Whole braking system needs repairs

So the other day my brakes completely stopped working on my 2000 Chevy impala with 145,000 miles on it. After I had it towed to a mechanic, he told me I need new brake lines as they’re completely rusted out, I need a new master cylinder because it was leaking, the rotors and pads had to be replaced, and there was one other thing he mentioned but I couldn’t remember what it was. Overall the price of everything came out to a little over $2000. I wanted to know if it’s even worth fixing spending $2000 for the brakes, or should I just start looking for another car.

That’s a decision only you can make. It depends on the condition of the rest of the car, specially any rust.

But it may pay to get a second opinion on the cost.

Given the state of your brakes, I’d guess the rest is in equally poor shape and poorly maintained. So best bet may be to junk this and search for a new car.

1 Like

As @BillRussell says only you can make the decision. If the car is otherwise in good shape I would fix the brakes and motor on. If you buy a new car you will have payments, @ $200 a month you break even in 10 months, @ a $500 / month payment you break even in 4 months. If the car has transmission problems, under body rust, engine problems etc, might not be worth it.

I’d definitely get a second opinion. I’ve had cars much older than yours, in Minnesota, and have only dealt with one rusted out brake line - on a vehicle that’s 22 years older than yours, that I had just picked up.

It would be somewhat unusual for all of your brake lines to simultaneously rust out unless you make a habit of driving into the ocean or something.

All that aside, if your second opinion also says you need the work done, then the vehicle is grossly unsafe to drive and should be towed to a junkyard, because if the brakes are that neglected, so is the rest of it.

1 Like

I’d normally agree but there some exceptions. Not sure if this car is one of them. My '04 Avalanche had all 4 lines rot out in an area 1 foot from the ABS unit which was under the truck in the “salt slash zone.” I find it is a common problem with this SUV. Replacement brake line kits are not very expensive to buy but are a bit labor intensive ($$) to install.

I’ll agree that neglecting the brakes is not a good idea. Starting is optional, stopping is not!

Yeah, there are always exceptions, which is why I said “somewhat unusual” and not “completely impossible.” :wink:

OP should definitely verify whether or not the lines are bad, because it is possible that they are, but it’s also possible that the mechanic is less than honest and smells an opportunity for a boat payment.


They probably said brake system flush which they shouldn’t charge for since most of the fluid will be replaced anyway. It’s a 2000 model so I would look for a much newer impala because they don’t cost a lot. Go to a Chevy dealer and see.