$1000 Brake Pads + Brake Rotor from Ultra Tune (Ford Mondeo 2012)

Hi everyone, I had my 2012 ford Mondeo serviced today(done 98,000KM), got told I needed to change the all the front and rear brake pads, plus the 4 brake disc rotors needed replacing and they can't machine the surface as it'll be too thin(illegal). I questioned it on the phone as it's rare to replace 4 brake pads at the same time, also why would I need to replace the 4 disc rotors. So I popped in without prior notice to have a look how bad those brake pads or disc rotors were. They showed me the almost worn out brake pads(I wasn't sure it was from my car), also the disc rotors were about 1mm worn out from the edge, but the surface was perfectly smooth, no ridges or grooves. The manger insisted they must be replaced(legal issue again) after I questioned can't I just leave them as they are, because 1mm from each side won't matter too much as the new brake pads are at least 15mm thick. So I had to let them do what they suggested. They already changed the front disc rotor when I arrived.

Then after I came back, I kept thinking, how stupid I was to let them continue to replace all the disc rotor. I suddenly came to realise that those 4 disc rotor were definitely fine, there was no legal issue as such. Many cars would have that kind of wear on the disc rotors. I got cheated from my gut feeling.

They charged $260 for replacing brake pads(4 wheels), and 4 disc rotors for $490, labour for replacing these are $230. Total $969.

To give a little background about me, I am an Asian guy looks about 30Y old. And I certainly don't sound/look like I know much about cars. After I told the story to my colleagues, they all think I got ripped off.

Can anyone share some comments about this?

  1. Were the disc rotors needed to be changed? ( 1mm worn out each side, no ridges or grooves)
  2. The money they charge are reasonable? (I am in Brisbane Metro)
  3. If I feel being ripped off/ cheated, any place I can lodge a complaint? or deal with the Mechanic directly.

This happened in Ultra Tune Brisbane south side.

Thanks so much guys.

Comments

  • +45 votes

    That price is very reasonable for all 4 axles with labour
    Whilst a rotor may look to be perfect it could be that it’s worn too thin to actually machine or it had some possible warps not visible to the naked eye

    $969 for a set of rotors pads and labour is extremely good

    You could have possibly just done the front, and done the rears at a later stage but I feel at 98000km the rotors have done well, I would say not ripped off just basically changed as a set

    In all honesty probably better then a mechanic slapping pads on and having a more costly accident or complete failure of the rotor in future

    Without seeing photos it’s really hard to make a judgement

    Throwing a company under the bus without any substantial evidence just feels to me like you’re feeling entitled and I wouldn’t be letting anyone leave my shop with poor brakes full stop …..

    I don’t feel you’ve been ripped off

    Rotors are a consumable item and I feel the mechanic obviously made the judgement to ensure a road worthy vehicle left the shop

    Price wise

    $200 per rotor and pad including labour would be about right

    • -16 votes

      Thanks so much for your detailed explanation.

      I found a few eBay sales for a pair of brake pads + disc rotor for under $200, in fact most of the listings are around $150 for a pair(pads and rotor), that would add up to $300 to $400 for the parts. I understand the mechanics won't use the eBay style parts, they do premium quality ones. It's just more than double of what I found. In saying that, I could be wrong, that the parts they put on could be that expensive.

      I didn't mean to criticise the mechanic, but I did feel that way. One of my colleagues grew up in a mechanics family and he listened to the phone call I was questioning and he thought it was a bit rare.

      Again, I could be wrong, it's just my feeling.

      Thanks again.

      • +6 votes

        So what brand of pads/rotors did they use?
        My previous dealership started using dirt cheap pads that left black dust everywhere and only lasted 20K..so I started using bendix pads and doing it myself (until I found a better mechanic). Unless you have the details then you have nothing to compare.

      • +10 votes

        I had to replace the charcoal canister in my golf gti the other day, the mechanic charged 398 or something, if you want to do it yourself; you can buy the part online for about $30 and install yourself.

        I asked him about the huge mark up and he said something about genuine parts and the import duty on car parts in Australia.

        But in the end, the mechanic has to pay lease on a premises, maintain all accreditation, perform diagnostics, maintain books/administration, deal with customer service etc.

