Brake Service

Why We Won’t Do $89.00 Brake Jobs Like Some Shops Advertise?

Good Question: This question illustrates how advertising can turn a complex service into a commodity simply by giving it a name and a price.

A person is as likely to receive a good, high quality brake job for $89.00 as he is likely to get a good quality meal for 89 cents.

It is possible that if all that is needed in the brake job are new pads, or all that you want in the restaurant is a quick snack, then the final price and the advertised price may be the same, but in most cases, the customer usually spends more money.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards govern the required stopping distances of new vehicles and the “performance requirements for hydraulic, air, and vacuum brake-hoses, brake-hose assemblies, and brake-hose fittings.” (NOTICE THEY HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED ANY STANDARDS FOR BRAKE PADS, BRAKE CALIPERS AND BRAKE HARDWARE)

Other than voluntary brake industry self-certifications and the threat of legal liability, THERE IS NO GOVERNANCE OF QUALITY FOR ALL OTHER REPLACEMENT BRAKE PARTS. The wholesale price of a brake pad set can range anywhere from $10.00 to a little over a hundred dollars.

Today’s friction materials (read “brake pads”) have come a long way from carbon impregnated horsehide. A top quality brake pad is highly effective over a wide range of temperatures, resistant to heat degradation, long-lasting, non-abrasive, non-dusting, non-noisy and not cheap.

Flat rate labor to replace a set of brake pads and turn the rotors is about 3 hours, not including servicing the calipers. And if your vehicle has wheel bearings that need repacking, add another hour and about $30.00 for the wheel seals.

The profit margin in a $89.00 brake job, (and you can’t stay in business if you don’t make a profit) is adequate to support a business only if the cheapest parts and cheapest labor are used, or if the job is substantially up sold by using a completed inspection sheet and a smooth sales technique. Most people who go in for the low cost brake job are up sold and come out of the brake shop with a much higher cost than they counted on. (How else can that shop stay in business?)

We don’t do $89.00 brake jobs for the following reasons;

  1. We don’t want the comebacks and customer complaints associated with using inferior materials and inexperienced labor.
  2. We don’t want the increased chance of legal liability connected with the use of inferior materials and inexperienced labor.
  3. We don’t want to have to use high pressure sales techniques to up sell a job so we can make a profit.
  4. Right now, we enjoy an “A” rating on ANGIE’S LIST, (the highest rating they give out). Using “cheap parts” would no doubt cause unhappy customer to give us a bad rating, and we don’t want that. Our reputation is all we have and we don’t want it destroyed.
  5. Lastly, we want happy customers, because happy customers come back. The bitterness of poor quality lasts much longer than the sweetness of a low price.