There are certainly differences of opinion when it comes to when to replace parts on brakes and I’m in the position of having to “trust” the mechanic and the reputation of the shop I take it to. I consider the ability to stop quickly and easily vital to road and personal safety. I don’t want to risk the security of my dogs, my precious travelers!

Bruce’s Auto had given me the A OK on the LT brakes yet suddenly they started squeaking. My Ford has had squeaking brakes as a mater of course, I keep taking it to my tire place, they rotate the tires and tell me everything’s fine. I can still get more use out of them, not to worry. The same is not true for my little RV. It’s very heavy so stopping it takes a lot of force. The squeaking worried me;  I’ll be hitting steep mountainous roads soon enough so I figured an extra opinion would be worthwhile. I bought my tires at Ians, so that’s where it is now, at an Ians; they pride themselves on doing top quality work.  As the serviceman told me, they use the better parts, of course these cost more, but (hopefully) one can expect a greater longevity.

Perhaps ethics is at issue here, one can save money on a vehicle they don’t plan to put a lot of miles on. If you’re thinking you may sell or trade up your RV in a year or two you can shirk on high quality parts, but I never like doing that. Ians told me my front pads were less than 15% and the rears 10%; not a sure thing for continuing a long road trip if I planned steep mountain driving; on the freeways, maybe. He then explained “to do it right” the front rotors should be done; he quoted me a heart stopping price. . . I could spend a large chunk of my travel budget just for brakes! In the end we settled on new pads for the front and new pads and shoes for the rear; enough, he said, to see me though 20,000 miles or so. The front pads will wear quicker than normal since the rotors are not smooth, this can also cause squeaking so that  may continue even with the new pads on the front. In the end it will cost $450 without the doing the rotors. Lucky me, I’ll save that for somewhere down the road.

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The bill was $309.. . . more reasonable, but they left greasy hand prints all over including on my steering wheel cover. And of course I thought I heard a new noise, a growling, knocking sort of noise. Dear mechanics of the world, sure I know your boss is telling you to hurry but can’t you use the door handles. Cleaned up the grease. Will have the engine re-inspected tomorrow. Seems weak on hills and at about 60 – 65 – 70  mph it still makes that nasty whining sound.

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