        Be realistic about outsourcing things in Australia. That price is very reasonable.

        •  

          dealer markup us a very real problem

          In many cases parts for euro cars are cheaper retail overseas than the wholesale price that mechanics pay.

          where possible I order parts and pay for labor only

        • +2 votes

          A while back I experienced something similar myself so I:
          - learnt about looking after your car and do checks prior
          - make markings/take pictures on most major parts of my car prior to handing it into service where ever the work may be getting done to ensure they haven't been swapped out
          - asked for a quote prior to getting work done from multiple mechanics so as to avoid any major shock bills. I was surprised by how much the bill varied at times especially as they seemed to be claiming that different work needed to be done even though the quote was on the same day. Easier said then done when you're busy though and don't have time to try this
          - try to do some of the work myself that isn't too difficult. For instance, depending on who you go to changing wipers can cost $30 - $100 at the mechanic (but costs less then that if you do it yourself. You can also be assured you're dealing with genuine parts), bulbs changes can cost $30 - several hundred dollars depending on the bulb (but costs a fraction of that doing it yourself), changing oil/air filter isn't that expensive and really easy to do (Based on my experience, for the price of a single change done at a mechanic you can have it done multiple times by yourself). This helps to avoid crazy markups and can substantially reduce the cost of a service
          - stay close to the mechanic during the service and get quotes while you're there. Internet access makes this easier now and helps to keep things in check
          - shop around. Don't let the system work you over if you can avoid it. Sometimes if a mechanic is really cheap it's because they may be slack, are able to magically find work for themselves, etc… Conversely, if a mechanic is expensive it may be that they're really careful or they may be able to market their wares, etc…
          - out of curiosity wondering whether anyone would be interested in starting up a thread for good and bad mechanics. I'm interested in alternate options myself

          •  

            @dtbnguyen: Basic cars I’d recommend DIY
            Turbo charged engines I’d recommend a good mechanic
            One stuff up and you can cause a world of damage or sensor issues
            Especially with MAF sensors in modern cars and how delicate the tolerances are

            I have a 2017 Astra and it’s definitely not a fun car to work on with a million sensors on every single part :p

            I’ve changed the majority of stuff myself but l let the dealer service it under capped price servicing which whilst is a rip off ($249) I get the genuine parts fitted and that includes scheduled fluid changes as per the book and it keeps the extended warranty that is worth as much as toilet paper, but given it’s under 5 years old and Holden must follow consumer law, having it serviced genuinely through a dealer at least covers me for any expensive parts just outside of warranty that may go bang

            All in all though I’ve put 102,000 on it and changed a set of tyres / had the spark plugs done at 90k, been a really rock solid highway car so far and defiantly a winner on my books for a good performance four cylinder 1.4 turbo engine

            If I get 200,000 out of it over the next few years I’ll be laughing, granted it’s a timing chain model and I do the oil changes every 9 months / 15000km (although I think in reality it’s more every 10,000 as per the dealers schedule)

            So far so good with the stealership but I’m dreading the 160k gearbox fluid change

      •  

        Cost of rotors is the big thing, pads are more consistently priced (competitive) in this far-away part of the world.

        Rotors are very cheap in Asia, and sometimes the US, if you buy cheap Chinese copies/'OEM replacements'. Not so much now the AUD is toasting. They are mostly not made to poorer tolerances, lower grade steel and are not even finished the same and cause more problems after fitment.

        Compare any standard ATE (German) replacement to even brand-name Asian-made like all those Brembo's for street cars. The differences are clear side by side, before you start checking the dial-in or basic dimensions.

        As a rule of thumb on a quality car, rotors can be up to $200 per wheel (generally) and decent pads can cost double the price of standard pads.

        So it very much depends what they used. Some shops specify the wrong pads for their customer's needs, others just use cheap ones, others use the cheapest the can get and gamble on the customer not noticing the squeaks, poor braking performance or dust they belch

        If you don't want to get ripped, ask the mechanic what they will specify/use and why it is ideal for you- or better do the research to find out the best pad/rotor combo for your car and your use. But just don't ask what is best, ask what is best for your use, your climate, your make and model… all have a big effect on the outcome, and often are not the most expensive option.

