Autoshop Trust - Anyone Use Sear's Auto Service?
This is not in regards to a Jeep but I trust you guys more than a lot of other boards.. besides I'm not a member of any other automotive boards.
My girlfriend's family has a 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander. In February 2011, it needed new front brakes. I am 99% sure I got these from Advance Auto Parts. I get just about everything from them because I can order online and apply 40% off coupon codes. I looked up the order and as usual ordered Wearever Gold Brake Pads.
The vehicle just went to Sears Auto for new tires. Girlfriend's brother drives it now and took it. They told him it needed new front brakes and wanted $450 for the job. They told him the rotors had deep grooves. He declined and called me. I found it odd that it would need new pads so quickly. It generally isn't driven more than 20 miles a day, and even sat in the driveway for about 5-6 months last year.
I can't read the poor handwriting on the paperwork with the caliper and disc rotor thicknesses, but I went ahead and got parts for the job and replaced the front pads, both rotors, and hardware. All in it was around $115 (after 2x $40 off $100+) coupons split on two orders.
What was most surprising was that the front right pads had literally zero pad left and the rotor was indeed shot. The left side had more than half of the pads left and the rotor was mostly fine.
I found zero traces of brake fluid leak. Caliper and everything looks good. I installed the new rotors and pads and tested. All seems fine. Both calipers seem to be grabbing as shown by new scratches and heat after test drive.
Now... I don't want to jump to conclusions about Sears, but 1) they didn't mention to gf's brother that one side was worn out far more than the other and 2) the pads that came off the vehicle were Bosch brand and I don't think I ever bought Bosch brand and put them on this vehicle. Gf's brother swears the vehicle didn't go to anyone else in the last two years for brake service since I last changed them 2 years ago. Furthermore, gf's brother doesn't remember hard, loud grinding before taking the vehicle to Sears for new tires, but that's how it came back.
I really couldn't tell if the brake parts were recently disassembled or cleaned before I took apart everything. Honestly I wasn't paying close attention until I was nearly done the 2nd side and realized things weren't matching up. I will say that besides a little nudging, the caliper bolts and mounting bracket bolts came off far easier than I expected. So did the rotors. They just took a little hammer tapping to release from the hub. Nowhere near the lobs of PB Blaster I usually need to un-seize them.
I found the order online from Advance Auto Parts for the exact part numbers from 2/2011 and the pads/rotors are exactly the match for this Mitsubishi. I don't know anyone else with a Mitsubishi vehicle that I could be mistaking this order for. I don't think AAP even sells Bosch pads.
I've heard horror stories about shops showing customers someone else's worn out parts to gain service jobs, but switching parts? That's a new one. I can imagine why... Customer might not think its bad but once they hear/feel this grinding, they will be back! This is the reason I do 99% of all of my own auto service/repairs. Should I be concerned here?
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited - 5.2L V8
366,700 miles (4/21/12)
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo - 3.6L V6