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Is It Worth Getting Brakes Done At The Dealership?

Having your brakes serviced is one of the most important maintenance tasks for your vehicle. But is it really worth paying dealership prices to have it done?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the pros and cons so you can decide if dealership brake jobs are right for your needs.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Getting your brakes serviced at the dealership can be worth it due to their expertise, use of factory parts, and warranty on work.

However, it’s usually more expensive than local mechanics, so consider your budget and needs.

Background on Brake Service Intervals and Costs

Regular brake service is essential for maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle. Over time, brake pads wear down and need to be replaced, and other brake components may require adjustment or replacement as well.

The frequency at which brakes need to be serviced can vary depending on several factors.

Brake system

How often brakes need servicing

The interval at which brakes should be serviced can depend on your driving habits, the type of vehicle you have, and the quality of your brake components.

As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to have your brakes inspected at least once a year or every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.

However, this can vary depending on factors such as driving in stop-and-go traffic, towing heavy loads, or driving in mountainous areas.

It’s important to note that brake service intervals may vary between different vehicle manufacturers.

It is advisable to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for specific guidelines on when to have your brakes serviced.

Average brake service costs at dealerships vs. local shops

When it comes to getting your brakes serviced, you may have the option to take your vehicle to a dealership or a local auto repair shop. It’s worth considering the differences in cost and service quality between the two.

Dealerships often have higher labor rates compared to local shops, which can result in higher overall costs for brake service.

However, dealerships generally use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, which are specifically designed for your vehicle. These parts are often of higher quality and may come with a warranty.

On the other hand, local shops may offer more competitive pricing and have lower labor rates. They may also offer aftermarket parts, which can be more affordable but may not have the same level of quality or warranty as OEM parts.

Comparing specific costs can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the extent of the brake service needed.

It’s recommended to get quotes from both dealerships and local shops to determine the best option for your budget and needs.

Benefits of Getting Brakes Done at the Dealership

Mechanics are factory-trained experts on your make & model

One of the major benefits of getting your brakes done at the dealership is that the mechanics are factory-trained experts on your specific make and model of vehicle.

They have in-depth knowledge and experience working with the braking systems of your car, so they understand the intricacies and nuances that come with it.

This expertise allows them to diagnose any issues accurately and efficiently, ensuring that your brakes are repaired or replaced correctly the first time.

According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, dealership mechanics typically receive specialized training directly from the manufacturer, making them highly qualified to handle complex repairs like brake replacements.

So, when you choose to get your brakes done at the dealership, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in the hands of professionals who are well-versed in your specific car’s braking system.


Use OEM parts from the manufacturer

Another advantage of getting your brakes done at the dealership is that they use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts are designed and produced by the same manufacturer that made your vehicle, ensuring the highest quality and compatibility.

These parts are specifically engineered to fit and function optimally with your car’s braking system, providing you with the best performance and longevity.

Using OEM parts not only guarantees a proper fit but also helps maintain your car’s warranty. Many warranties require that repairs and replacements be done using OEM parts to ensure the vehicle’s integrity.

By choosing the dealership for your brake service, you can be confident that only genuine parts will be used, keeping your warranty intact and your vehicle running smoothly.

Offer warranty on parts & labor

When you get your brakes done at the dealership, you can often take advantage of warranties on both parts and labor. This means that if any issues arise with the brakes or the repair work after the service, you can have them addressed at no additional cost.

Dealerships stand behind their work and the quality of the parts they use, providing you with added peace of mind and protection.

Warranties vary by dealership, so it’s important to inquire about the specific terms and coverage before proceeding with the brake service. However, having a warranty in place can save you money and provide reassurance that you are getting a reliable repair job.

Downsides of Dealership Brake Service

Significantly more expensive than local mechanics

One of the major downsides of getting your brakes done at a dealership is the cost. Dealerships often charge significantly higher prices for brake services compared to local mechanics.

This is because dealerships generally have higher overhead costs and may use more expensive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts.

According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, dealership brake services can be up to 30% more expensive than those offered by independent repair shops.

While the cost may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, it’s important to consider the potential financial impact of choosing a dealership for your brake service.

May recommend unnecessary services

Another potential downside of dealership brake service is the possibility of being recommended unnecessary services.

Some dealerships have been known to upsell customers on additional repairs or maintenance that may not be immediately necessary.

