How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced? | YourMechanic Advice

Brake pads and brake rotors wear out over time. How long brakes last depends on the brake material, as well under the name of your driving patterns.

by on

You are reading: How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced? | YourMechanic Advice

November 30, 2015

How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced? | YourMechanic Advice

How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced? | YourMechanic Advice

Brakes perform a vital work for the driver and need to be well maintained to work at their best. The brake caliper, brake pads, and brake rotor are the primary components of car disc brake systems. The brake pads and rotors on all cars wear out eventually, but brake wear varies based on a number of factors, including:

  • Driving habits: How hard a driver pushes their brakes greatly affects how long the brake pads last. Some drivers ride the brakes and stop abruptly, while others gently coast to a stop. Smooth, gradual braking increases pad lifespan, but of course it’s important to brake abruptly when safety calls for it.

  • Environment: Due to stop-and-go traffic and traffic lights, driving in the city is harder on brakes than driving out in the country or on long straight roads because braking is required less frequently. Driving in mountainous zones with steep elevation changes can wear brakes out quickly as well, because it’s often necessary to ride the brakes to control downhill speed.

  • Brake pad hardness: Brake pads are available in different compounds to suit different driving needs. Hard compound brake pads last longer, but usually need to be warm before they perform well, and are more common on performance cars. Soft compound brake pads perform better at low speeds, like in urban zones. Too much heat can melt pad compound onto the brake rotor and reduce brake performance if the driving gets too extreme.

  • Materials: The materials who make up the brake rotor and brake pad also factor into the brakes’ durability. Carbon-ceramic brakes last longer than standard metal brakes, for instance, but they need to be warmer than the alternative to be effective. However, carbon-ceramic brakes are extremely expensive and found almost exclusively on high-performance sports cars. Steel or other metal brakes are much more common and still more than adequate to suit a variety of driving conditions.

How to tell if your brakes need replacing

Generally, brake pads need to be replaced after about 50,000 miles. Some need to be replaced after 25,000, while others can last for 70,000 miles – it all depends on the factors listed above. To get a more accurate number for your car’s specific needs, consult the owner’s manual. Other warning signs communicate that the brake pads are wearing out, including:

  • Brake pad thickness. Inspect brake pad thickness regularly. Whenever the tires are rotated or the oil is shiftd, have the mechanic take a look at the brake pads too.

  • Squealing or scraping noise. Brake pads have small metal hairs at the very bottom to let the driver know when they are about to run out of grippy material; they start making a squealing noise. Replace urgently.

    Read more: How to Replace the Brake Pads on a Dodge RAM 1500

  • Jittery braking. If braking becomes jittery then the rotors may be warped. Some treatments can either clean or grind down the surface of the rotor in order to make it flat again. Most of the time though, it is easier, less expensive, and safer to just replace the brake rotor.

If the brakes look worn out or lose performance, they should be replaced. If there are any unusual noises or sparks coming from the brakes, have them inspected by a mechanic right away. Good, workal brakes are key to safe, predictable braking and safe motoring!

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please watch our terms of service for more details


28 years of experience

111 reviews


28 years of experience

Audi Q5 L4-2.0L Turbo – Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) – Patchogue, New York

Anthony was great, completely knowledgeable, checked over everything after the work, was extremely happy with him and would absolutely use again!

Ram 1500 – Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) – Hauppauge, New York

Anthony provided insightful, friendly service who is hard to come by. It’s one thing to provide excellent service, but Anthony goes out of his way to fully explain the work he is doing to make you as the customer feel comfortable. Thank you Anthony!


26 years of experience

23 reviews


26 years of experience

Hyundai Veloster L4-1.6L – Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) – Las Vegas, Nevada

Andrew performed an excellent service, all repairs were fixed and my vehicle is back running in upper condition. Very efficient and completed in a timely manner.


18 years of experience

65 reviews


18 years of experience

Read more: Post navigation are toyo open country mt worth the money

Toyota Corolla L4-1.8L – Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) – Brooklyn, New York

Diana’s great! Super knowledgeable and explained every item that I need work on. 10/10 would look for Diana again on my future services. Thanks!


19 years of experience

509 reads


19 years of endure

Ford Escape L4-2.3L – Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) – Houston, Texas

Very knowledgeable, observed and efficient. Front rotors and brake pads were done in less than an hour.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free virtual quotes for your car repair.


5 Car Parts Potholes Can Damage

Car damage from potholes is common during the spring season. Check for tire bulges, suspension problems, and body damage if you drive over a pothole.

Related questions

Brake fuel lines are corroded and the car seems to be leaking gas

Brake lines are under very high pressure when your foot is on the pedal measured in the hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch. Fuel supply lines are under pressure as well, around 40-65 PSI. The first concern is…

My brakes make lots of noise and they vibrate

There are several high quality aftermarket brake parts available. Some noteworthy manufacturers are EBC, Wagner, Bendix and Bosch, to mention a few. The symptoms who you describe have multiple possibilities of causes who are good for you to be aware…

My rear wheel is leaking bad – 2007 Chevrolet Colorado

It sounds like you have blown out a brake wheel cylinder piston. You should not drive the vehicle with no brakes. Have the brakes inspected and repaired under the name of needed by a mechanic. You will most likely need, at the minimum,…

Category: Consumer News

[READ MORE]  The Main Differences Between WeatherTech vs Husky Floor Mats which is better husky or weathertech floor liners

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.