Originally Posted by lsdude
I just came from JM Lexus. They want to replace my front/rear pads and resurface the rotors (since it's pulsating) for $540. The pads have a lifetime warranty (includes labor) which is a bonus since I plan to keep my car for a long time. If I buy pads and new front/rear rotors from Sewell, it's $570 with shipping. The brakes have already been replaced once at 37k miles from the previous owner. It's currently at 60k. Should I invest in new rotors and start replacing the pads myself? Or should I let the dealer do the work knowing that I'll have to buy rotors from them in the future?
I'm always very leary of "lifetime" anything, it usually means you're getting hustled.
My guess is everytime you go in for brakes they'll make you buy new rotors or charge you an arm and a leg to resurface, so it's likely a gimmick where you'd be paying about the same rate if there was no "lifetime" attached to it. I just don't think you're every going to get out of a dealership with a truly "free" brake job because of that warranty, they will likely find a way to ding you somewhere else.
You could just buy aftermarket, I've had really good luck with Wagner Thermoquiet ceramic pads and Centric premium rotors and install yourself. It's about $150 per side (front or back)
My guess is, you don't need your rear pads and rotors done, it's rare they all go out at the same time. Dealerships are notorious for trying to get customers to replace all 4, when the rears only need to be changed around once every 100k miles. So look over your service history if you can't visually inspect them and see when they were last done.
What they're asking for is considered "fair" for changing pads at a dealership, but it's a very simple job that any independent shop or shade tree owner could bang out in about a half hour. I would learn to do the job yourself and look at the DIY threads for help.