About 20,000 miles ago I was told I needed rear brakes. I didn't get them fixed.
Recently I asked another shop to look at my brakes during a routine oil change and, of course, they said I needed new brakes too. Their quote included new rotors and flushing the brakes system, total price about $350...for rear only. We wanted a second opinion. Driving through Denver, I saw a Just Brakes Franchise and stopped.
Their $99 special sounded very good and they were able to inspect the brakes right then. Not only did they say the rear brakes were bad but I needed new front brakes, calipers and rotors. I knew nothing about brakes but the manager measured the rotor thickness and showed me how they compared to the specs (Just Brakes specs?) and showed me how the pads were wearing and the BIG chart on the wall that identified the causes of break wear. By the time he completed the estimate, the cost jumped from $99 to about $500.
I was about to walk out when he said only the brake pads were a safety issue and the calipers and rotors could still be used but there would be no guarantee. So we let them replace all pads and mill the rotors on the rear brakes. He said that although the front rotors were above "throw away" thickness, they were too close to min spec to mill. I now question that opinion.
I also let him flush the system for an additional $60.
The reason for this review is to let people know that replacing brake pads is relatively quick and easy and you probably do not need all the other recommended work. Also the "Best" brake pads are likely to last the longest and cause the most wear on the more expensive rotors. In the long run, if you are even going to keep the car that long, it is probably economically cheaper to replace the pads twice and have the rotors milled than to get better, more expensive pads and then have to replace the rotors also.
Also, Ideally the pads will wear evenly but they don't except maybe in a race car. Uneven wear does not necessarily require calipers to be replaced.
Be skeptical of any brake inspections. They will almost always tell you that they need to be replaced and since you, the unknowledgeable consumer know brakes are a safety issue, you are more than likely to have the work done prematurely and some parts replaced unnecessarily.