It can cost a pretty penny to replace the brakes on your vehicle, especially if you don’t contact several mechanics for quotes. Say you call just one mechanic. The quote he or she gives sounds reasonable. Sold! You’ll take your car to that mechanic. However, unless you have experience with auto repair, you do not know if the cost estimate was reasonable.
The best way to get deals on brakes is to call around and compare prices. If you’re able to perform the replacements yourself, that saves even more money. Of course, many people are not well-versed in the intricacies of auto repair. Here’s a look at what to keep in mind if you shop for parts yourself, what to consider if you call auto shops for brake quotes and how much do brakes cost.
Shopping for Parts Yourself
For the best deals, shop at well-known places such as AutoZone. These places do promotional pricing sometimes and sell different brands of parts for a wide range of vehicles and budgets. The AutoZone website lets customers select the make, model, year and engine of their vehicle to ensure they purchase appropriate products. You can also shop in the stores. If you shop online, shipping options include free next day delivery and in-store pickup.
However, if you’re not performing brake replacements yourself, you need to call around for quotes. These quotes include the cost of materials, so don’t worry about shopping for brake items yourself.
Contacting Auto Shops for Quotes
Mechanics worth their salt will ask about the make and model of your vehicle, your driving habits and the type of materials you prefer to use in the brake replacement. If you’re not picky, you can save money with aftermarket brake pads, although these pads may be less durable.
Figuring Out the Cost of Brakes/Brake Replacement
Big-picture costs can vary widely. For example, good-quality brake pads should last about 30,000 to 70,000 miles, but some people replace their brakes more frequently or less frequently.
In sum, the overall costs for brake replacement in two different cars might look very different over a 20-year lifespan. That’s even truer if their owners treat the cars differently. These factors matter with cost and longevity:
- Materials: Regular steel or metal brakes don’t last as long as carbon-ceramic brakes, but carbon-ceramic costs more.
- Driving style: Frequent, abrupt stopping wears brakes out more quickly.
- Environment: Stop-and-go traffic takes its toll on brakes. So do undulating landscapes where drivers have to control their brakes often.
- Labor: Labor might cost as little as $80 and as much as $120 per axle. Compare quotes.
- The Extent of Replacement: Suppose you need the rear brake calipers replaced, along with brake pads and rotors. The more extensive the work, the higher the cost.
A complete brake replacement job may cost more than $1,000. On the other hand, suppose just the pad for one axle needs replacing. In that case, the cost could shake out to a relatively low $115 to $270 range. Of course, labor accounts for some of the costs. If you have the skill and time, consider DIY replacement.