john g...I lied about brake rotors

gary__July 9, 2009

More like I'm getting old and forgetty. I was taught to check rotors with a dial indicator as you said. I abandoned the practice shortly after entering the real world of auto repair. When I started out, if the rotors were within spec, I'd leave them alone. Too many customers came back a short time later complaining of squeeking or chattering disc brakes. Turning the rotors always took care of that. So, since I didn't get paid for turning the rotors the first time because I didn't...and I didn't get paid for turning them when I did later because the job was a 'come back', I said heck with checking them, just machine them. No more comebacks, plus I got paid for turning them. I also got paid for re-doing others brake work who also didn't turn the rotors because they measured true, but made noise.

Sorry for my bad memory. Gettin old's a btch.

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Hi Gary.

As you outlined, that also is the experience of virtually every other professional technician. People typically don't do things that they don't get paid for, and the whole idea of trying to beat the shop down the street on price means the shop has to cut costs, and that's one of the ways they do it. Not getting paid extra to machine the rotors is still common through-out the industry. Some shops require it as part of every brake repair. Meanwhile the flat rate guide is quite specific, there is a labor fee to do the basic brake repair, one to R&R the rotors, and a third for the actual machining time. It actually adds up to a lot more time than shops actually charge!

Measuring run-out, and in the few instances that require the technician to do even more work to correct for it when its discovered create another dilemma that up front adds a little time to every brake repair, (about five minutes). Correcting for it in some cases can add an hour, (or more) to a job that has its price already quoted, and since the shop feels pressure to "price the same as everyone else because its just brakes" and to not do a repair price-wise that the average consumer would not understand, again the technician often does not get directly paid for that repair.

Just remember every time someone price shops auto repair, and moves away from a top shop to someone who advertises cheap price, they add fuel to this fire.

I can hear a manager saying "well feed you some gravy work to make the time back up" right now.

A good friend of mine has a little saying.

"Getting old sucks, not getting old REALLY sucks...."

Just remember the phrase "Anybody can do brakes", now say it the right way, "Anybody can do brakes incorrectly". Dang, can't believe this, in the process of writing this I just had a phone call from a guy that had a "neighbor that has a shop" who put brakes on his 99 Safari, and now he has no brakes at all that's going to be towed in. The neighbor thinks that this is solved with the factory machine that we put the car on.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 8:54AM
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