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What is the average cost to replace the brake pads and rotors? | Car Doctor

John Paul
Special to The Journal

Q: What is the average cost to replace the brake pads and rotors on a 2019 Mazda CX-5 at a non-dealer shop?

A: If you came into my fictitious repair shop, expect to pay about $500 for the replacement of the front rotors.

Brake pad costs can vary, depending on quality. Brake pads can be purchased for as little as $20 online or as much as $161 for premium pads. The average shop would probably use a $50 to $100 set of brake pads.

In the past, I have been accused of being cheap (maybe, maybe not), but I always will use a premium brake pad.

Labor rates can vary, with about $135 to $175 per hour being the average, but in some metro areas, we are seeing more than $250 per hour.

What's causing chirping sound during acceleration?

Q: My daughter has a 2016 Buick Encore. She just noticed a cricket chirp-type sound when accelerating. It stops when she lets up on the gas pedal. We'd appreciate your input on the cause. Is it something that needs to be addressed?

A: Any new noise or feeling should be addressed. The issue could be quite minor or the beginning of a major and soon-to-be-expensive repair.

It could be almost anything, but the common area is a faulty PCV system, which normally requires replacement of the valve cover.

I would certainly have a shop give it a listen and see what's up. It could also be a drive belt, or even brakes if it only happens when moving.

If it makes the noise in park while racing the engine slightly, it is more than likely the PCV system.

Will Venza need different oil in warmer climate of Jamaica?

Q: I have a 2021 Toyota Venza that uses 0W-16 oil. I am shipping the car to Jamaica. Could I use 0W-20 oil because of the warmer weather?

A: For all temperatures, 0W-16 is what is recommended. The owner鈥檚 manual states 0W-20 can be used if 0W-16 is not available, but it should be replaced with 0W-16 for the next oil change.

You may want to ship a couple of cases of oil and a few oil filters with the car before it heads to the islands.

Radio isn't working right since battery and alternator were replaced

Q: My 2011 Mazda CX-7 needed a new alternator and battery. After I picked the car up from the repair center, the radio wouldn鈥檛 bring in the stations I鈥檓 used to hearing 鈥 both local and distant 鈥 on both AM and FM. To me, this indicated an issue with the antenna connection. When I asked the service person about it, they denied that there was any connection between the alternator/battery service and the antenna issue (or radio issue). I have always kept my Mazda in good repair, but since it is more than 10 years old and has 180,000 miles on it, I feel more vulnerable to service techs using that as an excuse. Your thoughts please.

A: There is no reason that the shop needed to disturb the antenna or antenna wiring while replacing the battery or alternator. It is possible that, if the alternator was overcharging, it damaged the radio.

You can have the shop perform a radio reset, which in some cases requires nothing more than unplugging the radio and plugging it back in, or pressing the music, navigation and volume buttons at the same time. Hold these three buttons simultaneously for at least 20 seconds. The system should then automatically reboot itself.

Should Audi A4 coolant problem be covered by warranty?

Q: I have a 2020 Audi A4 with 70,000 miles on it. It seems to be leaking coolant. My local shop thought it was the water pump but was not 100% sure. I called Audi and they said the warranty had expired and it would cost $150 to have it looked at. The car is not quite four years old, so why is it not under warranty? Could it be the water pump?

A: The Audi warranty is for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Due to the mileage, your A4 is out of warranty.

The coolant pump is a fairly common issue on these models. Expect to spend close to $1,000 to replace the coolant pump, with labor and materials.

John Paul, Car Doctor

John Paul is the AAA Northeast Car Doctor. He has more than 40 years of experience in the automobile industry and is an ASE-Certified Master Technician. Write to John Paul, The Car Doctor, at 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. Or email jpaul@aaanortheast.com and put 鈥淐ar Doctor鈥 in the subject field. Follow him on Twitter or on .