        If you want to know if you got ripped, just price the parts, also if you got overcharged for brake fluid and recycling and unspecified consumables. Check if all the fluid was flushed, and if they use the correct grade. Some just use cheap standard fluid that they buy in bulk

      • +1 vote

        Everything is cheap on eBay. But can you do it yourself ? And if the product is faulty do you take it off the car and send it back ? Honesty 1k for 4 pad and disc is reasonable. And what Asian looking have to do with anything ? Asian seem to think they get Rip off all the time. I m Asian and I earn my money here and I spend it here at Australia rate .. do you take a wage for your job? If everyone gauges prices with eBay …we won't have any local business left

        If you have problem maintaining your car

    • +1 vote

      Are you asserting you have the legal right to retain possession of a vehicle until works have been undertaken, in the circumstances you have described?

    • -7 votes

      @bnebargainhunter

      The rate of rotor or brake failure is quite low on modern cars. Generally, an indication that rotors are faulty is a wobble when braking or noise, not poor braking performance or no brakes.
      So the call to replace is generally not made in the interests of safety.

      98,000km rotor replacement is too early to change. You can get much more life out of them and save money.

      It's not uncommon for some cars go 300,000kms with the same rotors simply machined once or twice in their lifetime.

      • -3 votes

        Generally, an indication that rotors are faulty is a wobble

        That happening at speed can easily lead to an accident…

      • +1 vote

        I agree that changing the rotor at 98000 is too early as they should last longer than that mileage

        • +2 votes

          How could you possibly base brake wear on mileage? A car used for highway work will have brakes that will last several times longer than one used around town. Plenty of euro cars nowadays with pads and rotors being replaced at the 40k mark in mixed usage.

          • +2 votes

            @brendanm: Euro cars tend to chew through rotors now as well as brake pads in comparison to older/non-euro cars.
            Conversely new cars stop much faster than older cars as well.

        •  

          Originally had Nissan factory fitted rotors. The front ones got warped at 70K to an extent that I had a horrible stutter everytime I applied brakes at 60+ KM/H. Had the pair replaced for like $450 with pads.

      • +1 vote

        I got 60,000km out of my rotors (measured myself with calipers against minimum thickness stamped on on the rotor). Euro car. Rotors at 100,000km is pretty typical.

        Brakes should be considered a consumable.. like petrol. Petrol makes you go, brakes make you stop, both get used up. Brakes are much cheaper than petrol though for 100,000km. $1k vs ~$10k+

        • +1 vote

          Most rotors now have no tolerance for machining also. This means a warp or groove cannot be machined out. Keep an eye on the brake pads!

      •  

        I don't agree that replacing rotors at 98,000km is early. I had to replace my OEM rotors and pads at less than 30k kms. Euro car, plus lots of city driving.

        •  

          30k km for rotors is ridiculous

        • +2 votes

          Not sure why someone gave me a neg vote?

          I'm just sharing my real-life experience. I'm not a mechanic but I'm not clueless either when it comes to cars.

          The point I was making is that there can be a diverse range of expected lifetimes for these consumables, depending on the car and where/how it is driven. Lots of stop-start driving in the city, heavy car, plus Euro origin (hence leaning toward softer materials) - all are bad for long brake life (if measuring in kms driven).

          I did not force my opinion on anyone, and by sharing my experience I thought I would be contributing to the community.

          I merely wanted to point out that the blanket statement by someone earlier that 98k kms is too early to change rotors - is too generalised and potentially misleading.

      • +2 votes

        This simply isn't true for many European models. They are designed to wear out the rotors, the braking performance however is much better, presumably to cope with the harsh winters that the majority of their customers experience.

      •  

        Namenottaken

        So you’re telling me a rotor that fails to operate isn’t a safety issue

        Ever heard of brake fade or piston lockup issues causing crashes, I sure have and road safety because people are too tight to change their rotors and pads causing accidents, cmon, poor rotors and pads = longer stopping times, add rain and oil to the road and it’s even worse

        I’ve seen rotors do 150k plus on highway cars easily, but the reality is 98k is a lot of work on rotors that see heavy braking, city driving and softer rotors on euro cars

        Tolerances today are so small machining is not always possible and then you have mechanics that slap new pads on and sand a rotor lightly, only to find in 6 months or less the rotor is rooted and the pads are worn faster due to poor workmanship

        Wobbles can be caused by wheel alignment or steering parts stuffed, ie rack or support joint / ball joints or cv joints

        Brakes are important, most people drive around with their families and they don’t really need to have their car off the road 6-8 weeks because you’ve rear ended them for being a tight ass with the most important function of your car

  • +7 votes

    Price seems fairly reasonable. They can look fine to you, but there is a minimum thickness for a reason. The thinner they get, the less mass, less heat absorbing capacity, as well as simply being too little material between the face of the rotor and the vent vanes.

