Brake pad question

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  #1  
Old 10-15-04, 12:16 PM
Ladyblade
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Exclamation Brake pad question

Hi!
I had to take my 2001 Ford Focus to the dealership with a grinding noise, and they tell me my brake pads are worn down to nothing and my rotors are dented and messed up because of it (to the tune of close to 400 dollars). My question is, my car is serviced regularly, and according to the maintenance guide the brakes were supposed to be checked at 45,000 miles (it's now at 58,000). Assuming they did actually check them then, can they go from OK to totally shot in that amount of time and miles? Or does it seem they didn't really check them maybe?

Because if they didn't really check them and they're worn down, I think I need to be reimbursed the cost of the rotors.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-15-04, 12:29 PM
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you said your car is serviced regularly, but did you specifically have your brakes checked at one of these servicings?
 
  #3  
Old 10-15-04, 12:40 PM
Ladyblade
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RE: Brake pad question

According to their own literature, they do it at the 45,000 mile service. I didn't specifically request it, but when I make the appointments, I tell them which one it's due for.
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-04, 01:50 PM
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Did they report the results of their 45,000 mile service?

Checking brakes can be easily overlooked by a shop that is trying to beat the flat rate. Yeah, they probably never really checked them. It'd be difficult to hold them responsible for not warning you on how worn the brakes were. A lot can happen in 13,000 miles. For one, corrosion could have set in and some of the moving parts could have seized, causing accelerated wear. Brakes go from okay to not okay the minute they reach the critical pad thickness.

I don't know if this helps, but some shops as a matter of routine replace EVERYTHING at the front wheels during a 50,000 mile brake service (pads, rotors, and calipers). This can easily cost over $500. They want to ensure the brakes will last another 50,000 miles without a hiccup and not take the chance of having an unhappy customer return a year later with a brake problem, thinking it's related to the previous service when it could easily be degradation of an unserviced part of the brakes that was fine a year ago. After all, not all brake problems relate to worn pads.
 
  #5  
Old 10-15-04, 04:29 PM
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Nobody owes you any reimbursment. You should have had them checked more frequently and actually ASKED for the results.
 
  #6  
Old 10-15-04, 07:23 PM
jeherrin
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I'm afraid I agree with them, 58000 miles is a good clip for brakes and you shouldn't be upset with that. Not to mention that if your pads and rotors were that bad you should have noticed something. Whether it be noise as you stop or a soft brake pedal.

The only advice I can give you is to suck up the cost and get it down right. That way they will last another 50k for you. Or if your handy at car repairs the parts should only cost a 100-200 at most.

Also, if it makes you feel any better, I had to replace the brakes on my stratus at 18k miles. Wouldn't ya know, they told me the warrenty on "consumables" like brake pads is 12k.... figures

Good Luck!
 
  #7  
Old 10-15-04, 08:20 PM
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It could be any number of miscommunications.... our dealership uses the QCC sheets that are supplied by Ford at each service. Brake pad life is indicated in either millimeters or 32nds remaining.... I can't speak for other dealerships, but my getting paid for that service hinges on having all the spaces filled in. Being an old fuddy-duddy, I refuse to fudge numbers.... unfortunately, this practice seems to have gained acceptance in modern life and permeates ALL of society.

We are left with a conumdrum.... did the tech fudge numbers trying to keep up??? Did the service advisor overlook something when you picked up your car? Were you in too much of a rush or have something else on your mind that kept you from paying attention to what was being said? Brake jobs are retail dollars..... I can't think of any shop that will pass up retail dollars.

Sh*t happens... we deal with it and move forward....
 
  #8  
Old 10-15-04, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mechanic
It could be any number of miscommunications.... our dealership uses the QCC sheets that are supplied by Ford at each service. Brake pad life is indicated in either millimeters or 32nds remaining.... I can't speak for other dealerships, but my getting paid for that service hinges on having all the spaces filled in. Being an old fuddy-duddy, I refuse to fudge numbers.... unfortunately, this practice seems to have gained acceptance in modern life and permeates ALL of society.

