300M brake rotor replacement

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by Percival P. Cassidy, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Had our '02 300M checked out yesterday when they did a regular service.
    They reported that the front brake rotors don't have a lot of life left
    in them, but they couldn't fit me in to do the job yesterday while they
    had it there.

    They said there is a lifetime warranty on the pads, but new rotors would
    cost me $220.

    Do I have to have the job done by a dealer to maintain the warranty on
    the pads? And how much would replacement pads cost if the warranty is
    voided? What is a reasonable price for non-dealer replacement of both
    rotor? (They wanted to charge me $13 to replace the license-plate bulb.
    I bought a 2-pack for $2 and replaced it in 5 minutes.)

    Percival P. Cassidy, Jun 2, 2009
  2. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    If those are the first time they've ever been replaced, I'd say that
    sound reasonable.

    I've replaced mine once, and had the replacements resurfaced once, and
    they could use replacing again. And I don't put much milage on my '00
    That's a little steep. At any parts store you'll pay at most maybe $60
    each. More likely $40 each.
    Pads should cost you maybe $45 for a set. Pay no attention to the
    warrany on the pads.

    The pads and rotors should cost you $100 to $140 max for the parts.
    It's one of the easiest jobs you can do in your own driveway with only a
    few tools and a decent hydraulic jack.
    MoPar Man, Jun 2, 2009
  3. Percival P. Cassidy

    Licker Guest

    : "They said there is a lifetime warranty on the
    pads, but new rotors would cost me $220."

    The price for the rotors to me sounds kind of high since I just purchased
    rotors for a 1 ton pickup truck that cost less then that. Was the $220 for
    the entire job (both sides and parts) or per side with parts or one side or
    just parts? If both sides and all the parts that sounds about right.
    Licker, Jun 2, 2009
  4. I understood it to be for the whole job: supply and installation of two

    But, as you have no doubt seen, another poster has suggested that rotors
    may be purchased for $40 to $60 each and that installation is very
    simple. Indeed, rotors with a 2-year limited warranty are $40 each at a
    couple of the local parts stores, or almost double for ones with a
    lifetime limited warranty.

    Without so far having looked at the service manual, I am guessing that
    the only extra step compared to changing a wheel is removing or
    loosening the caliper assembly to allow the rotor to be removed.

    Percival P. Cassidy, Jun 2, 2009
  5. Percival P. Cassidy

    Bill Putney Guest

    ....and pushing the pistons back into the calipers (with a c-clamp or
    other method. Pay attention to how the pads come out - they fit into
    the caliper kind of like a puzzle - IOW - pay attention to the little
    ears on the pads and where they fit. One end of the pad stays in place
    while you rotate the other one out - revers putting them back in, but
    the ears have to be correctly placed.

    Make sure the rotors you buy are the same outside diameter as the old
    ones. The aftermarket world was confused on that - some of the
    suppliers may still be confused. If you gave them the P/N for the
    larger (correct) rotor, you would end up with the smaller one, which
    will go on fine, but the full surface of the pad will not be swept by
    the rotor.

    Also the aftermarket world was confused on the front pads. Some of them
    have fixed that, but if you see that the retainers on the front outer
    pads don't match up with the recesses in the caliper, then, if you still
    want that same brand and type of pad, go back and exchange them for ones
    for the '94 Concorde. I know this all may sound crazy, but it's true.
    Bill Putney, Jun 3, 2009
  6. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    I wouldn't pay more than $220 for a complete front brake job (new pads,
    new rotors, labor and taxes). And that's being generous.
    I pay no attention and don't factor in the warranty fine print when
    selecting pads and rotors. If a pad cracks or falls apart or if a rotor
    is warped within a week of driving on it, then you bring the part back
    and get another one (neigher has ever happened to me).

    These parts are designed to wear and their lifespan depends on your
    climate, your milage and driving habbits. After you've been driving on
    them for a year or two, you're going to completely forget that you paid
    extra for special warranty, and after 3 or 4 years when it's time for
    new pads or time to resurface the rotors, the extra $$$ you paid for the
    warranty will mean absolutely nothing.
    You need to have a decent hydraulic floor jack. I've got one that
    weights at least 100 lbs but a much smaller one will do. Probably cost
    $50 and you'll make that up the next time you rotate your own tires or
    change your summer tires for snow tires.

