Brake Repair:

Dealership Vs. Local Shop


Going to a dealership for every service could leave you several hundred dollars lighter and won’t benefit your vehicle at all. The Tunerworks Inspection Report is provided to you at no-charge at every Oil Service, and includes an expert inspection of your entire braking system.

When purchasing any vehicle, especially a brand new one, you may think that it’s in your best interest to have all your services and maintenance performed at the dealership. Perhaps you think the dealership will be more reliable, more in-tune with your specific vehicle, better for your warranty, or better for your resale value.

However, the truth is a little more nuanced. Going to a dealership for every service, without considering other options, could leave you several hundred dollars lighter and won’t benefit your vehicle at all.
Standard Brake Service

Brake servicing is a standard part of auto maintenance, just like changing your oil or replacing old tires. It’s important to have your brakes checked by a good mechanic because they can spot the differences between normal wear and tear and a more serious issue.

Noticing Brake Problems

Most brake issues develop slowly, giving you many telltale signs of a problem before you would even notice a reduction in your vehicle’s braking ability. While driving, it’s important to pay attention to how your brakes are working so you can pick up on any issues before they become serious.

The Tunerworks Inspection Report is provided to you at no-charge at every Oil Service, and includes an expert inspection of your entire braking system. That being said, here are a few signs of wear and damage that you can watch out for between Oil Services.

Brake indicator light: This one is a true no-brainer; if your car is displaying the brake indicator light, then your vehicle’s computer diagnostic system has noticed a problem. If you see the indicator, you should get your vehicle to the shop as soon as possible.

Burning smell while braking: A burning smell while applying the brakes generally indicates overheating. If your brakes aren’t given the chance to cool you could actually boil the brake fluid, resulting in seriously reduced braking performance. If this issue is persistent, you should bring your car to the shop.

Unpleasant noises while braking: If your brake pads wear down completely, your callipers will come into direct contact with the rotors. As both these components are metal, you will hear loud grinding, squealing, or squeaking noises caused by the metal-on-metal friction. If you hear these noises, you should not delay in getting your car to the shop: brake pad replacement is cheap, but replacing damaged rotors and callipers is not.

Vehicle is consistently pulling to one side while braking: This is a telltale sign that your brakes are experiencing uneven wear. Get to the shop, and we should be able to keep you going (and stopping) in a straight line.

Your driving style has a huge role to play in the longevity of your brakes. Drivers with a “lead foot” will experience much faster brake degradation than drivers who spend more time coasting and timing lights. The best way to avoid serious brake issues and costly brake repairs is to regularly visit a mechanic for standard maintenance. This will enable preventative maintenance to keep your brakes in proper working order, rather than waiting for something to go wrong.

Why Choose the Experts at Tunerworks over a Dealership?

Saving money is the most obvious reason to visit our team for repairs that aren’t covered by your vehicle’s warranty. You may be surprised to learn how much you can save on standard maintenance at a local independent auto shop vs the dealership.

We all want to make sure our vehicles get the best treatment available, but no vehicle owner will turn down significant savings. CBS News wrote an article comparing the average yearly costs of car maintenance at the dealership (around $1600 CDN) to a local independent shop (just under $1200 CDN) for identical service. That’s an average yearly savings of over $400.

You will see savings when comparing the costs of both routine maintenance procedures and serious repairs at Tunerworks vs at a dealership.

What About My Warranty?

If a specific service or repair is covered by your vehicle’s warranty, it may make sense to go to the dealership rather than the local shop. If your warranty will pay for a repair at the dealership, you should take advantage of it.

That being said, many people worry about voiding their warranty by going to an independent shop for services and repairs. This is not usually the case – most warranties will not be voided by choosing to get service done by a certified independent shop. Our team will help you determine if repairs may be covered under your factory warranty. We have the ability to look up recalls and TSB’s (technical service bulletins) based on the VIN# of your vehicle, which helps us maintain your vehicle’s warranty.

The Tunerworks Service team carefully selects quality warranty approved brake parts and backs them with a 3 Year Labour Warranty! Be wary of unusually low-priced brake repair quotes…not all replacement brake parts are the same!

Best Brake Repair

If you’re looking for straight-up brake repair without any surprise fees, simply bring your vehicle to Tunerworks. Our experts will be happy to get you back on the road safely, quickly, and for less than your dealership.