B-reg Ford C-Max 1600 CDi repairs

One-off advice/counsel on likely garage bill, before I take her in… :thinking::cry:

She’s done nearly 200,000 km and has been regularly serviced, we’ve owned her 3 years of trouble free driving.

As we began our return journey from Paris yesterday, I noticed a fall-off in braking efficiency and the beginning of a scraping noise from the front discs.

Perhaps unwisely, but inevitably as we were almost broke and keen to get home after our wonderful stay chez Warren Joiner, I decided to press on (very lightly and cautiously), on a route that was pretty seamlessly À-roads almost all the way, with five péages.

By dint of very aware roadmanship :thinking::pray: and using the gearbox to ‘brake’ when feasible, we made it safely home. But I reckon pads, shoes/calipers or whatever and discs are probably shot, the grinding got worse towards the end of the 300km journey.

Any rough estimates about the cost of repair, worst case scenario from the ranks of the automotive cognoscenti? TIA… :hugs:

If it’s just discs and pads, maybe around 400€. Should be a couple of hours work plus parts.
It’s not a big job and certainly not one that justifies scrapping a car that is OK in all other respects, more routine maintenance really.
You could phone around for a few quotes - Feu Vert, Speedy etc.
But if you have a trusted local man, he might give it a look over and tell you if there are any other potential problems before starting work.
Good luck and welcome home!

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Thanks, Mike. I hadn’t considered the ‘chains’ since coming to France, I’ve used local garagistes, but have no measuring stick to judge their value for money. I will look more widely, but get a local devis for comparisons.

@Mark_Rimmer

can you give Peter any guidance… I realize you are a world away… but some thoughts perhaps… :upside_down_face: :upside_down_face:

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I think they might give you an automated online quote if you key in your Reg. No. It is a fairly standard job.

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If I was doing it myself i’d hope for under 100 euros for the gear
Fairly straight forward
Edit : A quick ebay mooch £50 gets you the discs / pads
i have used Auto-doc.fr for parts

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Prompted by Stella I will add my two pennyworth…

I would steer away from the chains if possible - they always manage to find other “problems” that need attention which helps their profits! A customer asked me to change the front pads on his 36000 km Peugeot. He had bought the pads from Oscaro so I only had to fit. Removing the wheels with their virtually brand new tyres I eas able to clearly see the brakes. What the mileage had told me was confirmed - the pads were not even halfway through their expected life & would be good for another 40,000 kms at least.
Another time a customer wanted them to repair a slow puncture on her “fun” car. The tyres were not worn & were in good condition, as confirmed by a recent CT. She was told that the tyres were over 10 years old & this made them illegal & a new set were required. Accepting their word she placed the order but rang me when she got home. She could not cancel the order with them (2 hours later) as they were a special order. There is no age limit for car tyres.
The job is not complicated so if you can find a trustworthy local garage costs should not be too bad.

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Peter, Discs 55GBP / Pair and the Pads around 40 GBP a set. Around 1.5 to 2 hours to change. And the C-Max will be good as new.

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Usually I would change pads at half worn, they aren’t expensive for most cars.
It means the piston has been half way out for a while and can lead to the brake caliper pistons to become pitted and struggle to go back in so i would change pads.
Some cars are more prone to brake caliper issues than others, no idea on this but Fords are usually okay.

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The DIY job is cheap and relatively easy. But it does require a certain amount of mechanical ability, as well as the appropriate tools. Although it is quite hard to get it wrong, the penalty for doing so is not worth the risk for the average punter.
I do my own, but I wouldn’t do it for anyone else. The responsibility is too great and I am not a qualified professional, nor do I have insurance.
My experience of the French service industry is that they are very professional - and so are their prices. But you have to take into account that their workers have decent conditions of employment, they have expensive, high quality garage equipment and their work is guaranteed and covered by insurance.
However, it is worth mentioning that there are many manufacturers of parts for popular models and although there is a great range of prices, there is little difference in quality or performance in use. But the professional will normally fit an expensive “known brand” part because, ostensibly, it gives him confidence that it will be reliable, but it will also allow him to benefit from a higher mark-up on the selling price.
A DIY repairer could benefit from considerably lower priced spares such as BÖLK, Mister Auto’s own brand.

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Peter,
I should have mentioned that it is quite “normal” for one pad to wear out first. Disc brakes are fairly unsophisticated mechanisms. But the symptoms you describe could also have been caused by a problem with a caliper and that might also need changing. Maybe another 70€, but they won’t know until they have looked at it.

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Dead right avoid the chains Peter. You can have the disks skimmed if they’re not too badly scored and the pads cost SFA - anybody with a bit of nouse can do that for you. Just make a few calls… I’d do it myself for you if I was in your neck of the woods.

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IMO there is no way pads should wear unevenly Mike. if there’s a “problem” with the caliper the car will pull to one side.

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Peter, another thought just struck me. In 1975 I bought a 1971 Autobianchi A112 (my second car :slightly_smiling_face:) and it had a (for its day) a sophisticated pad wear thingy. There was a wire in the pad which when the pad wore down touched the disk, made an earth and a warning light come on. I presume “modern” cars also have pad wear indicators. Later had a brand spanking new car that developed a bad grinding noise from a disk but no warning light. What had happened was a small stone or pebble had become trapped somewhere in the pad/disk/calliper area. Maybe somebody just needs to take your front wheels off and have a poke around.

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Not very sophisticated! And dishonest repairers have been known to cut the wires, charge for a repair and send the customer on his way, knowing that there is a couple of thousand miles of wear left in the pads.
In my experience, pads always wear unevenly. The outer pads wear faster and the driver’s side goes first.
Skimming is no longer done, because it reduces the heat capacity of the disc. Engraved on the edge of discs is a number indicating the minimal legal thickness allowable. By the time you need to know that, it will be so rusty as to be unreadable! But the numbers can be found online.
In the early days of disc brakes “brake fade” was common. As the discs heated up, they became less efficient. Drivers going down steep hills, who relied on their brakes, rather than selecting a lower gear, would discover this, sometimes too late!

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Suddenly everyone’s a garagiste!

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@Peter_Goble

Why not take the car to wherever has regularly serviced the car… you presumably have faith in them. They can inspect and tell you what is happening/has happened.
It might be something… it might be “nothing”… just a pebble… who knows…

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It’s alright Mark everyone in the UK is a virologist, epidemiologist, pharmacologist with a side line in policing skills,equine studies etc all from the comfort of their own armchair

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400 euro is a little much don’t you think

Stella,
I think Peter intends to go to the local garage, but he asked what it is likely to cost and I gave him a ball park figure and suggested that he could easily find out what the “chains” charge.
You have copied part of Peter’s original post and will be aware that he has had the car three years, so his latest Control Technique will have been a year ago. The probability of the break pads being worn out is therefore very likely.
When a car isn’t running properly it is never “nothing!”

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