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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am overdue for new brakes/rotors on my 2005 9-3 Arc. I am far from a gear head so I am looking for your opinion on what to do (and I am sure I will get a lot of it :)). I live in the Indianapolis area and take my Saab to a great shop called Euro Motorworks. I have been taking it to them for a couple of years for significant repairs because I trust them and they seem to do good work, but not because they are inexpensive. I had them quote brakes and it was quite pricey. My family (like many) is trying to save money wherever we can. I feel like brakes are a repair that is difficult to screw up (I have actually done them myself on a different vehicle) and have a hard time justifying the extra $ to do it there. However, I want to make sure I am getting OE parts and not cheap parts. So my questions are:

  • Is it safe/a good idea to take it to any old "brake shop" to get the repairs done?
  • If so, what should I be aware of and/or specify to make sure I am getting OE parts?
  • What pad/rotor brands/models do you recommend?
  • If there is anyone in the Indy area reading this (or even a good national chain), do you have any recommendations for brake work?
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Personally, I try my best to stay away from national chains. Most of them hire cheap labor, which you may be paying for from negligence. If I were you, buy the parts yourself and ask for the labor costs. Most specialty shops (euro, domestic, jap; or brake & alignment shops) tend to be a bit more civil and honest about their work. The do-it-all shops that talk big game, I stay away from

You can get the akebono pads from AAP for about $55/pair after discounts
Also check brakeperformance for rotors. Their premium slotted rotors are said to be high quality and can be had for under $100/pair.
Tip: in the cart page from brakeperformance, try to navigate away from the page by moving your cursor to the back button. There should be a screen popup which will offer you a $5 discount for your brakes if you "buy today" (only happens when you try to navigate away by dragging the mouse; backspace and back button on mouse wont work)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I got a quote from a chain and it was inline with the specialty shop (which were both expensive IMO). So I will likely just go with the specialty shop I trust. Thanks again.
 

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I just made a long post on how to change the brakes on 2007 Saab.

I used the rotors and pads from brakeperformance.com...

pictures

 

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OEM Rotors and Akebono or Hawk Ceramic Pads.

An Indy could be 20 to 30 percent less than a Dealer for Labor. It's a Brake Job, experienced mechanics can figure it out. A lot of guys here have DIY for the first time following directions in the Forum. It's not Brain Surgery.
 

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Since everyone will have a different opinion on rotors and pads I'll leave that alone. But I will agree on the part about staying away from national chains and dealerships. I work in the auto part business and I see the mark up on parts and labor. Brake jobs are basic. If you don't feel confident in doing it yourself get a quote from a local mechanic or three.
 

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I have to recommend staying with your trusted shop. Brakes are just not something you want done wrong see how much they charge for just labor.

I would get the pads and rotors online. I have seen shops easily quote double what you could pay online for quality parts.

I use EBC Yellow pads, which I think are the best pads for our cars, and the most expensive, but still much cheaper than OEMs. Akebonos have good reviews otherwise. I am not sure about rotors.
 

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Parts and labor at the dealer are about $1100 for all 4 rotors and pads. Seems pricey but that's life in a Euro car.

There are some cheaper alternatives but be careful. You can always go to the dealer and get the parts, which btw are very good, and have a local shop install them. And don't consider turning them. Many people including myself have problems with that however a few have had luck.

I'm guessing your Euro indy has a good source for parts and if in the ballbark I'd use them since you've had good luck with them.
 
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