    Very common to need to do rotors with pads nowadays, especially with European cars. Just be thankful you have a Mondeo and not something with much more expensive brakes.

    • +1 vote

      Exactly
      I just feel this type of person would cheap out on major repairs and the store doesn’t want to be accountable for a crash, I honestly don’t see why you’re bad mouthing the store who’s actually charged a very reasonable price for the work done,

      Maintaining a car is part of life
      Rotors every 100.000 ain’t that bad
      Try doing a timing belt every 60-80k in some cars at 700-2000 per change depending on your model

    • -6 votes

      thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I just read through the comments most people think the price is fair.

      I asked what was the legal minimum thickness for the rotor, the manager(owner) wasn't able to tell me. He walked away for 30 secs and came back and told me it's 10mm. That's one reason I felt being cheated. If he knew the exact minimum thickness figure, he would tell me right away when I confronted him(sort of).

      • +8 votes

        Instead of worrying about the 'legal' thickness how about you be concerned about the 'safe' thickness?

        • +3 votes

          The legal and safe thickness are one and the same. The manufacturer of the item defines the minimum thickness. They are the ones who know the safety.

          •  

            @macrocephalic: Doesn't make sense. Different vehicles have different rotor specs so what might be unsafe on one might be perfectly fine on the other. So maybe the guvnuts came up with an 'average safe thickness'? Either way I would take my (trusted) mechanic's hands-on opinion on the matter over another possibly capricious command from on-high. :)

      • +13 votes

        Different cars have different tolerances for brake disk wear - the manager would have consulted the mechanic or the log to see what the case was for your car, he wasn't working on the car and doesn't have a repository of all brake tolerances in his head.

      • +4 votes

        The manager likely doesn't even know, it would have been the mechanic who told him that they were undersize. The mechanic would have likely forfotten what the specs were two minutes after telling the manager, as if it's undersize, the sizes are irrelevant.

      • +3 votes

        You expect the owner to know every minimum thickness specification for every vehicle just off the top of his head?

      •  

        It's normally marked on the rotor/disc itself. 2mm wear would be typical maximum before replacement is due.

        Also note, that it's not been the norm to machine discs in Europe for decades.

  • -2 votes

    They charged $260 for replacing brake pads(4 wheels), and 4 disc rotors for $490, labour for replacing these are $230. Total $969.

    We paid $350 for the rear. Shop around.

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/430416#comment-6815885

    •  

      That’s all well and good but I think the price is very reasonable
      Shopping around can be worth it or a local mechanic you use for years may do the labour if you source the parts etc

    • +1 vote

      Prices vary wildly depending on the vehicle, you can't just say everyone should get every car dobe for $350 because you got one car done for that price.

      • -2 votes

        You're right. The vehicle that we serviced is a larger vehicle than OP's. It doesn't make sense that it would be cheaper.

        • +6 votes

          Yes it does, popularity, how long it's been available, local or imported all change the prices. Commodores/falcons are larger than ops car, but brakes are cheaper. Also, size of car doesn't always correspond to size of brakes.

          •  

            @brendanm: The responses on this page are the exact reaaon most mechanics feel like they are constantly smashing their heads against a brick wall.

            Minimum thickness - is the legal minimum thickness for a rotor. No ifs buts or maybes. This varies per vehicle make, model, series, engine size, tyre size etc. As the rotors fitted are different sizes to begin with along with the difference between vented and solid rotors.
            As a mechanic, i will not be slapping a set of pads in for you so you can cheap out on the repair and then have me charged in the case of an accident because the rotors were clearly undersize.

