I need to get my muffler and my brakes done. Is it better to go to the dealership, a car repair center or a specialist (like meineke)?
Do NOT go to Meineke, Sears, Midas, Pep Boys or the like
Thanks for the advice, could you provide a bit more commentary associated with your response?
Either go by word of mouth from friends and family and find a good local shop, or look here on the site, there is a link to mechanics file that people have reviewed shops. You can also use the internet sites like yelp, google. With big jobs it is always better to get more than one quote/estimate.
I have a local muffler bender guy, I looked at parts at NAPA, and the bender guy did the whole system, and welded a split in the catalytic converter for less than I could have bought parts for. 7 years later the muffler failed, lifetime warranty, had to pay $2.30 for a new clamp. You decide.
I concur, your well-recommended local independent shop is the better choice. No harm to get a quote on the job from your dealership though. If they give the lowest estimate, and from prior experience you trust them, use them.
Thank you for the guidance!
Cat back exh was $129 in 2000 for my Chevy celebrity. 5 yrs ago I got a quote for $500 for same setup on my Grand Prix with 1 muff and resonator. A dual muff setup was $750. I assume a 2011 car does not need a lot of work
Having had my vehicles serviced by all three options, I prefer a trusted local mechanic, not a chain or a dealership for this work. Since it looks like you will be doing brakes, you may want to check out this story by one of CarTalk’s partner sites on why mechanics now usually opt to replace the rotors, rather than machine them like they did in the past.
I always use mechanics I don’t trust…makes life more interesting…
Meineke is not a specialist outfit. All chains Meineke, sears, Pep Boys etc. etc. are only chain repair shops.
Nothing special about their work at all. Then they teach them how to upsell their services to talk you into more repairs.
They hire some kid straight out of high school with no experience and teach them just enough for them to be dangerous…to your car. There are more complaints stemming from these chain shops than you can count. It is not unusual to hear that someone went to one of these places and they forgot to tighten the oil drain plug, or that they drained the transmission rather than the momor oil, or that they damaged something else.
I have had many people bring their cars to me, saying that X shop told them there was some big problem that had to be addressed ASAP. 60% there is no problem or many times it is way less severe than what they were told.
Granted we all inspect a car and find other things wrong, but that is to keep the client from experiencing another problem two days after leaving my shop.
I always prefer people to ask around at work, the gym, school, neighbors, church etc…
Ask 50 people and keep track. When you hear the same name time and time again…that is the place to take your car.
Use a dealership only if the car is still under warranty.
I can only partially agree with that article
In our fleet, the rotors are so massive, that you can easily pad slap them 2 or times . . . or more . . . before they’re below discard thickness
Then again, our operators don’t complain about brake squeaks. So if the rotors aren’t warped, we generally pad slap the vehicle, bed in the brakes and send them on their way
But I do agree that on the 1/2 ton and smaller vehicles, they don’t give you much meat, so by the time you need brake pads, it’s often not cost effective to machine the rotors.
One thing I’ll point out . . . I will always prefer to machine factory rotors, within reason . . . versus discarding them in favor of new cheapo garbage rotors. I’ve run into way too many problems due to cheapo garbage brakes