Well, after getting my Warrant of Fitness (requiring a wheel bearing be replaced) I noticed a weird scraping noise coming from the rear left wheel - on braking only.
The mechanic I used for the WOF couldn't shed much light, and after driving on it for a coupla weeks and noticing it wasn't going away like I was told it would, I started looking at it a little closer.
Suspicious about the state of the brake pads I took the car into Midas Porirua.
The Verdict: Rear pads worn out, and all four brake rotors below their minimums, requiring replacement.
They indicated to me it'd be around $110/wheel for the rotors plus the cost of pads and rotors.
I booked it in for next pay day and started balancing figures to put the money away. $500+ was going to make a dent.
On the day I dropped it in I receive a phone call as i'm enroute to pick it up: The rotors ordered in by Midas are the wrong ones, and theyre hunting for the correct ones. Call you back soon.
So I head back to work.
An hour later the call comes in: The only correct rotors are OEM from Toyota, and are ~$500/wheel (!). For the interim the old parts are to put back on and i'll be able to drive the car home. They assure me theyre checking into the price situation.
A few hours later as I reach their office at end-of-business they tell me they've managed to negotiate the price down to closer to $110/wheel. Bloody good stuff!
All are very suprised by the cost of the rotors, but it appears theyre ex-Japan and made of gold, or something.
So I make a further booking for when i'm back from my overseas trip. That was this week.
Car went in on Wednesday, and I negotiated with the guys to split the work up: Rear Pads plus Rotors this fortnight, front rotors in 2 weeks time. That way I can afford the work. The response? No problem.
Aside from my initial annoyance that the state of the pads + rotors wasn't pointed out when I had my WOF done (at another outfit in Trentham who will remain nameless), I have to say that Midas really went above-and-beyond to help me on this. By all appearances they've essentially taken a loss on the cost of the parts, to make sure I got a good deal; they ordered the parts in on what was nothing more than my verbal agreement that i'd buy them, and they happily agreed to defer some of the work for 2 weeks without adding a penalty in dollar terms.
The service i've received has been professional, friendly and very helpful.
So they deserve a big plug. Well done Midas Porirua. I'll see you in a week or so for the second half of the job. ;-) And considering the amount of stick people give the big chains, i'm going to recommend you to anyone who asks.
Oh, and today the car had a Birthday of sorts:
... and after