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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So the other day I got the pleasure of my brake line on my '97 DeVille going bad on me mid drive. Got it stopped safely and had it towed. Could see and hear the leak from beside the passenger side rear wheel.

Get a call from the mechanic today saying it'll take him another week and $1,400 to fix it; the brake lines need replaced from the master to the caliper and there is a small fuel line leak.

...I thought brake lines were cheap and fairly easy to replace. I really have a feeling he is just scamming us because my car isn't moving anytime soon otherwise and he knows I need it back. Please let me know your thoughts on the matter.
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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87,556 Posts
I would not call it a scam from here, BUT it does sound high. Is he replacing ALL the lines from the master cylinder back or just that one? You can easily call around (including a Cadillac dealer) and get a quote to compare to.
 

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1999 Cadillac DeVille
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58 Posts
I had mine done for around 500 bucks the guy at the shop told me the parts are fairly cheap but its the labor that cost so much its time consuming.
 

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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I figured it was one of those things, but I thought $1,400 was wayyyy high. $500 I'd pay, but $1,400 wouldn't even be worth the repair at this point. Going to have to call around and see, for that price I will gladly get it re-towed.

Thanks for the advise. I am going to have to call around and see. Really don't feel like going car shopping after finally finishing my stereo install, but we'll see.
 

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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So I called to ask more questions, and apparently there is a lot more at least. He's still being a bit pricey, but its not a scam:

-brake lines
-rear brakes (new rotors, maybe pads)
-fuel line repair
-alignment
-window washers (yeah, its annoying but I've been busy and cheap)


...O well, other than my Schwinn I don't have much of a choice. At least its more than the brakes lines like I thought.

Thanks for the advice though.

-Brandon
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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7,085 Posts
I went through this. Brake lines and fuel lines have to be hand bent. There is no part to order and if they're rusted enough to need replacing they're no joy to get off or back on.

I paid $750 to have just the rear brake lines done on my Brougham and they didn't go all the way forward. They kept the good parts from the master down to the frame.

$1400 sounds high but it's not a cheap repair.

Rotors and pads are cheap, do them yourself.
Alighment shoud be $80 - $100 for a 4 wheel
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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5,545 Posts
Wow, you are all getting ripped off. When the brake lines went on my '88 Fleetwood I paid $450 for new lines to the rear. They replaced them all the way from the master cylinder back to the wheel cylinders. They also replaced the wheel cylinders because the bleeder screws were rusted solid. Its a job I could have done myself but it was cold and wet when it happened and I didn't have the time to do it. You do have to hand bend the brake lines but its not a hard job, you just have to match it to the lines you pull off the car.
 

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99STS,2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade,98 Deville RIP
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1,054 Posts
I did this job on my 98 devile, it went right at the middle near the back of the Drivers side door, that is a high price for sure but all those lines and fuel lines all run together, you cannot just pull one off and leave the rest. They are part of a raceway under the car and just for kicks, the fuel lines also run with them, so if one goes all will go and its far better to have all replaced together, and no question about it, its not a fun job when its wet and snowy and cold outside, usually when it starts to leak
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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3,310 Posts
When I put new brake lines on my Deville from the firewall back I didn't spend more than $50 for parts and a few hours laying on my back. On a lift it would have been half that time. So on the 98 Caddy's the lines are bundled together somehow so you can't replace them individually? Gotta love progress.
 

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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I called all around here, there isn't a much better deal considering the tow fee. If anybody is around Pittsburgh, PA and knows a good mechanic let me know. This guy always does a good job and is pretty honest, but he isn't cheap.

...Don't have much of a choice at this point, need to get it fixed as soon as possible so I can get to my other job and make up the lost money, haha.

Hopefully the car holds out after this one for a while - between this and the head gasket I will have paid more for repairs than the car is worth in the past 2 years even with it sitting most of the year while I am at school.

Thanks again for the advice though, I thought break lines would be much, much cheaper =(.
 

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Cadillac Technician
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11,051 Posts
Fabricating brake lines is no party. I have had to do it more than once. In some rust belt areas it happens a lot and when it comes to something like your brakes it isn't something that you should mess around with.
Dollar amounts for this will vary from area to area, what might cost $2,000 here in the DC Metro area might cost $500 out in the Missouri hills.

It sounds like you are getting a reliable repair from a mechanic you trust, if he won't negotiate on the cost then you'll just have to pay it or go somewhere else to someone you may not trust as much.
I make them from end to end and making the flares and getting all the bends right and putting the lines back into the factory brackets as I said isn't what I would refer to as a recreational activity.
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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1,889 Posts
I make my own brake lines as well. Its not the most difficult thing on the planet, but without a lift like a dealer has it can be pretty interesting. The main thing is everything has to be perfect, because brake lines are definitely not something you want to have a problem with. Plus if brakes that you work on yourself fail, you could be in a serious financial pickle if you get into an accident because of them. If a shop does it, the liability is on them.

So your flares have to be exactly right. Your bends all have to be exactly right if you want them to hang properly. Your fittings, must be exactly right. And once everything is actually together, you have to check for leaks and bleed. And if something is leaking, its back down under the car to fix it. Its very time consuming work, and it's something that has to be done by someone who is skilled at the job.

That being said, the cost in parts for us to buy 50 feet of steel brake line (remember, we all drive the same type of car in my house. If one car has a bad line, another is likely to have one as well.), and a little ISO flaring tool was only about $60 bucks. However, the rear brakes on my car need to get done, and we're going to do them with Cunifer (copper nickel alloy) simply because its easier to work with (bends and flares easier) and it can't rust. But it is about twice as expensive as steel, so an easier job means quite a bit more cash.

So, yeah $500-$700 would sound normal to me for regular steel brake lines, just because of the work involved with doing it. $1,400 though? They better be using some space age material, or else I couldn't justify paying half as much as the car is worth for a job that is going to need to be redone in a few years.
 

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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
STS, thanks for the recommendation. I am going to check them out. Apparently my oil pump is shot too (nice to know after I called off work to pick up my car after that $1400 repair). I'm real sour about the mechanic not noticing and checking for that before hand.

I will check them out, they are a ways out though from me.

I am going to look into replacing the oil pump myself, but I do not have much mechanical experience at all so I have my doubts.
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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87,556 Posts
Wait a minute. What makes you think that the oil pump is bad? They rarely go bad.

EDIT: Disregard. Just saw your other post.
 

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Cadillac Technician
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11,051 Posts
Why is he going to check the oil pump because your brake lines are rusted out?
Do you think he did something to sabotage your oil pump? If not, then why is he responsible for it's failure?
What makes you think it is bad? (I didn't see your other post)

Not trying to be a smart alec, just curious.
 

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'97 Deville
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well he was supposed to fix the oil pressure occasional warning with the $1,400 and it turns out he didn't (found out on the ride home). I originally thought it was going to be $1400 for just the brake lines and thought it was outrageous, but that included the other repairs listed.

Long story short, my caddy (and my wallet) have seen better days.
 

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Oh I see, thanks for the clarification.
 
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