Barker Muffler & Brake Tells Customers Why They Will NEVER Perform a $79 Brake Job

barker-muffler-and-brakeYou often see shops advertising a “bare bones” brake job price just to get customers in the door. Barker Muffler and Brake of Portland, OR has a better idea, tell the customer truth about why they will never attempt to do a cheap “pad slap” brake job.

From Barker’s website:

A person is as likely to receive a good, high quality brake job for $89.00 as he is likely to get a good quality meal for 89 cents. It is possible that if all that is needed in the brake job are new pads, or all that you want in the restaurant is a quick snack, then the final price and the advertised price may be the same, but in most cases, the customer usually spends more money.


The most powerful marketing tool is not gimmicks or a “get you in the door” price, it is the truth. Honest conversation that focuses in on the customers real needs far outweighs the need for a bargain.

Barker lists the five reasons why they can’t and wont do cheap brake jobs:

We don’t do $89.00 brake jobs for the following reasons;

  1. We don’t want the comebacks and customer complaints associated with using inferior materials and inexperienced labor.
  2. We don’t want the increased chance of legal liability connected with the use of inferior materials and inexperienced labor.
  3. We don’t want to have to use high pressure sales techniques to up sell a job so we can make a profit.
  4. Right now, we enjoy an “A” rating on ANGIE’S LIST, (the highest rating they give out). Using “cheap parts” would no doubt cause unhappy customer to give us a bad rating, and we don’t want that. Our reputation is all we have and we don’t want it destroyed.
  5. Lastly, we want happy customers, because happy customers come back. The bitterness of poor quality lasts much longer than the sweetness of a low price.

Thank you to Barker’s for being honest about safety!

Journalist Rants About Carbon Ceramic Brakes on Press Vehicle

PICT0032I was once given press fleet vehicles to review for a magazine I wrote for. I was young and stupid, but most of all I feared if I wrote something too negative I would be taken off the list. I was getting a free car for the week that was worth more than what I made in a year. But, there are some journalist who go out on a limb and complain.

I just finished a week in a $177,000 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the German sports-car maker’s top-of-the-line, super-fast twin-turbo V-8-powered SUV. It’s a remarkable machine — sleek, ridiculously quick, crazy expensive and possessed of one quality that drove everybody who rode in the machine absolutely nuts. The brakes squealed like a poorly maintained diesel city bus.”


This is what’s Aaron Bragman wrote about the Carbon Ceramic brakes on the Cayenne he was reviewing. This brake package has the fancy yellow calipers and is a more than $8,000 option. Bragman questions the logic of offering these as an option on luxury vehicles that may never see the race track.

The noise made every stopping event more about figuring out how to modulate the brakes to prevent noise instead of enjoying the amazingly firm and fade-free properties of the huge stoppers. That’s not an attribute any car should have let alone a new six-figure one.

I would hate to explain to a wealthy owner that ticking all the option boxes on a vehicle caused him to make for “less” of a vehicle that did not meet his expectation. But it seems that more and more six-figure cars and SUVs are offering this as an upgrade like Jaguar, Maserati and Chevy.

Read the Full Review  

VIDEO: DIY Mistake Leads to Unusual Rear Brake Pad Wear Pattern on an Acura

User FixStuff on YouTube made a great video to explain how not lining up the tabs on the brake pad backing plates to the rear caliper piston can lead to an odd brake wear pattern. On some vehicles the pad and piston can come into alignment after the vehicle is driven or the parking brake is actuated multiple times. But the majority of the time, the pad remains cocked in the bracket.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Neglected Brake Fluid Level and Possible Recall Does Not Mean it Was Not Your Fault

This is just a warning to everyone who drives, CHECK YOUR BRAKE FLUID LEVEL. If the fluid gets too low, the master cylinder will suck air. When it sucks air, you lose brake pressure.

All vehicles have a red “BRAKE” light on the dash. It comes on for only three reasons:

1. You left the parking brake on.

2. The system has lost pressure.

3. The fluid has level has drop past a critical level.

You should NEVER drive with this light on. I am more than willing to bet the light was on long before she ran over three people. The corroded GM brake line defense does not hold water with me.


Brake Pad Reviews: What to expect

Reviewing a brake pad can be difficult. But, there are some visual clues when you take it out of the box to tell if a brake pad is junk or the best value for the money.

Our expert has more the 25 years of experience servicing brakes, writing about brakes and has spoken at the SAE Brake Colloquium on aftermarket brakes. He is an ASE Certified Undercar Technician. He has visited brake manufacturing facilities around the world to find what makes the best brake pad.

What to expect from the reviews? These reviews will focus on what is in the box and what technologies are incorporated into the pad. The reviewer will focus on the backing plate, hardware, edge code, friction shape and what is in the box to make the job easier.

Here is an example using a “salesman sample” from NUCAP  to give you an idea of what a review will look like:

BTW, there is no such thing as a clear brake pad.


What line do you want reviewed? Leave your comment below