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What should I do? - robZilla
I took my gf's car to a local garage to have the brakes looked at Saturday. They told us that both front discs were corroded, warped and "excessively worn" and should be replaced. They wanted £200+VAT for the job. I thought this a little suspect as the discs and pads had been replaced not more than 18 months previous. So I told them not to do the work and took the car home and looked at the discs myself. I'm not a mechanic but I though they looked OK. I had a mechanic friend of mine look at them and he said they were fine and did not need replacing, though the pads were nearly worn out and should be replaced.

I paid the garage £35 (cheque) for the time they spent diagnosing the car but I'm so angry that they were intending to rip me off that I feel like cancelling the cheque and giving them nothing, as I feel that's what they deserve. I know this is a dodgy area legally becuause they did spend some time looking at the car and theoretically should be paid for that time so I'm looking for some advice really... has anyone else had a similar experience and what did you do about it?

Thanks in advance.
What should I do? - Altea Ego
Unaswered questions here

Why did you take the brakes to be looked at? what was wrong with them? What were the symptoms?
What should I do? - joe
Law of Cheques is very specific, if you cancel the cheque then they could claim the money off you in court and you would have no defence. Doubt they would bother though.

They were supposed to carry out their work with reasonable care and skill, and it sounds like they didn't. No loss to you however as you discovered their "mistake".

I would report them to local trading standards, and tell everyone I know about what they did.
What should I do? - robZilla
Sorry, they were making a funny noise when going round right hand bends. Turns out this was caused by a corroded fixing bolt that holds the brake caliper to the hub. They did correctly diagnose this.
What should I do? - Phoenicks
I think it would be wrong to cancel the cheque as they did undertake investigation work and so would be required to be paid for their time.

Just take it on the chin and remember it for next time. Glad you didnt get stung tho.
What should I do? - Hugo {P}
If they diagnosed the fault correctly, then you've got what you paid for, and they've earned their money

Suggest you have a word with TS about them trying to sting you for those disks though.

What should I do? - robZilla
Thanks everyone for the advice :)
What should I do? - neil
Er... "I'm not a mechanic but I though they looked OK. I had a mechanic friend of mine look at them and he said they were fine and did not need replacing, though the pads were nearly worn out and should be replaced"

Interesting then, if you're both so hot on brakes that neither of you diagnosed the problem the garage corrected?

Suspect it could be they're right - why not go back to the garage and ask themn to SHOW you what's wrong with the discs - if they are genuine, they will be mnore than happy to do so and the price they've quoted doesn't sound out of the way, although obviously you could do it cheaper yourself - if you knew how!

If they don't want to show you, fair to assume they're not that confident and I would not use them again - although they still need paying for their correct diagnosis (and fix?) of your problem.

What should I do? - Hugo {P}
Robzilla - what car is it?

Changing these disks is usually very easy, simply lift the calipers away and undo some screws holding them to the hubs.

That should take you half an hour each side, even without a ramp.

If you shear the screws off (like I did) dont worry if they slot over the studs or the wheel bolt holes line up, you'll be OK, the wheel studs/bolts hold them in place (mine was a Pug 309).

Unless you have a braking proble, you don't need them though.

What should I do? - robZilla
Neil - Thanks for your "advice"!

I don't know what your problem is but I never said I knew anything about brakes! I know very little about cars but upon visual inspection I thought the discs looked OK (i.e. not corroded, not warped and not exessively worn). My mechanic friend confirmed the discs were fine and he *did* diagnose the caliper fixing bolt problem.

FYI, the garage did not correct the problem. I will take the car elsewhere and not use them again, if that's OK with you?
What should I do? - DenisO
If the pads had been allowed to get excessively low then the heat generated as a consequence may well have warped the disk. This would not necessarily be seen with the naked eye and would need to be tested with the correct equipment. You may also feel a vibration under braking if the discs are out of true.
I would add that brakes are definitely a life saving item and I would not scrimp on ensuring they are in tip top fettle.
Get another opinion from somebody that has the correct equipment and then have whatever needs doing, done, with original equipment parts.
My life is worth a lot more than £200 + VAT.
What should I do? - robZilla
Apologies for the confusion that has obviously - occured. The discs were tested with proper equipment, not just *looked at* and they are *not* warped. Also, I am not attempting to scrimp on maintining them, I just don't want to be ripped off and made to buy new discs when they are not necessary. I will be replacing the pads and getting the caliper fixing bolt replaced tomorrow, at a much more reasonable cost of £70.
What should I do? - Dynamic Dave
Maybe the garage suggested changing the discs while they had the brake assembly apart? They may have taken it upon themselves that the discs were only good for one more pad change, hence you would have only had to pay once for the job to be done now, and not pay once now for a brake pad change and in six months time pads and the discs. Maybe they were trying to be helpful and not in fact ripping you off. A lack of comunication between the mechanic and service desk could have led the service deck to be misinformed to as why the mechanic wanted to change the discs as well.
What should I do? - neil
There was advice in there! The nice thing about advice is it's free, you can ignore it if you like and you did ask!

I may have been confused about who diagnosed the caliper fixing problem - perhaps because you said "Turns out this was caused by a corroded fixing bolt that holds the brake caliper to the hub. They did correctly diagnose this"

Please yourself what you do with the car and the garage - you asked for advice and I offered my opinion, if you don't like it that's your choice.

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