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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with independent mechanics in the Pittsburgh area? My pads need to be replaced but the dealership (Ron Lewis) is saying they have to do the rotors at the same time, which seems crazy at 30k. Would love to get a second opinion / a trustworthy shop for the little maintenance things that can be done without dealership intervention.
 

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Dealers and all shops like to replace it all so that they can assure that the pads seat in correctly. I see their point but at the prices that we are paying for the rotors i'd see if there is enough material to turn them and freshen up the surface
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dealers and all shops like to replace it all so that they can assure that the pads seat in correctly. I see their point but at the prices that we are paying for the rotors i'd see if there is enough material to turn them and freshen up the surface
Yes, that's why I'm looking for an independent shop...
 

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Try Eurospeed motor works on library rd rte 88 in the south hills of Pittsburgh. I think they may tell you the same thing though. Theres really no reason anyone that services Dodge or Jeep cant do them.
 

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It isn't to seat pads correctly. Though that is a factor...and service advisors who don't know more then what they are told in a 1 day training session like to give that as a reason.


It's because the manufacturers specify a rotor thickness that is not much thicker than the minimum thickness, and even if the rotor is thick enough to not need replacing, it will wear below minimum thickness (which even with new pads makes the brakes perform less and is a safety risk) before the new pads need to be replaced.


Personally, I have the tools to check rotors thickness. Do I though? No. I pretty much replace the rotors.

Independent shop will give a better price no matter what.

If you went to my family business currently as run by my Brother-in-law..he'de put the cheapest pads he could find on,.give you the best price you ever saw and send you out the door without even turning the rotors no problem. All the while agreeing with you that I am an overbearing *******, probably give you a discount.

Cause, when I ran it...no way. No effing way.

Something to realize, I had a 3% problem ratio with a 85% return customer ratio. He has a 25% problem, with the only repeat customers are his buddies from the local bar. However the online Yelp reviews are great.

It isn't a coincidence.

Get a second opinion, always ask for your rotors to be spec'de and talk about if they really need to be replaced.

Don't just assume they don't and take it to the cheapest place who the says the same thing....then have problem and blame it on Alfa.

If the shop won't talk to you about why the rotors do or do not need to be replaced and will not spell out exactly why either option is needed..don't get your car worked on there. Dealer or independent. By the same token don't just go someplace and let them work on your car because they say what you want to hear.

Go to a Jeep shop, explain the engine is the new Wrangler 4 and chassis is the Grand Cherokee L....they will be working on the engine/platform eventually might as well get a jump start. Jeep shops are some of the best in the business, even if they aren't snobby or super clean all the time.
 

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It isn't to seat pads correctly. Though that is a factor...and service advisors who don't know more then what they are told in a 1 day training session like to give that as a reason.
Thanks alfaallroad! I aggree to always ask questions. When they say your rotors need to be replace ask why and always ask to know what the spec is and i love to see it (out to the bay, car lifted, calipers out).
My questions to you as you know this way better than i do is now a days i've found fewer shops willing and/or able to turn the rotors. Is this still a think or is it a thing of the past? and do they have to have special machining tooling to do it?
 

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Yes, there is a special tool specifically for turning rotors, a brake lathe. Same basic principle as any lathe.

Turning rotors is definitely becoming a thing of the past in my opinion. For a couple reasons.

1. Rotors are getting thinner and thinner so there is less room to be able to turn them. This also makes the 2nd problem worse.

2. Every rotor/car requires a different amount of turn to become true again (get rid of the warp), it can't be done reliably with a computerized setting that removes a preset amount of metal. It requires a technician capable of watching and listening to the rotor as it is being machined, who adjusts the depth of cut at the proper intervals to remove warpage without removing material from areas not warped. It isn't hard, but it takes paying attention.

..something Elon Musk doesn't seem to have enough money to do, let alone your average 18 year old going into auto repair..or the average 40 year old who has been doing it for 20 years.

So yes...in my utter pessimism...I think less and less shops are going to be turning rotors, and soon the practice will disappear entirely.....mostly because the average human is becoming unable to think for themselves and has an amazingly hard time concentrating on one thing for more than 45 seconds solid. (Not kidding...at the family business it's been close to 12 years since we have been able to find a new tech that can even be trained to properly machine rotors. Watching something for almost a minute and making adjustments in the fly is simply too hard. Most of the time they go to far and ruin the rotor. Easier and financially more rewarding to tell the customer you can't do it and sell rotors, then say you'll try..overshoot, ruin the rotor, then wind up having to either comp the replacement set, offer a discount, or lose a customer and gain an negative review. As usual this isn't what I like or want, desire, find joyful or even pleasant, just what is.)
 
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