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I went in to the Pep Boys in Naperville IL located at Route 59 & Route 34 and got a $500 quote to do brakes (pads, shoes, new rotors and new drums)on both axles of a 2006 Ford Taurus. Not a great price but a fair price so I gave them the go ahead.

The car had over 70,000 miles and the rear brakes were never done before. I had pulsing in the pedal and groaning from the rear axle and stipulated I wanted the rotors and drums for these reasons.

About 30 minutes later I get a call from the service writer that the mechanic says I do not need rear brakes but my rear wheel cylinders are leaking (one was blow out) and need to be replaced the new quote is $650 for front brakes and rear wheel cylinders. So if you break it down the original quote of $500 for brakes on two axles went to only one axle the front- approx$250 leaving the remainder of $400 for the two wheel cylinders; which as a former mechanic I can tell you is a joke. I told them to hold up I would be right in to inspect the wheel cylinders.

Going in I knew the rear shoes had to be worn after 70,000 miles and since I never had to put brake fluid in the car in 4 years the leak was certainly suspect. The inspection revealed a slight seep from one wheel cylinder (the shoes and most of the backing plate were not wet at all) nothing I would called blown out as it was described to me. The Brake shoes however were nearly to the metal near the bottom on both rear wheels. The Pep Boys certified Mechanic said these were still good?

I made the service writer get a new set of brake shoes out of parts and showed him and his Manager the excess wear they had intended to send me back on the road with. I told him with supposed certified techs on staff the best case explanation was his staff was ignorant the worst case was they were juicing the bill $400 to get $260 extra profit on a $140 wheel cylinder job. I made them put it back together (they did not charge me for their Brake Inspection) and I took it to the Ford Dealer the following Monday.

I got all four brakes and rear wheel cylinders (just in case) for $620. My advice given my experience is do not take your life in your hands (or that of your family) go to the Dealer.

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