            Cost - every single vehicle uses different rotor designs that cost different amounts. The size of the vehicle is irrelevant. An F1 car is tiny, it is not cheaper than your SUV. What you pay is generally a set percentage above what I pay. Costs me more, costs you more, the percentage markup I charge is the same. We make very small percentage markup on almost all parts and makes paying wages extremely hard on top of leases, insurances, workcover, vehicle information database fees etc.

    •  

      thanks

    •  

      Yes I did, not sure if this is violating the rules?
      Because I did not know which forum would be best to post this.

      • +6 votes

        OzBargain is the best place to post your automotive woes, you get much more sympathy here

  • +4 votes

    A 7 year old car with 100,000km needing rotors and pads seems reasonable. You don't mention if it's been done before. Trying to cheap out by not replacing braking components is as bad as driving around on bald tyres insisting that everything's fine.

    The actual prices are about right for a retail mechanic shop. I've just done my S15 with slotted/dimpled rotors and new pads, parts alone was about $600. Labour took me a day in my garage, but I was also swapping in coilovers too. It's a bit of a messy and uncomfortable job.

    1. If I feel being ripped off/ cheated, any place I can lodge a complaint? or deal with the Mechanic directly.

    Post it on whirlpool automotive forum, and see what response you get. gets popcorn ready

  • +14 votes

    A very quick google says that your discs….

    REAR - Solid Type

    Diameter 300mm
    Original Height 52mm
    Original Thickness 28mm
    Min Thickness ie. Replacement 26mm
    Centre Hole 63.5mm
    5 Bolt holes
    Front Fitment
    

    REAR - Solid Type

    Diameter 302mm
    Original Height 51mm
    Original Thickness 11mm
    Min Thickness ie. Replacement 9mm
    Centre Hole 63.5mm
    5 Bolt holes
    Rear Fitment
    

    so that's 1mm per side from new to worn out

    Maybe stop crapping on about something you know nothing about and thank your mechanic for replacing your discs that were due for replacement

    And before you whinge about the pads, you always put new pads on new discs

    • -5 votes

      Maybe you are right. It's just one of my colleagues who is 55y old, and has had numerous cars including expensive euro cars, with lots of car service experiences. He thought it was a bit suspicious too.

      • +17 votes

        Once again
        Speaking like he’s an expert
        If you’re both so good with it

        Why don’t you do your OWN WORK?

        I get so tired of seeing this threads

        • +1 vote

          my colleagues who is 55y old

          Plus, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if everything was cheaper "back in his day"…

        • +10 votes

          What is with all this negative aggression? Is oz bargain becoming Whirlpool?

          I think some of you are being a little bit harsh. It is important to post about these topics. It helps Ozbargainers gauge the current price of goods and services.

          It may be irritating to mechanics and tradies who prey on ignorance.

          I think "did I get ripped off?" posts are the most useful posts on here.

  • +4 votes

    Did it go anything like this?

    https://youtu.be/y91AqCHRKtU

  • +4 votes

    Mate paid 2k for breaks on a euro car after 40k

    I’m going to send him this link to make him jealous

    •  

      Must be a more expensive car

      •  

        Nah, sounds about right for euro. They use soft pads for "comfort" but they wear like paper mache. The soft pads are also more expensive.

        Same deal with euro tyres. The dealer will sell the car with fancy Continentals which are super comfy and great handling. But they need replacing around 25kkm and it's $350 per tyre. I know this from experience. Almost had a heart attack when I saw the quote. Changed to Michelin and get triple the longevity with no decrease in stopping distance or handling, but they are noisier.

    • +2 votes

      My uncle has an Audi S3 coming up to 40,000km. He was quoted $3,300 for new front pad/rotors from Audi. They told him getting 40,000km was actually good and about double most other owners get.

      He said he'll never buy a performance car again.

  • +1 vote

    Price sounds reasonable. In comparison, I changed my rear brakes and the dealerships charged me $120 per rotor and $120 for rear brake pads (trade prices). Assuming front brakes are the same price, that's $720 all up just for OEM parts.

