• Report:  #2936

Complaint Review: Just Brakes #41 - Bedford Texas

Reported By:
- Bedford, TX,
Tue, August 15, 2000

Just Brakes #41
3217 Harwood Road Bedford, 76021 Texas, U.S.A.
(817) 267-8306
Auto Repair Service
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Just Brakes #41

3217 Harwood Road

Bedford, TX 76021

(817) 267-8306

I go in to Just Brakes expecting a good deal at $99.88 and leave after paying $842.00. I have a 97 GMC Savana Van with only 57k miles on it. I used to work as a mechanic and was good at brakes, but I was going out of town and needed them done quickly.

My wife calls Just Brakes in the morning to set up an appointment. She asked them how they can do it so cheap. Ma'm that is all we do is brakes.

I pull up, walk in and ask for Charles. He says, 'I heard your brakes when you pulled in, they sound bad'. I ask him about the price and before we get through talking business, a mechanic gets my keys and immediately pulls my van in and pulls off all four wheels. Then I find out if I want 'premium' brake pads that is $50 more, so we are up to $150 for a brake job.

I told Charles I had replaced the brake pads and had the rotors turned about 10k miles ago but they already need replacing again. I had a lot of brake dust on the wheels so I must have gotten some bad brake pads. He said no, your calipers need rebuilding, that's another $65 per wheel. So we are up to almost $300 as the mechanic is using a micrometer on my rotors to check for wear. Charles says we can tell if the calipers are bad if the pads have worn unevenly. I walked out to the shop and checked the old brake pads and the calipers were not leaking and the pads were worn down but evenly. The mechanic shouts out that 'there are burn marks on the right rotor'. Charles looks at me and smiles, 'those are $159 a piece, if we can find some, plus hardware'. I asked what hardware was and he did not give me an explainable answer. I asked Charles why they are so expensive and he said because they are ABS and pointed to a cable behind the brake flange. 'I will try to turn the rotors and get those burn marks out, but I only have .024 (24 thousandths of an inch) to work with. They will be unsafe at that point and will be throw-aways but I will call you if I think you need new rotors.'

I complain that it is ridiculous to cost so much for a brake job and Charles starts to brag about how much he has made so far; he charged someone over $750 earlier in the day, 'but he needed shocks and struts'. He charged another $300 and another $400, so I was supposed to feel better now that I was not the only one who had to pay so much. So I leave with the total up to $600.

I pulled into their shop at 4:30. I left to go home and at 5:30 he calls me and says yes I need new rotors. He said that would mean I needed new bearings and seals too, that was another $100 dollars. I am steaming now. I know he is playing me for everything he can. I knew that if one legitimately needed new rotors, one would want new bearings too. He said he would call when it was ready. He called at 7:00pm.

My van had only been in their shop for 2.5 hours but supposedly had all four wheels with new brake pads, rear wheel drums turned and adjusted, rebuilt the front calipers, packed four front wheel bearings, flushed and cleaned, and bled out my brakes lines, turned the old front rotors but had to install new rotors instead and road tested. I would like to know how they did all that. There were only two mechanics and Charles who was only the manager. While I was dropping off my van, I noticed they were working on at least 4 other cars. I know from being a mechanic that a job like that would have taken at least 6 hours. So I doubt they did all the work they claimed. When I picked up the van, the bottom line was over $842. And he told me all about their 'very good warranty'.

Here is where the insulting part comes in. I put my foot on my brakes and the pedal goes nearly to the floor before I feel any resistance. I go get Charles and ask him why is that. He said it was because of the ABS brakes. 'The brake pedal should go down like that until it lines up with the gas pedal before they will work. If you push harder than that, you override the ABS brake system.' 'You need to drive it for a while so the brakes will set.' I looked him in the eye and told him to get out of my van.

I feel I was overcharged for work that was not performed. The van continues to have a soft pedal and am taking it to another shop to make sure the brakes are safe.

I want a complete refund from them so I can take my van somewhere else to get it fixed. My choice is going to be my GMC dealership and since they will have my van all day, my cost of inconvenience is $400. Please help me get my money back.

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