    Invest in a cross-style tire iron. Chrome plated, at least a foot wide
    (maybe 1.5 feet). There are folding ones that fit in the spare tire
    compartment of the 300m (you should have one there anyways).

    Position the jack (put a piece of wood between the jack plate and the
    car underframe jack point). Front jack point is just behind where the
    wheel well ends, about 6 inches from the outside edge of the rocker
    panel. Raise the car about an inch or two, then crack the lug nuts at
    least 1/2 turn. Then raise the car so that the wheel is about an inch
    off the ground. Remove the lug nuts and take the wheel off.

    Now some people might want to put a jack stand under the front
    suspension somewhere in case the hydraulic jack fails. I don't unless
    the front wheel is going to be off for more than an hour or two.

    Now I think you'll need a 10mm socket (6-sided, not 12) to remove the
    two caliper slide bolts. Might give you a problem just to put the
    socket on the bolt head because of rust. Might take some elbow grease
    to break the bolts free, but once free they should unscrew real easy.

    Next the caliper rotates up and out. The pads will give you a hard time
    getting past the rust-ridge on the rotors. DON'T force the calipers out
    without freeing up the pads. You don't want to break the caliper piston
    (I think it's made of ceramic).

    You won't have much room to manipulate the caliper once it's off because
    it's still attached to the car via the brake hose. Be gentle - don't
    dammage the hose. Always support the caliper so that there's no stress
    on the brake hose. Pry the pads off the caliper.

    Now at this point you'll need a large C clamp and either a thin piece of
    hardwood or a short, wide metal plate. You want to use the clamp and
    the plate to compress the piston back into the cylinder. The plate will
    span the open end of the piston. Position the clamp directly over the
    center of the piston and press it down into the cylinder. Should go
    easy. Don't break the piston. Press down all the way until the plate
    hits the caliper housing.

    Take the new pads and the small packet of blue goo that came with them.
    Spread the goo on the back of the pad on the area where it will contact
    the caliper or the piston.

    If you bought new rotors, now is the time to put them on. Old ones
    should come right off. Might have to remove (destroy) 2 stamped metal
    retaining clips that keep the rotor on the lug bolts. Don't worry, you
    don't need to replace them.

    Slide (or press) the new pads into place. Rock the caliper back into
    position on the wheel.

    Put some grease (preferrably high-temperature grease) on the caliper
    bolts and hand-screw them into place. Rock or press down hard on the
    caliper to line up the bolts with the holes. Tighten the bolts real
    good (don't break them). Spin the wheel hub to make sure nothing's
    binding. Don't get grease (and ideally, no fingerprints either) on the
    rotor surface during this whole process. Wipe it clean and dry with
    some solvent if you do (gasoline, acetone, etc).

    That's about it. Put the tire back on (put some wheel bearing grease on
    the lug bolts first). Tighten the lug nuts as much as you can (the
    wheel will want to spin while you're doing this. Lower the jack half
    way and tighten the lugs some more, then remove the jack completely and
    finish tightening the lug nuts.

    That's it. You're done one side.
    MoPar Man, Jun 3, 2009
  7. Percival P. Cassidy

    Steve Stone Guest

    I'd never trust my life, or foot, or arm to a single jack.

    If you don't have a set of jack stands at the very least take the tire
    and wheel you just took off the car and slide it under the car in a
    place you think it could hold the car up and save your butt if the jack
    slips as a "just in case" back up plan.

    Learned that simple option from an old timer body shop owner when I was
    a teen in the 70's working on cars in my parents driveway.
    Steve Stone, Jun 3, 2009
  8. Percival P. Cassidy

    John Guest

    I'd recommend reconsidering that statement. Here are some reasons why,
    just from the past week:


    The names and places change, but these stories are repeated over and
    over again. Each flattened person had thought that his jack was "good
    enough" and would never fail or fall. Until they were dead.
    John, Jun 4, 2009
  9. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    Just to be clear here...