  • +1 vote

    And I certainly don't sound/look like I know much about cars

    If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…

  • +2 votes

    Everyone’s commenting as if car service people haven’t tried to up sell them at service. My policy is to take their advice but get a second opinion and shop for the best prices. If the car’s at your shop, you don’t have much of an incentive to be very competitive with pricing.
    The OP probably could’ve got some miles out of the brakes or at least may not needed to have changed both the front and the rear at the same time. My current cars have electronic wear indicators and even if the Ford didn’t have that aren’t brake pads supposed to give an audible warning when they’re nearly worn to indicate they need replacement? I’m happy to be corrected but if the OP had neither, did the brakes actually needed to be changed?

    •  

      Exactly, I was advised by colleagues to get a second opinion. But they said the brake pads are worn out meaning needs to be changed NOW. The question was, do I really need to change 4 disc rotor at the same time? also 4 brake pads at the same time.

      Didn't have any squeaky sounds.

    • +1 vote

      And you know this how ?

      Or are you like the OP willing to endanger your life and mine by nickel and diming

      I don’t see a single up sell based on his receipt
      I see the work required to fix a major issue

      •  

        Sure bnebgnhunter. Take everything mechanics say as gospel. Notice I said 'probably'?

        • +1 vote

          Noone is telling OP to take anything as gospel, just not completely baselessly jump to incorrect conclusions, like:

          I suddenly came to realise that those 4 disc rotor were definitely fine, there was no legal issue as such.

        •  

          Never said that Amaris ?

          Did you read what I wrote

          The mechanic obviously would know when a rotor needs replacement or if it’s a safety issue

          Gospel or not would you like the crown over your head if you let dodgy cars leave your workshop ?

          Probably not

  • +5 votes

    Christ, $1000 spent on a Mondeo, I’m surprised it wasn’t considered an economic write off.

    Anyway, as a mechanic, if they replaced everything with new parts and did all 4 wheels, then $250 per wheel, parts and labour sounds about right.

    If your friends/work colleagues could get it done cheaper, get them to do it next time.

    • -2 votes

      Would you do rears for $350?

      • +4 votes

        Why? You need some done? ;) for you, whooah, I would do it for what the parts cost me.

        And some cars, yes, some, no. It all depends on the parts and type. Some cars have rear discs with drum parking brakes in the middle, and they are a (fropanity) nightmare to get off. Some are just discs and are easy to change out.

        And parts prices vary. You can’t compare a commodore to a bmw. Commodore parts are crazy cheap. BMW not so much.

        So, in saying that, some cars, sure, $350 for rears is ok. On some cars, I wouldn’t even take the rear wheel off to look att the brakes for less than $350 per wheel…

        •  

          Since you have experience with this stuff, what break pads would you recommend for an E90?

          • +1 vote

            @Tuftsdude: *brake

            And I'm going to guess that an E90 is a BMW or some description? (Edit: Googled it and turns out it's a 3 Series.)

            And recommendations come from your budget and what the manufacturer suggests. No use telling you to put in $30 pads if it's a M3. Also, no use telling you to put in $400 Brembo pads in your 318i.

            The other issue is that it doesn’t matter what I suggest, there will be someone come along and dispute it… "Ohh… I would never use Bendix, because my fathers best mates sons daughters husband used Bendix once and only got 400m and they needed replacing…"

            So, all I suggest to people is, buy the best that your budget will allow you to buy and stick with names you know, Bendix, Bosch or EBC for example.

            •  

              @pegaxs: 323i. Thanks. I've been doing a lot of DIY and research on our cars, changing my own parts, etc. I haven't done any research on brake pads and thought I'd ask first before googling/YouTubing then tackling it.

      • +1 vote

        Man you are obsessed with this aren't you.

        I will replace the rear brakes on your commodore with RDA pads and rotors for $350 (maybe less), I won't replace the rear brakes on your range rover tdv8 for $350.

        Why don't you just tell us what your magical mystery car is?

      •  

        I have a BMW, and the rear brakes cost me 240$ in parts. It's a one hour job if you're slow, so $350 sounds right

        •  

          Wow, "a BMW". Yep parts for an E36 318 are cheap. Parts for a late model X5 are not. Apple's and oranges. Look up prices for anything with factory two piece rotors and lol, one rotor costs more than ops entire brake job.

          •  

            @brendanm: Tbh this is a comparison of a BMW and a Mondeo, why would I quote the price for an X5. My comment is clearly within context and perspective.

            And FYI, its rear brakes for an 335i

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