Automotive Education/Info

How Much do Brake Services Cost and Can I Save Money?

One of the most common maintenance items on any vehicle is brake repairs. This is due to all different braking habits, quality of brake parts, proper installation and other factors. Being one of the most important and common auto maintenance items, it’s natural to ask how much brake services cost? The answer can be broad and the price of brake services will range broadly depending on location and make/model of the vehicle.

Other factors that influence the cost of car and truck brake services.

There are several other things that will affect the cost of brake services for your automobile. These include price and quality of parts, distributor used to source the brake parts and local labor rates in your area.

Also influencing the cost of brake repairs is the extent of services that the customer is looking for. A brake pad and rotor replacement is going to cost significantly less than a full brake service. Common things included in these services are brake fluid flushes, caliper and brake line replacements as well as other components such as brake master cylinders, brake boosters or emergency brake repair.

How much does the most basic brake service cost?

Usually a basic brake system service for your car will include a new set of brake rotors, pads and hardware. The repair shop performing this brake service will also charge a set labor price or offer a brake service package with the labor included. Normally these brake service packages include one axle and each additional is a separate price. Possibly offering a discount for multiple axles after the first one.

In my last repair shop in Northern, NY we offered a basic brake service at $229 per axle. This included a new set of mid-tier brake pads and brake rotors. If the customer wanted premium quality brake parts we added an extra $20 to the cost of the brake service. Other geographic locations start at higher and lower prices because of fluctuations labor and parts prices.

Which repair shop you choose also affects the cost of brake services.

The automotive industry is full of “quick service” chain type auto repair locations. It’s likely that there are at least a handful of these auto repair shops near you. PepBoys, Midas and Monro are examples of these corporate multi-location auto repair centers. Each of these chain store auto repair locations offer their own brake services packages and you can click here for an estimate from each one.

To find a location with cheaper brake repair services, I would recommend giving your local small business a chance. Often times these types of independent auto repair shops will offer cheap, quality work and a better customer relationship.

Autozone estimates that a typical brake service can range from $300-$800 dependent on the quality and make/model of your vehicle.

How can you get a cheaper brake service?

If you’re looking to get a cheaper price on brake services, there are a couple proven ways. One of those methods to pay less for brake service is to buy the parts yourself online and only pay the repair center labor to install them.

A related post on Auto Repair and Tool Talk may help you find brake parts at a better price buying them online.

There is a downside to using this method, but many people still save money and have no issues when buying brake parts online. One downside is an often higher labor price due to lack of mark up from the repair center. Another downside is lack of warranty on the brake work being performed. Most repair shops will warranty work when they source the parts. Almost none of the auto repair shops will warranty a job with customer sourced parts.

The reason for this is simple. There are too many variables when the customer buys their own parts. Different brands offer different quality brake parts and auto parts in general. For this reason, a licensed repair center will be reluctant to offer a warranty on parts they can’t be sure the quality of.

Other ways to save money on brake services.

1). Another proven way to save money on brake services is to buy your own parts and have a friend or family member perform the labor. It doesn’t take an ASE certified technician to replace brakes. If you look in the classifieds and job platforms often times you can find a mechanic willing to do side work for a cheaper price.


Brake rotor worn to the inside cooling fins
This image shows a brake rotor worn way beyond the maximum specifications. This customer didn’t have the money to do the brake service sooner.



If you go this route with your brake services, be very cautious of who you let perform the work. Considering the critical nature of a vehicles braking system, it can be dangerous to let an inexperienced mechanic or friend work on it. I would recommend asking for references or proof of experience before letting anyone tinker with your vehicles braking system.

It’s a good option to save money if you are cautious and don’t just take the lowest bidder for the brake service. Keep in mind that if the price is too good to be true, we’ll it probably is. An extensive understanding of the braking system on any vehicle is a must when performing work on the vehicle. Although it’s surprisingly rare, accidents can be caused by vehicle owners trying to save money on brake services and letting just anyone work on them. 

Watch for deals on brake services for your vehicle.

The automotive industry is extremely competitive. Small businesses often struggle to acquire customers because they can’t compete with the prices offered by the larger chain repair centers. Factors such as cheaper parts and higher volume of sales give the corporate auto repair centers a decisive advantage over the mom and pop shops.

It’s this combination of factors that leads to frequent promotions and ways to save money on brake services as well as other maintenance items. Get familiar with your cars maintenance schedule and look ahead of time for coupons and promotions offered by the large auto centers and the smaller repair shops in your area. A quick Google Search for “car maintenance deals near me” will turn up dozens of results to choose from in your area.


As you can see from this post, the price of automotive brake services can range broadly depending on many factors. It’s fairly simple with a small amount of effort though to stay in the bottom of the range when booking your brake services. The key is research and willingness to shop around to find the best deal on brake services possible in your area.

In the inflation driven economy that we currently live, saving money on any auto repairs (or anything in general) is important. That’s why I had the idea for this post. Brake services are a common and necessary part of maintaining a safe vehicle to put your family, so why not try to save money?


Brake caliper slide pin
This image shows a brake caliper slide pin that has rusted and stuck inside the caliper.


Last piece of advice. If you decide to hire a mechanic from the classifieds or a friend doing work on the side, ask them one simple question first. How do you spell brakes in relation to automobiles?

If the answer is b-r-e-a-k-s, consider looking around! 

Of course I’m kidding-or at least half kidding. Some of the best mechanics I’ve ever met can’t spell to save their lives. 

By John Green

I’m John Green. I’m a 33 year old auto technician from Upstate New York. I have 18 years of experience as an automotive light duty and heavy duty truck mechanic. Cars, trucks and anything with moving parts are my passion in my professional life.

Aside from my life as a technician, I am also a seasoned investor and consider myself very financially literate. I use this other passion combined with my passion for cars, trucks and tools to look for ways to save money for my technician friends.

Raising my three girls and teaching them the proper way of life is my personal passion in life. If you want to know more, just ask! I’m on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well!