    Changing the brake pads and rotors doesn't require that you place your
    body *under* the car (at least not when I do it).

    The jack I use can barely fit under the car as is, so if it were to fail
    (lose pressure) then that corner of the car would settle down on the
    jack plate, and the front rotor wouldn't even touch the ground.

    Basically, I don't jack up the car high enough to be able to get my body
    under it when doing a brake job, and I'd probably have to jack it a few
    inches *higher* than I normally would to be able to put the jack stands
    I do have under it anyways.
    I've done lots of work on my older mopars in the past (geeze, 20 years
    ago) and they were raised about 2 feet off the ground and believe me,
    they were fully supported with stands at all 4 corners. And then some.
    MoPar Man, Jun 4, 2009
  10. I bought new rotors at AutoZone for $40 each and had just got one old
    one off yesterday when a neighbor who is an auto mechanic came over to
    see what I was up to. He said that without actually measuring the
    thickness of the rotor it looked fine to him, judging by the very small
    ridge around the edge. What I really needed, he said, was new pads: the
    friction material was very thin and was starting to separate from the
    steel plate. But replacing the rotors along with the pads was not such a
    bad idea, he said. The new pads I bought ($60) have friction material at
    least four times as thick as that on the old ones.

    The more I think about what they told me at the dealership, the less
    sense it makes. The conversation went something like this:

    Service Adviser: "Your front brake rotors are down to about 15%. The
    pads have a lifetime warranty, but you need new rotors."

    I: "How much are they going to cost me?"

    SA: "$220."

    I: "You can't just skim the present rotors?" [I now see that this was a
    stupid question: if the rotors are already getting near the end of their
    life, skimming them is just going to make them thinner.]

    SA: "We could skim them, but that's still going to cost you $60 dollars
    and would void the warranty on the pads." [How come he didn't tell me
    that skimming already-too-thin rotors doesn't make any sense? And how
    would skimming rotors help unless they were scored or out of true? -- of
    which there was no evidence.]

    ISTM that what he should have told me was that the pads were getting
    near the end of their life and that although the replacement pads were
    free I'd still be up for the labor charge -- and that it would be
    advisable to replace the rotors while I was about it.

    Percival P. Cassidy, Jun 11, 2009
  11. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    Rotors are almost always good for a 2 sets of pads. Unless you feel a
    pulsing in the brake pedal or a shimmy in the steering wheel when you
    apply the brakes, you don't need to change the rotors.
    I think you mean that the old pads were 75% worn compared to the new

    Meaning that there was maybe 1/8" of pad material left.

    $60 is a bit steep for a set of pads.
    He wants to sell you new rotors regardless the condition of your current
    ones. And he wants to charge you almost 3 times the retail price for
    Because the rotors weren't worn enough to begin with. There is a
    minimum thickness number stamped on all rotors. The service guy knows
    that turning them (the technical term for skimming or resurfacing them)
    won't bring them down to that level. So he's not going to lie to you
    that he can't turn them.
    It should only cost $10 each to turn rotors. This guy is hosing you big

    He's trying to scare you about the warranty being voided because of
    turning the rotors. He'd rather you pay $220 for an $80 pair of rotors.
    Because he wants to sell you new rotors. Your existing ones are fine.
    If these pads were under lifetime waranty, then clearly they are not
    going to make much money on you if all you do is get them replaced (for
    free) and just pay the labor. They want to extract more money from you,
    and selling you new rotors for 3x the street price is how they do it.

    And like I said, changing the pads (and rotor if necessary) is one of
    the easiest things a driveway mechanic can do and save a ton of dough
    while doing it. On a scale where you look at the $$$ you save and the
    effort, time, and hassle, doing your own oil change ranks on the low end
    of the scale, and a brake job is at the high end.

    Let me guess. He made you second guess yourself and you let him replace
    the rotors for $220. What did the whole thing cost? Just under $400
    with tax?
    MoPar Man, Jun 12, 2009
  12. Percival P. Cassidy

    News Guest

    No wonder they call some of them stealerships...
    News, Jun 12, 2009
  13. Percival P. Cassidy

    Licker Guest

    Someone wrote: "He made you second guess yourself and you let him replace
    the rotors for $220.'

