ford contour brakes

joe_mnMay 31, 2006

my friend has a 98 ford contour. he thinks the front wheel bearing is bad. he took it to a shop and they said the rotor was "stuck" and they had to replace it in order to do the bearing fix. I am not real familar with contours but i did find out they have bearings that are pressed into the hub/knuckle. is the rotor somehow pressed onto the hub too?

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gary__

Probably just stuck together by rust.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 12:35AM
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joe_mn

i talked to my friend and he says the mechanic took off the hub assy? and had it on the garage floor and was pounding on it with a hammer for awhile. than he announced that the rotor needed to be replaced at $80 additonal cost. what the ???. hmm, i know Snap-on sells a puller that removes the bearing on the vehicle so no major disasembly is required. I think the incompetent mechanic screwed up the job and is making my friend pay for a "bad" rotor. what a crock.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 11:02AM
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john_g

To replace the hub bearing on this particular car, the steering knuckle, and strut must be removed from the car. Normally that means removing the caliper with the brake pads from them and hanging it from the car, then the rotor just slides off. BUT if the rotor has not been off of the car for years, they often rust to the hub to the point that removal can be difficult enough even to the point of the rotor not surviving the process. That is no fault of the shop or the tech, nor is it the vehicle owners fault either, but it IS the vehicles owners responsibility and it is not fair to blame a shop or a tech for this.

BTW Snap-On does NOT make a specific tool for servicing this hub bearing. There are general tools made that the better shops and techs do own for doing this kind of work, and it is an investment that is in the thousands of dollars to be set up for the most common possibilities such as this Contour. The funny thing is the shops that make the investment, charge accordingly for doing so, while the shops that don't often try and do this service cheaply to the customer and have it blow up in their faces.

Or saying that another way, people often go to the shop that bids a lower price for this repair, than they tend to go to the shop that bids it out correctly in advance. Yea, imagine that. The shop with more experience and tooling charges a higher price, so many "consumers" flock to the ones that don't have the equipment and training, and experience! So, shop owners often have to wonder, should they make the investement to have all of the tools, price accordingly to pass that cost on, and see fewer cars to work on. Or should they try and do everything with as little investment as they can and just deal with the troubles when they occur?

Now me? I invest in the tools and equipment that I need in order to do my very best all of the time. That directly means, if you price shop between me and the guy down the street, your going to go there. If he gets it done successfully, with whatever methods he chooses, a "consumer" will call that a win. If he fails, somebody writes a post like you have here. But they are NOT writing about me, or guys like me when they do.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 2:08PM
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joe_mn

so the fine print says "additional parts at condsiderably higher price may be required". or if nothing extra is needed than we will honor the initial quote but don't be suprised if revised bill is many times higher. or why does the shop only stock the $80 rotor and not the $40 rotor that you can buy at NAPA? or thats right, they charge $80 for the $40 rotor. they have to make a profit on labor and parts.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 4:41PM
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gary__

**or why does the shop only stock the $80 rotor and not the $40 rotor that you can buy at NAPA? or thats right, they charge $80 for the $40 rotor. they have to make a profit on labor and parts.**

Don't know about this situation, but I use mostly NAPA parts when I repair a vehicle. On brake lining, they sell at least three grades. I think on my Dodge the cheep shoes were $30, the best ones were close to $100 per axle. Perhaps the cost difference you refer to is between new and remanufactured. Don't know, just want to make sure you're not comparing apples to oranges. People often do.

In any case, if someone wants inexpensive repairs, they should do it themselves. That's what I do. I've been both customer and mechanic. I will say that the majority of people who would like to b*tch about the cost of a repair wouldn't work for what I was getting paid.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 7:24PM
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joe_mn

i know running a small business is tough. you are only open for X hrs/day and have overhead/expenses to cover. i just hate it when they say X dollars to fix the problem and it ends up being 2X. if it was so easy to fix cars, everyone would do it themselves.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 12:54PM
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john_g

" i just hate it when they say X dollars to fix the problem and it ends up being 2X"

Shops don't like it when an "estimate" is incorrect either, but it happens. That's why you get an "estimate" on how much a reapair is going to be. The simple fact is that the better, and more experienced a shop is, the more likely their estimate will be accurate up front. Which should follow and not be a suprise that a truly experienced shop would quote the rotor in advance, and then NOT use if if they don't need it thereby coming in UNDER the estimate. But would you, or your friend go to a shop that gave you the higher correct estimate upfront, or would you choose the cheaper incorrect one?

As far as making money on the parts and the labor, yea we do that, it's been that way for years. That is how our accountants teach us to operate our businesses. I could make a go of it with labor fee's alone if the public truly would accept it. The problem here is, my labor fee's would be double what anyone else's in town. The reason for that is your not likely to get the other shops to go labor $$$ only, so you would lose all chance to compare prices, not that comparing prices is any real way to choose a shop in the first place.

FACT: I am the most expensive shop in my town, on both the labor $$, and my parts mark-ups. I'm also the busiest, because I fix it right the first time, and my estimates are normally right on target. Plus I do things with all makes and models that none of my competetion can match, even to the point that they send me 30%+ of the cars I see on a regular basis. Now first time telephone price shoppers are a waste of my time. When I give a phone quote, I almost never get the job because there is always someone else cheaper out there, and there always will be, or at least "consumers" hope there will be. There is a difference between a consumer and a customer, one wants their car serviced and are willing to pay a fair price for it, the other wants their cake, and get to have and eat my cake too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 1:17AM
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