What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Gabor Latte [OP] » September 13th 2020, 10:23pm

Hi. I just bought a 1999 Astro. I had it looked at quickly by a mechanic before purchase. He said the brakes would need to be replaced in another 400 miles or so. He said he couldn't diagnose the back brakes without taking off the tires. My question: what is the estimated cost to replace the brakes, parts and labor? And, is there any way to lower the cost, perhaps by shopping for the brakes myself online? If so, any tips/links to good deals? Also is it true that rear brakes almost never need replacing? Thanks for any input!
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby M_a_t_t » September 13th 2020, 11:18pm

Front brakes are very straight forward and easy to do. Rear brakes can be intimidating looking, but can also be done easily with hand tools.

The best way to reduce the price is to do them yourself. Any reason you aren't doing them yourself besides not knowing how?
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Gabor Latte [OP] » September 13th 2020, 11:57pm

I hurt my lower back recently and am hesitant to do anything that requires a hard push or pull, like a righty tighty or lefty loosey.I just looked at a youtube tutorial, and unfortunately it looks like more than my body can handle right now. Other other tips?
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby AstroWill » September 14th 2020, 3:05am

A lot will be determined by your local labor rates, so it's hard to say. Get a few quotes and go from there.

Trolls take away from productive work, best to starve the troll of attention by ignoring it and going about your business.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Gabor Latte [OP] » September 14th 2020, 3:18am

Okay. Should I buy the brakes in advance and bring them to the mechanic? What kind/brand/model do I need?
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby AstroWill » September 14th 2020, 3:27am

You can do that, but most would rather use their suppliers as they make a bit of money on the parts as well. Some will refuse to use your parts, better to ask first, or at least let them know exactly what you want.

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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Rod's Trucks » September 14th 2020, 3:52am

Most shops (including my own when I had a shop and was working on vehicles for others), if they agree to install your parts, will say there is no warranty or guarantee.
I raised my labor charge by 10% if someone requested, and I agreed to install their parts. In most cases that worked out fairly well, but in a couple of cases, the parts supplied were not correct for the vehicle model.
That caused some difficulties because the vehicles would sit in the shop, taking up space until the correct parts arrived.
In one case, after a week of not being able to communicate with the owner, I had to have the vehicle put on dolly's and towed to a storage yard at their expense, and placed a mechanic's lien on the vehicle. Turned out the owner had gone on vacation and left me with no usable contact information.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Godron629 » September 14th 2020, 4:03am

Did pads and discs last weekend with my dad. Paid $450 CAD from NAPA Autoparts for 8 pads, 4 discs. Took about 7 hours but one of the pins was seized and a lot of the bolts were "everything you could muster and a breaker bar" tight.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby markmitchmarkmitch is online! » September 14th 2020, 6:10am

Wow 450.00 for parts is outrageous. I replaced all the parts and upgrade on my 89 cost less then half that and went with the best stuff available at rockauto. Maybe that is why napa is slowly going away cause they charge to dang much for the same parts you can get for 1/2 elsewhere?
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Gabor Latte [OP] » September 16th 2020, 6:22am

Sorry for delayed response. Family emergency overtook and tragedy narrowly averted…
That’s good to know the ways of shops, Rod. Note to self: Don’t get the wrong parts then leave van with mechanic and go on vacation. And Godron, you’ve helped seal my suspicion that replacing brakes is too much for my poor back right now, for sure. Can anyone point me to the exact kind of brakes I should get for my 99’ Astro? Like a link on Amazon or some such? And, maybe revealing my ignorance here but, need I replace the discs or just the pads?
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Leeann_93 » September 18th 2020, 12:31am

Godron629 wrote:Did pads and discs last weekend with my dad. Paid $450 CAD from NAPA Autoparts for 8 pads, 4 discs. Took about 7 hours but one of the pins was seized and a lot of the bolts were "everything you could muster and a breaker bar" tight.


That's Canadian $$ and you have 4-wheel disc brakes. The OP has front disc, rear drum brakes.

I never had to touch the drum brakes on my '02, except for replacing one wheel cylinder when we replaced most of the brake lines on the van. The pads and drums were well within spec the entire time I drove it.

Front pads and rotors, for Adaptive ONE pads and Ultra Premium rotors from NAPA, is $180. Drum brake shoes, hardware and adjuster kits can be had for $50. Wheel cylinders, if bad, add a few more bucks and new drums add more than a few more bucks.

Fortunately, drum brakes don't seem to wear like disc brakes, so unless the shoe linings are almost gone or they've been overheated and the linings are cracked, the rear brakes are probably fine.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby dchan51360 » September 18th 2020, 5:13am

https://brakeperformance.com/

Not sure how long the sale lasts but it's 40% on kits right now. (rotors and pads with hardware kit free)

If you are not going to drive it hard or full load a lot, you would probably do fine with just the standard kits.

After discount a pair of slotted rotors, premium pads and a hardware kit would be about 162.00 plus tax. Free shipping.

I've been using their slotted and dimpled rotors, and ceramic pads so those are a bit more expensive but I've been very happy with the braking power. Problem with slotted and drilled rotors is they wear pad out a lot faster.. But I like the stopping power.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby Gabor Latte [OP] » September 18th 2020, 5:33am

Leeann, your mention of NAPA was a revelation to me, as someone whose main ride for the adult duration so far has been a scooter. Didn’t know until going to NAPA that I could just plug in the specs for my Astro and get guided to the proper parts. Eureka! and dchan, you’ve provided further enlightenment by linking me to the brake company. Sounds like a good deal.

I had this new used Astro checked out by a mechanic before I bought it. He did a quick 20 minute inspection. Regarding brakes, he peered between the front tires and said “you’ll need new brakes in about 300-400 miles”. This was the extent of his comment, except noting that he couldn’t comment on the back brakes without putting the van on a lift. So far I’ve gathered that I likely need not worry about back brakes (mileage is 197k, btw), but for the front, how do I determine if I need just brake pads, or if I need new rotors too, or a whole kit?
Last edited by Gabor Latte on September 18th 2020, 6:51am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is estimated cost to replace brakes?

Postby M_a_t_t » September 18th 2020, 6:48am

Most common reason to change the rotor is if there is grooves in the rotor. Otherwise if it's below a certain thickness or warped/damaged. If it's warped you can usually feel it in the steering wheel when you apply the brakes. Depending on the vendor your pads might come with a warranty, but stipulate you have to change the rotors with them.
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