    If you buy parts from a dealership they cost more then from places like
    Autozone. I just purchased two new rotors and pads from my wife's Dodge
    through the dealership and the cost was 128 dollars for both rotors and
    pads. This is with a discount since she works there.

    If he was quoted 220 dollars for the front brake job I would believe that is
    probably right since the parts are probably about the same as my wife's car
    and the rest would be labor charge. Not sure what the shop manual calls for
    in regards to labor but my old 3/4 ton truck calls for 1.8 hours to change
    the rotor and pads.

    Bottom-line it is cheaper to do it your self then to pay someone else.

    As far as the dealer wanting to replace the rotors and not turn them without
    measuring them your neighbor can say they look ok but can he be sure.
    Rotors have a minimum machine to specification. Sometimes it is cast on the
    rotor if not you have to look up the factory specification to determine.

    I have done many of brake jobs in my driveway as a kid and young adult. I
    no longer even attempt any repairs unless I absolutely have to. I purchase
    the parts and I call one of the mechanics that work at my wife's dealership
    over for some good food and a suitcase of beer. I watch him fix the vehicle
    while I start on the suitcase. When he finishes then he helps me finish it.
    Cheapest labor I ever paid for and I don't even get dirty any more.
    Licker, Jun 12, 2009
  14. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    A suitcase of beer?

    I am unfamiliar with that unit of measure.
    MoPar Man, Jun 12, 2009
  15. I assumed that the $60 was to remove, turn and replace the rotors.
    My understanding was that $220 (excluding tax) was for the whole job.

    Moreover, as I wrote already, I bought the rotors ($40 ea.) and pads
    ($60 for the set of four -- ceramic with lifetime warranty) at AutoZone.
    I did the job myself in my driveway -- with a little advice from my
    auto-mechanic neighbor and the unsolicited loan of his torque wrench.

    Percival P. Cassidy, Jun 12, 2009
  16. Percival P. Cassidy

    Licker Guest

    A suitcase of beer?

    Is a 24 pack that has the handle in the box you carry it like a suitcase.
    It cost about 18 to 19 bucks for the brand he and I drink. Cheaper brands
    go for about 14 dollars.
    Licker, Jun 12, 2009
  17. Percival P. Cassidy

    Licker Guest

    Percival P. Cassidy wrote: "My understanding was that $220 (excluding tax)
    was for the whole job. Moreover, as I wrote already, I bought the rotors
    ($40 ea.) and pads ($60 for the set of four -- ceramic with lifetime
    warranty) at AutoZone. I did the job myself in my driveway -- with a little
    advice from my auto-mechanic neighbor and the unsolicited loan of his torque

    So parts cost you around 100 dollars plus tax. How much time did it take
    you for do the job? Your time should include, getting parts, tools, jacking
    up the car, actually doing the job, and putting everything back up, clean
    up. now Multiply that by your hourly salary and see how much your labor cost
    to do the job. Let say from start to finish took you 3 hours. You make 25
    dollars and hour then the total job would have cost 175 dollars for you to
    do it yourself. So you saved a about 45 dollars.

    Like I said also it is usually cheaper to do it yourself but sometimes its
    not worth the hassle. What the dealer was charging was about right for a
    front axel brake job. If you take in consideration the parts or higher then
    AutoZone and them labor charge is probably around 70 to 100 dollars and

    What you gained by doing it yourself is experience on doing this type of job
    in the future and self satisfaction of a good job. Congratulations on a
    good job.

    That still does not answer your question in why the dealer wanted to change
    your rotors. Did he measure them? Did you measure them when your removed
    them to see if they could have been reused. What about hard spots
    (discoloration onthe surface). Did you see any on the old rotors?

    There have been plenty of debate on whether rotors should be replaced or
    turned during brake service. Different manufactures make different
    recommendations. GM states the rotors should not be turned or changed at
    every pad replacement unless there is issues with severe scoring with depth
    in excess of 1.5 mm or 0.060 inch, pulsation from excessive lateral runout
    of more than .080 mm or .003 inch, thickness variation in excess of 0.025 mm
    or 0.001 inch, or excessive corrosion on rotor braking surfaces. Technical
    bulletin #00-05-22-002 by GM.

