On 12/18/2019 my father in law brought our 2005 Ford Escape was brought in to the Midas at 3575 N Hwy 97, Bend OR. My family was on vacation when my father in law took it in and the after the car was serviced he drove it and left it at the airport in Redmond OR.
When I returned late Friday 12/27 I noticed that the brakes seemed to be on as I tried to pull out of the parking spot. It was midnight and I decided to drive home. On the way home I noticed the cruise control would not turn on. If I pulled hard on the brake pedal with my hand it would turn on, but any touching of the brake after that would mean I’d need to pull hard on it again.
The next morning (12/28) I called the Midas on Hwy. 97 and told them of the issue. They told me to bring it in so they could look at it. I told them how the brakes were continuously on and that when coming to a California roll stop after releasing the brakes the car would come to a pretty quick complete stop.
They looked at it and told me they thought the brake booster part was bad and it was not releasing the brake all the way. At some point I heard them talking to each other and something about it being an aftermarket part and a piece being too long.
I went for a drive with one of the mechanics in the car to see how it felt. They had done a couple things to make it so the brakes weren’t on so much. It felt about 50% better then when I was first driving it. The car still noticeably slowed but it wasn’t as much.
I was concerned about driving with the brakes continuously on and I asked once inside before the drive and once during the drive if it was okay. Inside they said it was safe to drive and in the car the mechanic specifically said it shouldn’t hurt the brake pads.
I was told they didn’t have the part and that with it being Saturday and Wednesday being New Years day it’s possible the part wouldn’t come in till Thursday (1/2). They asked if I needed to drive a lot and I told them I had stuff to do including going twice to the airport to pick up people on two separate occasions which is about an 18 mile drive one way from Bend. They said they’d call as soon as the part came in.
The mechanics and the guy at the front desk were amiable enough and we chatted, but I left that day a little off. There was no addressing the issue, not even just a simple acknowledgement, that this was an inconvenience to me. I tried to balance it out in my head with the part not working not necessarily being their fault. However, it certainly wasn’t mine and I felt like there could have been more done in that moment.
I also wonder why they couldn’t have found a part at a local store. There wasn’t even an attempt, but I figured there were corporate rules regarding this. I would have gladly waited around most of the day to get it fixed or even driven somewhere to pick up a part. I was worried, even with their assurances about it it being safe and okay for the brake pads, about driving for days with the brakes on. It didn’t make sense that it wouldn’t have an effect on the brakes but I’m no car expert and that’s why we take our car to Midas.
The week went by and the brakes seemed to stay the same. I had asked if the brakes amount of being on might get worse as I drove and they had said that it shouldn’t. This seemed to be true as the week went by, I didn’t notice it getting any worse or better.
Thursday (1/2) came and went with no call from Midas. On Friday at about 12:00pm I called to see if the part had come in. He asked how it was driving and then put me on hold for four minutes before coming back to say he thought the part was in and that he needed to check and would call me back soon. At about 4pm I called back because he hadn’t I didn’t trust he would remember. He immediately put me on hold and quickly came back saying the part was in. I agreed to come in the next day at 8am. At this point I was very much losing my faith that this would be handled okay. I was coming into the mindset that I couldn’t trust what would happen and would need to be on guard to protect myself.
I arrived the next morning a couple minutes before 8. At 8 there was still no one inside. 8:10 rolled by and soon after the guy who runs the front desk showed up. One of the mechanics had been waiting in the parking lot too and I heard him ask where two of the other mechanics were as if they were supposed to be there. Fortunately I was first in line so he could start on my car. As the morning continued no other mechanic showed until about 10am.
When I signed in I said that I wanted the front and back brake pads and rotors to be checked because I was concerned about having driven for a week with the brakes on. I told him that when I had arrived I had very briefly touched the rotor on the front left tire and it was burning hot. He said they would.
The other customer in the parking lot was bringing in their car with an overheating issue that Midas had not been able to fix since the summer with multiple returns. This did not boost my confidence.
I stayed in the waiting room while the mechanic replaced the broken booster with the new part. I didn't feel like I could leave because there was no trust. After the new booster was put in the mechanic took it for a drive and then parked it in front of the door to the waiting room. I asked if the brakes had been checked like I'd asked because I was concerned about glazing. I knew they hadn’t because I had been watching through the window and they’d never pulled the tires off. They tried to say they had but I asked how they could look at the brake pads without pulling off the tires. They were obviously put out but the mechanic offered to put it up and check them out.
The mechanic pulled the car back into the garage. After they had looked at the front brakes he came out and said they looked okay but that there was some glazing and they would resurface it for a $30 charge. They never looked at the back brakes or ever pulled the wheels off at any time when I brought the car in but at this point I had already decided to bring the car to another shop and have them do a free inspection so I didn’t push it. I asked him if the amount of glazing seemed like it could be from just regular use or if it seemed like it was because we were driving around with our brakes on. He would not answer the question. I told him I didn’t want to pay if this was because of driving with the brakes on. He went back into the garage and then came back to say they’d do it free of charge to make things right. I said I appreciated it.
After they finished I immediately went to Goodyear here in Bend and had them do a free inspection. The car drove well on the way there and the brakes seemed to be releasing just fine.
After inspecting Goodyear said the front and back brakes seemed okay but that they weren’t new. I said we had been driving around with them on and that there had been some resurfacing so that must have been it. I expected some use from driving around but didn’t expect what happened. I didn’t look at the details until the next day Sunday (1/5). The report from Goodyear says there’s only 6-7 mm of front and only 8-9 mm of rear brake pads left. My understanding is that brake pads start at about 12mm. If this is true this means we lost half of the use of our front brake pads and a quarter of our rear pads in the 2 1/2 weeks since the brakes were replaced.
At this point I will remind you that I asked multiple times if it was okay to drive in this condition and was told it would be safe and wouldn’t hurt the brake pads. Also, the guys at Midas said the brakes looked okay after they did the inspection of the front brakes. I would think that unless you were trying trying to deceive the customer that losing half of the front and a quarter of the rear brake pads in 2 1/2 weeks would not be considered okay.
In addition to the brake pad loss I realized a couple days ago that our cruise control is still not working. When I pull up the brake pedal it doesn’t work (unlike what happened when I initially drove it back from the airport) so it may be a different issue and as I said above the brakes seem to be releasing okay. None the less, this needs to be fixed.
This car has always gone to Midas, here in Oregon and where it was initially purchased in Washington state many years ago. This is a very unfortunate set of circumstances as there’s no other Midas shops within 90 miles of here and at this point in time I don’t feel comfortable interacting with this shop anymore. They have purposefully deceived me and sent me on my way.
Our car has been into Midas 3 times now. I, personally, have spent about 4 hours there but my father in law also spent time there on the original date. I spent time bringing the car to a different shop and now have spent much time putting this together and thinking over what needs to be done.
I’m not sure how this can be fixed but I’d like it to be as quick and efficient as possible. I’m interested in hearing your ideas.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I look forward to hearing from you.