BLUF: Replacing your own vehicle brakes is a good way to save money and the military provides excellent resources to assist.
Replace Your Own Brakes To Save Money
I was at a BBQ the other day and a friend mentioned that he had to make an appointment to get his brakes replaced, they were squealing.
I like saving money, but I also like assisting others in saving as well. Therefore, I took the opportunity to tell him that brakes are easy to replace and I will help him out if he was interested. He was absolutely interested in saving ~$200-250. We set up a time the following weekend and replaced the front brakes in about an hour, super easy.
If you have never replaced brakes before, do not be intimidated. It is fairly easy and there are solid resources to assist.
How To Do It
I first recommend watching YouTube videos on your specific vehicle to become familiar with the basic idea of how to do it.
Go to the auto parts store and get the replacement pads. Most auto parts stores offer military discounts.
The tool required are minimal. You should have in your vehicle all the tools needed to lift your vehicle and take a tire off. Only a few others tools are required, usually a wrench and a c-clamp.
- Use the DIY auto repair shops on base
- The costs are minimal to rent a vehicle bay
- Trained mechanics are there to assist you
- They have all the tools required
- Have someone who has done it before help you
- Just use YouTube and do it yourself
- Recommend reading the manual on your vehicle as well
Cost of auto repair shop:
According to AutoServiceCosts brake repair costs ~$100-300 per axle. Prices increase if calipers, rotors, or other components need servicing as well. Most places I have lived, brake replacement costs were at the higher end.
Cost of supplies:
Brake pad costs vary depending on type of vehicle and quality of brakes. Choosing quality brake pads usually cost around ~$40.
Therefore, the savings on one axle is about ~$200-250.
- You will better understand how the brake system works
- Able to replace with high quality brakes, not standard quality
- Learn how to use your vehicle’s jack
- More comfortable on how to use your spare tire in an emergency
Have fun changing brakes and saving money. Do not forget to have a beer while doing it.