Where to go for brake service?

I went today for oil change at Toyota and as part or courtsey check up they told me, my car’s front brakes are 3 mm and rear 4 mm. They want $299 just for front brakes.

Q. Where to go for brake service and what is reasonable expense for this service?

Q. Would you change both front and rear at the same time or may wait little longer for rear brakes?

I do my own brakes.

If they are both that close the end then it might be worth getting them done at the same time.

Any good independent can do this. This isn’t rocket science. If it’s just the pads…All that has to be done is remove the pins and slide the old pads out and then new pads in…This is simple.

The rears you have to undo one bolt then slide the caliper up out of the way…then remove the pads…Again this is simple.

Expect to pay a couple hours labor…and then parts.

I usually do my own, but if I were having it done I would go to a local independent mechanic. Stay away from chains of any kind. As for price, I don’t know where you live, how you drive, how old your car is, or what parts besides pads it is going to need.
Pay no attention to low advertised prices, they never include anything but pads. Most cars need rotors and either hardware kits or premium pads that may include the hardware.
With only 1 mm difference I would get both done, your mechanic may give you a price break if you ask him if it is cheaper to do both at once.

If that is pads only, that seems way high to me. If it includes rotor resurfacing and brake fluid flush, then I’d say that is about right, but I would recommend asking them to quote the job with new rotors instead of resurfacing and make sure the brake flush is included.

New pads are typically 10-12 mm thick, so 3 mm represents about 75% wear. So if you currently have about 30k miles on this car, or 30k since the last brake job, you should be able to go another 10k, but I would not recommend going that full distance, maybe 6-7k and then get the brake job. Since the rears will have come down into the replace zone by then, do all 4 wheels. It will cost you a lot more if you do 4 wheels, pads and rotors and the flush, but that is the best way.

It’s better to use a local inde shop. But don’t choose one at random from the phone book. Ask friends, relatives, co-workers, etc for shop recommendations, one that specializes in your make of car if possible, then tell the shop owner you decide to use who it was that recommended you to them. This gives you some leverage. The shop owner will want to do a good job for you, b/c he’ll know you’ll tell your friend you are not satisfied, and he’ll likely lose that person’s business.

I would agree that a local independent shop can do a good job and I also do my own. My only caution would be to use OEM pads and to put new rotors on while you are at it. Usually you go through two sets of fronts for one rear but like MikeinNH said if you are that close might want to just do them all.

Click the “Mechnics Files” button at the top and find a shop near you. Also, you can ask everyone you know for a good shop. Some chain stores do a good job, but they generally use inexperienced mechanics to keep rates down. Don’t go to one unless several people you know recommend it.

2 mm is considered the minimum safe pad thickness, so you are close to needling new pads. The Toyota dealer is not out of line suggesting replacement. But they will charge more than anyone else for this work. If they gave you an estimate, was it in writing? If so, post the detais of the work they propose. If not, get it in writing so that you can compare their quote to any others you get. Always get the details in writing. It can be on a a note pad, but get it all the same.

I expect that the dealer would change pads and resurface the rotors. They might also include a fluid change. If you have more than 30,000 miles on the car, it is a good idea to get the fluid changed.

Thanks all for very helpful input. jtsanders: I checked mechanic files and I found most reviews as positives. In general I am in limited experience if someone has a bad experience then he/she will always leave a bad review but good reviews not so. It seems strange in my area over all ratings for all mechanics are 4star Plus.
I will ask friends. Thanks again!

@asi001 - they do some kind of filtering on the recommendations, eliminating most (all?) negatives. So I look for ones with lots of positives. I’ve used it twice, with good results.

Ask the dealer what u get for 299? New rotors included? Nope. And I am pretty sure dealer discourages turning old rotors.