I took my '98 Saturn to Just Brakes #22 (Airport Frwy - Irving, TX) on 8/27/01 to have them inspect my brake trouble. There had been a slight vibration in the steering wheel for about a week when I would apply my brakes. They said a complete friction relign would cost $99.88 plus tax. That would include new brake pad, brake shoes, turning the rotors and the drums. I was informed the shimmy in the steering upon braking was probably due to warped rotors. I told them to only fix the problem, if it was only the rotors then ONLY turn the rotors.
I received a call about an hour later from Charlie, the store mgr, he said I needed new pads, shoes, turn the rotors and drums. Also, he said, both my rear wheel cylinders were leaking and needed to be replaced along with the calipers on the front (both of which he said were binding). A new master cylinder was highly suggested. The total of all "needed repairs" (excluding the master cylinder) was quoted at $600. I told him I would get back to him and didn't authorize the work. The charge for the inspection alone if no work was to be done would be $40.
After making a couple of phone calls, I contacted Charlie again and told him to just do the original quote for $99. He was very adament that it would be VERY DANGEROUS to drive my car AT ALL without having the rear wheel cylinders replaced immediately. Imminent and total brake failure were about to happen. The calipers could wait he says.
Again I stated I only wanted the friction relign done if it was needed, and I requested all parts replaced to be returned to me. He said OK.
I'm now scared to drive my car, but don't believe it's really that bad. I picked it up and went straight to the Saturn dealer. (They have never ripped me off, they just cost more than the "special" at Just Brakes)
I had my usual mechanic inspect my brakes and the old parts. My brake pads had over 75% life on them, the shoes over 85% left. Neither needed replacing. My front rotors were machined to less than minimum specs and the drums were turned incorrectly. Now I will have to replace the rotors and drums due to lack of professional work. AND, there is nothing wrong with my calipers or rear wheel cylinders!
The scare tactics that were employed by this man are disgusting. I tried calling him when I returned home that evening, he was gone and I left a message to call me the next day. I haven't heard from him after two days now and was told he's on vacation when I tried to call him again. I am holding (over 30 minutes now) for their customer service rep at the home office as I type.