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FCP Euro Brake Kit Sale

The best way to save money during your car ownership is by fixing it yourself. No matter what your car may need, a dealership will have a reasonably significant hourly rate that can push a simple service into an eye-wateringly expensive experience. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way, as many areas in our cars aren’t too complicated. With a little bit of direction and a few tools that you or someone you know almost definitely have, you can cut your maintenance bill by a considerable percentage and keep those all-important dollars in your pocket.

Why Do Shop Services Cost So Much?

There are many reasons to trust a professional with your vehicle’s repairs. Cars can be complicated with individual quirks that wouldn’t be apparent without the proper training or prior knowledge. Other times, jobs like timing chains and clutch replacements are within reason for an experienced DIYer but will require specialist tools that can easily double the job's price. Either case is unfortunate but a potential reality and requires finding a professional.

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Finding someone you can trust is challenging, so going to a factory-backed one is often a first choice. Dealerships are a safe bet for anyone with a vehicle under a decade old. Parts are likely still stocked or close by, and the technicians will have the right specialty tools to ensure nothing is damaged along the way. However, that all comes at a cost. 

Labor is charged hourly, and it’s not uncommon to find that figure well above the $200/hr mark. Dealerships charge the labor in set intervals that vary per job according to the manufacturer, known as “book time.” It’s a relatively vague number designed to set labor costs for jobs for customers and techs, though, for different reasons. Book time will differ between make and model, but generally speaking, it’ll always be longer than what you’d need to perform the job at home. For large and complicated services, that’s unavoidable, but for standard maintenance, it’s a luxury you don’t have to spring for.

How A DIY Can Save You Money

Doing it yourself and doing it right isn’t the same thing. Cars are assembled a particular way and often cannot deviate from that with much success. That said, areas like the brakes, oiling system, air filters, and ignition system have hardly changed over the last half-century and have been designed for easy access and simple repairs. Engineers understand their importance and create them with servicing in mind; that’s something you can take advantage of. 

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With some time and direction, you can replace those maintenance items for just the cost of the parts. In many cases, the completely avoidable cost of labor will double the price of the parts, and it’s not unheard of for that ratio to be even worse. Keeping the labor cost in your pocket can only lead to a better outcome for you, whether that means you can order more parts or fix your car while not missing out on a rent payment. The only other cost associated with a DIY is for whatever tools you may need to buy.

The Best Tools For At-home DIY

Picking up some tools for a first-time DIY unlocks your ability to service your car for as long as you want. Barring their misplacement, the tools you acquire will be around for DIYs to come, paying for themselves often within the first service. Getting yourself situated will cost upwards of a few hundred dollars if you’re devoid of any tools, but many are kinds you’d have acquired over the years for home tasks or will have available through a friend or family member to borrow, should you need to do so.

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If you need tools, a simple ratchet set, a torque wrench, a jack, and some jack stands can get you through almost anything at home and are often cheaper than professional labor. They’re the backbone of every mechanical job you can possibly tackle and should form the basis of your DIY arsenal. Which you choose is up to you, as there are hundreds of available individual sockets, ratchets, and wrenches on top of the grouped sets. That said, here’s a grouping of the best items for a tighter budget without sacrificing quality:

Beyond those main tools, there’s a large grouping of supporting tools that you can pick up depending on the job at hand. If you’re ever working under the car or on the suspension/brakes, you must have the wheels off the ground; a jack and jack-stands are the safest way to do that. The small jack in your car’s tool kit is meant for emergencies only and shouldn’t be used for long periods.  A funnel kit, drain pan, and oil filter wrench are inexpensive pieces that will cover you for oil changes and coolant flushes, making them some of the most used behind wrenches. 

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However, the most specialist tool of the bunch is the Motive Products Power Bleeder. The brake fluid bleeding process is unique within a vehicle and tedious but not overly complicated. At its most basic, it requires two people to complete, one manning the brake pedal and another to work the bleed screw. Picking up the Power Bleeder eliminates the need for a second person, giving you much more versatility on when you can service the all-important brake fluid.

Brake Jobs - Dealership Vs. DIY

Behind oil and filters, brakes are the most frequent service item you’ll likely find on your vehicle. They’re also the easiest to save money on by skipping the dealer and taking it on as a DIY. 

When working at home, the labor is free! Monetarily, at least. Relatively recent book time for a set of brakes on your Porsche was 3 hours per axle. This means a front and rear pad change will cost you 6 hours' worth of labor, even though a tech can knock it out in 2. On top of that, you’ll also be charged more for parts through the dealer, as they’re making money off that, too. Altogether, it becomes a ridiculous sum that can mostly be avoided. 

To prove that, we called up a few dealerships and got quotes for brake jobs on a few of the cars we had around the parking lot. Here’s what we came up with:

Dealership VS FCP Euro DIY Costs - Pad & Rotor Brake Job

CarsDealership CostFCP Euro DIY CostSavings
2015 BMW F82 M4$3200$167748%
2014 MINI Cooper S$2083$39181.25%
2016 Mercedes C300 4Matic$2383$78667%
2015 Volkswagen GTI (Non-PP)$1355$34674.5%

Hearing you can save money is one thing, but seeing how much the savings are should be eye-opening. Even with the cost of acquiring some tools, you’re likely to come well under the dealer’s cost, not to mention you won't have to buy them the next time your brakes are due for service. At this point, you may only need some instructions on how to do the job correctly. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.  


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Written by :
Christian Schaefer

Car and motorsports-obsessed writer/editor for FCP Euro's DIY Blog. Constantly dreaming of competing behind the wheel or searching for another project. Owner of a turbo Subaru Forester and a ratty Porsche 914, neither of which are running.


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