be replaced around every 30-60k miles, and the front pads get worn down much faster than the back. Yet here I am at 26k miles with no apparent issues and they’re saying that both the front and back need to be replaced together, along with the rotors which are supposed to last over 70,000 miles. Does this not warrant a little bit of skepticism? They also said my tires need to be replaced soon, and according to most estimates I should get another 15k miles or so before even having them checked.
When I pressed the guy (who isn’t a mechanic as far as I can tell, he just works at the service desk) on why I would need to have all of this work done so quickly, he mentioned something about how they’ve been putting stuff on the road which could be causing everything to corrode faster, but he didn’t elaborate beyond that.
So I find myself in a pretty strange position and in need of some guidance. I’m not handy with cars in the slightest and defer to the experts, however nothing about this seems to add up and I don’t want to get taken to the woodshed over this if I can help it. At the same time these are my brakes / tires we’re talking about here, and I don’t want to brush off their claims as nothing if there is in fact an issue that needs to be addressed.
Right now my plan is to take it to a few shops and get estimates. I’m unsure of how to approach them, though. I don’t want to hand over my dealership’s estimates because I want to see if they arrive at the same conclusion on their own. Chances are if a couple of them take a look at it and tell me I just need the front brake pads replaced then my dealership wasn’t being completely honest with me or overestimated the need to have them down now. What’s the best thing I can say when I come in to get them to look at my car objectively knowing what I do now?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.
Edit: Before anybody asks, I do not live in the city where I’m stopping constantly. I drive mostly on the highway, though they are the kind with lights where I am stopping occasionally (this is NJ where jughandles are present). But again, I’m not a driver that is harsh on their breaks when they drive, so I don’t think that I am somebody who would contribute to excess wear and tear there.