Auto repair scam

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Not 100% true. Heat alone distorts the rotors and drums.
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On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 17:04:35 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,

Agreed. As an ex-mechanic, I know for a fact that most drums and rotors DO need resurfacing and truing. If you can live with a pulsating pedal and a harder pedal pressure for stopping, don't turn 'em. Who cares if it's less safe? ;)
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I do not doubt that some times, one does need to replace brake pads and rotors. But what I found in my class is that I can buy the pads and rotors and change them within an hour's time for about $200 less than what I was quoted. Actually, in my case, the cost to resurface a rotor costs more in labor (aside from the part cost) than to just buy a new one every couple of years.
I believe there are good mechanics out there, but the concern that people are being ripped off is not unfounded.
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On 16 Jul 2006 19:24:55 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com quickly quoth:

Buying new is a waste of money in many cases. If you're doing your own pad replacement, grab a Chilton (or other manual) and learn how to do the rest of the labor yourself. I've had my rotors and drums turned by local shops for about $20 ($5 each in 2002) for decades now, since I retired from wrenchin' with back problems.
Repack your front wheel bearings when you do that. The whole thing takes just a couple hours + transport to and from the brake shop who has the lathe. Schedule it and you can be in and out of their shop in 20 minutes. Machines shops also turn these, but brake shops are better at it (and usually cheaper) since they do it every day of their lives.

True.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

In my case, it didn't seem to make sense to have my rotors turned. New rotors for my "everyday" vehicle cost me ~$18each. Since I'm replacing the pads and already have the wheel off, it's just a few more steps to replace the rotors and I don't have to worry about paying for them to be turned and/or when they'll warp again.
Your location may have something to do with it...I don't know any place around here that comes close to $20 to turn them without charging significantly more for pulling the tires and/or replacing the pads at the same time. I found out that I could replace my front pads and rotors for less than $60. I don't think I've ever walked out of a garage for less than that, regardless of how minor the maintenance was. Heck, the last time I had an inspection, they wanted $40 to replace the air filter. I did it for less than $10 and about 2 minutes worth of time when I realized what was involved.
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On 17 Jul 2006 21:40:24 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com quickly quoth:

Yeah, the temptation at $18/ea would be high.

You misread me. I'm a retired mechanic; I don't take -anything- to a shop if I can help it. I pull the rotors/drums and drop in at a local brake shop where they're turned for $5/ea.

My neighbor just went to the local Ford dealer to get his Bronco oil changed. They replaced the air filter, too, and the total charge was $44 and change. Ouch!
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Larry Jaques wrote:

If it wasn't warped (pulsing brake pedal) with the old pads, it probably doesn't need turning. The new pads will wear the highest spots off the ridges and the ridges will cut grooves in the new pads, and pretty soon they will be mated perfectly. You won't have optimum braking during this wear-in period, I think that's why the shops always wanna turn them rather than it being a rip-off.
Turning the drums and rotors reduces the mass and increases the chance that they *will* warp (or fade) someday during heavy braking because they will get hotter faster.
Best regards, Bob
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 00:09:11 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,

most folks don't realize how bad their brakes were until the new, trued drums/rotors were installed.

That's why there is a limit on how much "meat" they can shave off. It varies with the application, but all have limits and the good shops take off only as much as they need to for clean, trued surfaces.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Yeah, I probably should not have used "most" because "most" drivers are idiots and cause all sorts of maintenance problems.
None the less, there are significant number of pad replacements needed due to pad wear when the brakes exhibit no pulsating pedal or need hard pressure to stop. I think I've had only one car/truck where I had a pulsating pedal and most of my cars were purchased with over 50,000 miles and needed one or more brake jobs before I got rid of them.
Shops like to resurface rotors and often the scam is "the rotors are too thin to be turned, or your rotors are warped, so you need new rotors."
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jerryl wrote:

unless you don't use them reasonably. You in the rotor turning business? If your brakes worked fine before your pads wore down to the point of needing replacement, they will work fine with new pads and no rotor turning.
Or maybe you think something magical happens and makes the rotor suddenly warp when the car goes up on the lift? Of course you can ruin new brakes in 50 miles, but then they won't be working correctly will they?
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Or you own a GM vehicle... My Buick Regal was bad for rotors and GM even acknowledged in a TSP.

But just because they work OK now doesn't mean that they are working as well as when new... or that the warping won't worsen noticably by the next pad change.

You forget about corporate greed. If GM can save 1 cent from each car they'll gladly do it, even if it ends up costing the consumer hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of the car.
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Used to be. Most rotors are made too light now and warp easily. I've never scored them, never abused them, but just put my second set of rotors on a LeSabre with 115k miles. Warped just from heat and normal braking. Light to save gas mileage and to hell with the owner at 50,000 miles. Never had that with drums though.
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My van carries lots of weight turn rotors equal WARPED rotors within months:(
So new pads means new rotors most of time
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