    So the bottomline is why did he want to change the rotors? Was it to make
    money or because his mechanic actually seen something wrong with the rotors?
    Many shops want to replace the rotors to help prevent return customers
    because of things like brake puslation and other issues that may occur after
    a brake job. chane everything the first time and do not have to worry about
    a return job.
    Licker, Jun 12, 2009
  18. Percival P. Cassidy

    MoPar Man Guest

    Yes. In my case, I bought a set of rear pads and rotors a few months
    ago for my 300m. Bought it at Canada Tire. Total (with tax) came to
    just about $100. The parts were "on sale".
    Haven't done it yet. That's the beauty of doing it yourself. You
    choose the time, right in your own driveway. No need to deal with the
    schedule of a shop, of leaving it with them for an undetermined period
    of time, and arranging transportation while they have the car.
    Takes less time to get the parts than it does to arrange for the job to
    be done at a shop (you go in, wait to be served, talk to the guy, have
    him draw up a quote, sign it, come back later, wait to be served, talk
    about the job, be shown the final paper work, sign the paperwork and pay
    for the job).
    The tools required for a brake job are among the most simple and sparse
    set of tools for any significant servicing you can do to a car. Anyone
    that drives a car should at least have the tools required to raise a
    corner of the car to take off a wheel and a lug wrench to actually take
    said wheel off. Beyond that, an ordinary wrench or socket to remove
    caliper bolts, a C clamp or small vise, and that's pretty much all the
    tools you need.
    A small $35 hydaulic shop jack (the kind with 4 wheels and a tubular
    handle) is all you need to do the job quickly and safely. Anyone who
    changes or rotates their own tires should already have one.
    Two hours after dinner.
    You are presuming that someone is already paying me while I would
    otherwise be sitting on my couch, watching TV with a beer in my hand?
    I believe I just shot that point all to hell.
    Changing you timing belt is probably not worth the hassle, especially if
    it's the first time (and the last time) you're ever going to do it on
    the car in question. Doing a brake job is a much different story.
    What the dealer did wrong was practically force the guy to buy new
    rotors for almost 3 times the going retail price. How do you square
    MoPar Man, Jun 13, 2009
  19. Percival P. Cassidy

    Licker Guest

    MoPar Man wrote: "What the dealer did wrong was practically force the guy
    to buy new rotors for almost 3 times the going retail price. How do you
    square that?"

    As I said parts a the dealership always cost more then places like AutoZone.
    For reference the list price for 2001 Chrysler 300M is around 80 dollars at
    the dealership. As far as the dealership wanting to change the rotors I can
    not speak for said dealership since I was not there. Maybe the dealership
    measure the thickness of the rotors and found them to be near the minimum
    thickness. Maybe the dealership found hard spots (discoloration) on the
    rotor and turn them would only remove them for a short period and would
    return after a few hundred miles. If he changed the rotors he would likely
    have less problems with the owner returning due to brakes pulsating, pulling
    or other braking issues.

    When I was younger, before I tackled any job, I considered how much time it
    took me to complete the task. I know what I make per hour and I figure if I
    can pay someone cheaper to do them what my time is worth. So instead of
    getting hot and sweat in my driveway, I could be fishing or drinking beer
    while enjoying the finer things in life.

    I never waited around any shop why my vehicle is being worked on as I make
    arrangement with the shop to work on my vehicle while I am at work.
    Licker, Jun 13, 2009
  20. Percival P. Cassidy

    Bill Putney Guest

    That is why warranties and dealer services have been absolutely
    worthless to me over the years and I became a DIY'er. They warranty the
    pads, but what good is that if the conditions they put on what YOU have
    to do and pay for for the warranty to be honored costs more than doing
    your own maintenance or even paying a competent independent shop to do
    your maintenance.

    And it's a moot point of whether to have them turn rotors that are below
    the limit - it is illegal for a shop to turn rotors below the limit
    stated by the manufacturer - it is considered a legal limit - not just a
    *recommended* limit.
    Bill Putney, Jun 17, 2009
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