Car repair question - aka: Did I get ripped off? - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 07:03 PM - Thead Starter
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I haven't had to have any work done on a car in so long, and we're new to this area and this mechanic, so I'm totally at a loss as to if I got ripped off. I normally have a good sensor for that stuff, but I'm off lately. So...here's what was done:

On the front brakes:
Replace brake pads, repack wheel bearings, lube caliper slides, replace roters: Total $410

On the back brakes:
Readjust so that they actually get used, clean and condition: $51

On Both:
Brake system flush: $70

Replace all belts: $175

Flush power steering: $90

Clean throttle plates, carbon from upper intake system and fuel injectors: $100

Clean battery and recharge: $25

Oil Change: $30

It's a 4wd standard Nissan Xterra at 120k miles. Has not been worked on at all except for oil changes...

The brakes REALLY needed work; I could hear them grinding against the tires.

What say you, you savvy car people? And no, I couldn't have done it myself. I would have years ago, but the 2 kids and pregnant gets in the way...

C
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#2 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 07:18 PM
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I wouldn't say you got ripped off. A couple of the prices seem a little high, but may just be the market you're in.

What kind of warranty did you get? How do you feel about it? Were you comfortable with their presentation? Hard sell versus soft sell.
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#3 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 PM
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That seems really expensive.
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#4 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 07:48 PM
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It sounds a little high to me, too, but with the rotors it might be in line.

There are a few things there that I'd hope you'd get a bit of a break on since so much was being done.... but, not being in that biz, they might say it was an average labor bill so no need for any breaks.

K should probably be able to tell you what kind of a deal you got.
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#5 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 08:06 PM - Thead Starter
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It did feel a little high; I asked about the front brakes because the $410 seemed high, but they said that because it was 4 wheel drive, that getting to the brakes was more difficult. I don't know anything about that...?

I got a 12,000 mile/1 year warranty on everything. I feel good, it just feels like a lot of money going out the door...but then again, when broken down into parts, it seems reasonable. Totally soft sell: "These things could wait a month or two, but they do need to be fixed: the battery, the power steering and the belts. It's up to you, just let us know what you'd like to do."

Very nice presentation; I couldn't pick up my car today since Ev has bronchitis and a 104 degree fever, so they drove the car to me. Very professional, but with nice greasy hands.

??
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#6 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 08:13 PM
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just doing the brakes and rotors alone it's going to cost me almost 200$ and my brother is doing it... well $200 and a bottle of Jameson. The estimate from Midas I got up here just for those 2 was going to be 350$ so I don't think it's that bad.
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#7 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 09:16 PM
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I never heard or recharging a battery? To clean it all you have to do is put some baking soda in water and scrub it with an old toothbrush. A couple of those flushes might not have been really necessary. Other than that I don't know. I hate trusting auto mechanics.
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#8 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 09:52 PM - Thead Starter
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Me too!!! That's why I trust you guys!

Well, he called it "winterizing" the battery...and the wires were corroded, so they cleaned them...but they look new so they may have actually replaced them...I'm not sure.

Who knows?!?!!! I need a mechanic in the family!
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#9 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 10:04 PM
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If he did replace them for 25 bucks that was a pretty good deal.
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#10 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 10:23 PM
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If you went to a mechanic, you got screwed.

Well, really it doesn't look all that bad. At first glance the front brakes do look too high, but then again, depending on how much BS has to be disassembled (some 4wd's this is a lot) to get hub/rotor/ removed AND the cost of the new rotor, this could be fair price.

50 bucks for readjusting the back brakes is robbery. They are self adjusting. If they are not adjusting themselves then there is work that needs to be done there. If all they did was clean/lube the self adjusters so that they worked properly then that should be documented as such. You might ask them about that.

The brake and PS system flush I would not have done. The price is in line with what all the shops charge for doing it - it is just (IMHO) unnecessary.

Construimus Batuimus.

Me
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#11 of 18 Old 10-19-2009, 11:12 PM
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Yeah, there's a little bs in there, alright. I agree with Seabee's assessment. Next time, get an estimate and check online here or with the xTerra forums. I've been on there a few times. They're a good group - very helpful.
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#12 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 12:21 AM - Thead Starter
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Will do! Thank you for the advice; I just never think of that in the "heat of the moment" when I'm sans car and needing it to work...

I know that they said that the reason the front brakes were such a mess is that the back brakes weren't actually put in/on the right place and weren't working or being used so that all that was braking the car were the front brakes...Which, now that I can feel the difference, makes sense in how the car stops...but is that nuts??

I'll remember that about the brake and power steering flush...

Thanks, guys!
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#13 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 08:08 AM
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Repacking the front wheel bearings on a 4x4, especially with automatic locking hubs, can be a real bitch so the seemingly high price on the front brakes might be pretty accurate. Brake and rotor replacement on most modern 4x4's is a cake job though.
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#14 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 09:45 AM - Thead Starter
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Hmmm....well, the car is an 02; the hubs are auto locking...so maybe it's not too far off...

You guys are a wealth of knowledge! I'll ask again next time; BEFORE the work is done.
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#15 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 10:53 AM
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The front brakes do 90% of the work. Unless you're driving backwards. I'm having a hard time figuring out how the rear brakes were installed improperly. There would have been a complete failure if so. However, if a spring was installed backwards, I guess it's possible. And $51 isn't that big of a deal.

Most flushes aren't bad things to have done. They're just mostly unnecessary, but a big profit job. The replacement materials cost $8-10 and the labor time is probably less than 30 minutes for each job. Same story with the throttle plate and injectors.

runfish is right about the front brake job. The self locking hubs on the x aren't hard to remove, but it isn't as easy as a 2 wheel drive car. Or a 4x4 with a solid axle. Like a Jeep.
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#16 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 11:02 AM - Thead Starter
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You are seriously awesome. Thank you!!!

*sigh* I miss my Jeep. Too bad mine wasn't mommy-friendly...the Xterra was my consolation. Oh well. I learned a LOT with that Jeep...like, how to drill holes in your car, install speaker systems, change the oil, replace a belt...Seems like a lifetime ago!
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#17 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 11:47 AM
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I don't think you got screwed on the price, but like others said, some of that work may be less than 100% important.

Also, you just put about 900 bucks into a car with 120k miles on it. I hope you're planning on driving this for a while....
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#18 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 11:52 AM - Thead Starter
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We drive our cars until they have to be left on the side of the road!
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