We are left with a conumdrum.... did the tech fudge numbers trying to keep up??? Did the service advisor overlook something when you picked up your car? Were you in too much of a rush or have something else on your mind that kept you from paying attention to what was being said? Brake jobs are retail dollars..... I can't think of any shop that will pass up retail dollars.

Sh*t happens... we deal with it and move forward....
I agree, however did you receive and look at the recipt/report from the 45,000 mile check? If so what did it say? Regardless the service dept. should have TOLD you the brakes were __% worn and made you aware they would need to be replaced at some point in the future. That is what you paid them for and if they did not give you an accurate report you have good reason to expect them to participate in the rotor cost.

58,000 miles is not at all unusual for brake pads to need to be replaced and you should pay for that. However I feel the dealership should pay for or at the least give you a good discount on the rotors IF you were not told of the accurate condition of the pads at 45,000 miles. If you knew that and had the brakes serviced before they wore down to the metal you may very well have only needed the pads replaced.
 
  #9  
Old 10-16-04, 07:42 AM
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Based on your milage, you probably had 25% life, or 10 - 12 K mies left at the 45 K checkup.
Since you seem to pay attention to your car's needs, I'm surprised that you did not hear the warning "chirpers" on the pads trying to tell you they needed attention several thousand miles before you chewed up your rotors.
 
  #10  
Old 10-16-04, 09:25 AM
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Ladyblade I applaude you attention you give your vehicle more people should follow the mileage intervals suggested in the owners manual.I also must say the brakes must have looked good at the 45k service for you to be able to get another 13k out of them.Unfortunately they didn't make it to the 60k service to save the rotors for you.I really can't blame the person whom inspected them because it's very hard to predict an exact point in mileage or time that they will need replaced.The estimate on how long they would go was most likely based on the mileage you had on them and the amount of wear that they had.Sometimes the binding agents that hold the friction material together fail and increase the rate of wear which no one would be able to forsee.If I may ask where do you live and what type of driving do you do to attain that type of mileage from brakes?Around here you would be on #2 or#3 set of pads and at least 1 set of rotors just from normal wear and tear.The amount of wear you got from your front pads after 45k exceeded the manufacturers warranty for a brand new car for brake pad/lining of 12k.
 
  #11  
Old 10-20-04, 06:47 PM
Ladyblade
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Re:

Davo,
I live in northeast Florida, a little place north of Jacksonville. I drive the car to work every day (about 12 miles each way), a few red lights in between, to my daughter's school and back, and just out on the weekends to the mall and such, nothing unusual. The occasional weekend trip to Disney (very occasional, 3 hours away).

Thanks everyone for the replies, don't know yet if I'm going to say anything to the dealership. Like I said, I'm not upset about having the brake pads done, but I just think I should have been advised of the potential problem before the rotors went out. I thought that was the point of having regular maintenance. Oh, well, live and learn

Thanks again!
 
  #12  
Old 10-21-04, 05:17 AM
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one other thing to consider...

...is what shape those rotors would have been in had you NOT gotten to the metal to metal stage. it used to be that you could machine rotors on everything. not so on todays vehicles as many manufacturers just don't put much extra materiel in rotors if any at all. many are recommending rotor replacement during routine brake service and the ones that are machineable can only be done once. this is ok except that the thinner the rotors get the more easily they get out of whack and cause vibrations and pulsations. long story short...considering the mileage you got from the originals pads...and the overall cost over that time and mileage, a complete brake job with new rotors isn't really very expensive. with new quality parts, you'll have roughly 120k on that car when it nees a second brake job...pretty good value, i'd say.

as far as they should have told you more about the condition of the brakes at 45k...i don't agree that that makes them at all liable for part of the cost of your brake job...there's just too many variables to so easily hang that responsibility on them. would have been nice that they told you excatly what the pad thickness was...but a cursory brake inspection is just visual and without taking things apart, you can't physically measure pad thickness and even if they did, no one can reliably predict how long a pad will last because driving styles play such a large role in pad life.
 
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