This could include replacing brake pads or rotors that still have a significant amount of life left in them.

It’s always a good idea to ask for a detailed explanation of why a particular service is being recommended and to get a second opinion if you have any doubts.

Quality can vary between dealership locations

Not all dealerships are created equal when it comes to the quality of their brake service.

While some dealership service departments may have highly skilled technicians and state-of-the-art equipment, others may fall short in terms of expertise and resources.

It’s important to do your research and read reviews before deciding on a dealership for your brake service.

Keep in mind that even within the same dealership brand, the quality of service can vary between locations.

Taking the time to find a reputable dealership with a track record of providing excellent brake service can help ensure that you receive the quality you expect.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Where to Go

When it comes to getting your brakes done, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is where to go for the service.

While many people automatically think of taking their car to the dealership, there are several factors to consider before making this choice.

Your vehicle’s age and warranty status

The age and warranty status of your vehicle are important factors to consider when deciding where to get your brakes done. If your car is still under warranty, it may be beneficial to take it to the dealership for service.

This is because having the work done at the dealership can help preserve your warranty and ensure that any necessary repairs are done correctly.

However, if your vehicle is older and no longer under warranty, you may have more flexibility in choosing where to go.

vehicle's age and warranty status

Your budget constraints

Another factor to consider is your budget. Dealerships are often more expensive than independent repair shops, so if you’re on a tight budget, it may be worth exploring other options.

Independent repair shops can often provide quality brake service at a lower cost. It’s important to do your research and compare prices to find the best option for your budget.

Your preference for OEM parts

If you have a preference for using OEM parts, you may lean towards going to the dealership. Dealerships typically use OEM parts, which are designed specifically for your vehicle.

However, independent repair shops may also offer OEM parts or high-quality aftermarket options. It’s important to inquire about the parts they use and ensure they meet your preferences and standards.

Importance of warranty on work

Consider the importance of a warranty on the work that will be done on your brakes.

Dealerships often provide warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that if something goes wrong, you can bring your vehicle back for repairs.

Independent repair shops may also offer warranties, but it’s important to inquire about their warranty policies before making a decision.

Ultimately, the decision of where to go for brake service depends on a variety of factors, including your vehicle’s age and warranty status, your budget constraints, your preference for OEM parts, and the importance of a warranty on the work.

Consider these factors carefully and make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and priorities.

Alternatives to the Dealership

Independent local mechanics

When it comes to getting your brakes done, one alternative to consider is taking your vehicle to an independent local mechanic.

These professionals often have years of experience and can provide the same level of service as a dealership at a lower cost.

Plus, they may have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling appointments and can often provide a more personalized experience.

It’s always a good idea to do some research and read reviews before choosing a mechanic to ensure you find a reliable and trustworthy one.

Brake shop chains

Another option to consider is going to a brake shop chain. These chains specialize in brake services and have locations throughout the country.

They often have competitive pricing and can offer a wide range of brake services, including brake inspections, pad replacements, and rotor resurfacing.

Additionally, many brake shop chains offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.

It’s important to note that not all brake shop chains are created equal, so be sure to check reviews and ask for recommendations before making a decision.

Mobile brake service companies

If you’re looking for convenience and flexibility, a mobile brake service company might be the right choice for you.

These companies come to your location, whether it’s your home or office, and perform the brake services on-site. This means you don’t have to take time out of your day to drive to a shop and wait for the work to be done.

Mobile brake service companies often have lower overhead costs compared to traditional brick-and-mortar shops, allowing them to offer competitive pricing.

Additionally, they may use quality parts and provide warranties on their work. Just like with any other service provider, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable mobile brake service company.

Ultimately, the decision of where to get your brakes done depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the level of service you’re looking for.

While dealerships can offer the advantage of using OEM parts and specialized knowledge, alternatives such as independent mechanics, brake shop chains, and mobile brake service companies can provide quality service at a lower cost.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and choose the option that best suits your needs.


Getting your brakes serviced at the dealership has some significant advantages, especially if factory parts and warranty are important to you.

However, the higher cost means it may not make sense for everyone’s budget and needs.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons against your specific vehicle, requirements, and financial situation.

In some cases, you can get quality service for less from reputable local shops. Make sure to get quotes from multiple providers so you can make the right decision for your brakes.

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