Reader Question: Hi!
I have a 2002 Chevrolet Prizm with 38,000 miles. I recently had an oil change at the Chevy dealership and they did their “free multi point inspection”. I do not really trust the recommendations they made:
1. Balancing the tires for $50, but I do not feel any vibration at any speed so I do not think that is necessary.
2. Alignment for $70, but the car drives perfectly straight if I let go of the wheel.
3. New front brake pads for $277, this seems quite expensive to me.
Could you please let me know if my reasoning on 1 and 2 is correct and whether the price on 3 is reasonable.
Thank you very much in advance!
The recommendations for 1-2 are just part of regular routine maintenance and if you have not had those items done in the last 15,000 – 20,000 miles it would probably be a good idea to do them.
I recommend rotating and balancing your tires every 4 oil changes or 12,000 miles to help extend the life of the tire. Moreover, you also get a “Free” brake inspection while the wheels are off the vehicle. The prices quotes are in line as well.
The front end can be out of alignment and cause premature tire wear even though it drives straight when you let go of the steering wheel.
The price on the brake job does seem a bit steep. I would expect to pay $155-$175 for new brake pads and resurfacing the front brake rotors, taxes and installation since you are already have the wheels off for the balancing.
It will only take them about an hour of labor to resurface the rotors and install the pads…so let them know you know it is an easy and profitable job once the wheels are removed.
I would negotiate the repairs…or at least the brake job and let them do the three items for $275.