Mechanics: how do they work?
March 12, 2013 6:55 AM   Subscribe

[Chicago Filter] My car needs new brakes, like, a year ago. (Seriously.) I need to find a good (reasonably priced, will get the job done) mechanic in Chicago because the Toyota dealership wants payment in first born children.

I come from one of those fix-it-yourself-or-take-it-to-the-dealership families, and have literally never been to a mechanic before. You can't walk a block in this city without running into a shop, so I feel kind of silly asking this, but I honestly have no idea what I'm doing.

Anyway, Toyota wants $1000 to replace the brakes and another like $650 or something to flush the brake lines, and as my car is a 1997, I feel it no longer requires the TLC a dealership would offer. Any old place will do, as long as they'll do it right and for less money.

Recommendations? Vehicle is a Rav4 if that matters. I live on the lower west side, but will go anywhere you people tell me to.

Thanks!
posted by phunniemee to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


If it's all four brakes and they are in really bad shape to the point where all the parts need replacement (except calipers), then $1000 doesn't seem that bad, actually. The $650, though, seems odd...I have never paid more than $79 for a brake fluid flush, even in an expensive market. Are you sure it isn't $65 for the flush and not $650? But the flush should be included in that $1000 anyway...

Sorry my answer doesn't give you a shop name, but maybe it helps put you in a ballpark for dollar figures when you are looking.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:03 AM on March 12, 2013


I believe this is for new brake pads only. (Or it was, as recently as December...)

And there was definitely a line item in the $650 range for a brake fluid flush--maybe it was also listed together with another service? I don't think so, though.
posted by phunniemee at 7:08 AM on March 12, 2013


The cheapest option I can offer is Runge Auto in Rogers Park. Explain your situation. I also have a 90s car and they've been great about keeping repairs in line with expectations.
posted by walla at 7:13 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speedline on Damen in Ravenswood did a killer job on our brakes. They're cheap, fast, and polite.
posted by Lieber Frau at 7:14 AM on March 12, 2013


Listen to jon1270 - CarTalk.com is a neutral community, well-regarded, and the right place to go for this kind of question.
posted by ellF at 7:25 AM on March 12, 2013


Sorry, I should have added: Runge reviews here. Good luck!
posted by walla at 7:33 AM on March 12, 2013


Probably not very close to you, but I use these guys.

Bob & John's Auto Repair
8204 47th St, Lyons IL
(708) 442-6016
posted by goethean at 7:49 AM on March 12, 2013


goethean's recomendation is seconded - it's part of/behind a Citgo. I took my old Toyota to Tech Auto service on 660 Ogden Ave way out in Downers Grove (630-968-6889) for all the big repairs. They were great.
posted by zenon at 9:07 AM on March 12, 2013


AB Marathon. Nice guys, good work, usually fair prices. Get a quote before you agree to the work being done.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 11:04 AM on March 12, 2013


I will add to the chorus of recommendations for the mechanic finder on CarTalk.com - that's the way to go for a mechanic when you lack a solid personal recommendation from someone you trust.
posted by NoAccount at 12:08 PM on March 12, 2013


Probably a bit too far, but I always took my Toyota to Motor Care when I lived in Chicago.
posted by balacat at 4:43 PM on March 12, 2013


Runge's is where I go, but it's nowhere near you. If you can find a reputable place nearer to you, you should go there: with an older car, it's likely you'll need to go back.
posted by eamondaly at 7:41 PM on March 12, 2013


I ended up going to Runge. In and out in 3 hours for $400 flat, and for the first time ever since I've had the car (brand new brakes or no), the brakes don't squeak when I stop slowly. Win.

Thanks for the recs, guys!
posted by phunniemee at 2:31 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


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