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#4801362 - 06/30/18 11:58 AM How often do you change brake pads/rotors?
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline


Registered: 04/16/16
Posts: 787
Loc: KS
I'm getting to 130K miles on my 2012 Jetta. No brake work ever. My rear pads are starting to get a little low while the fronts still have probably 70% left. I'm planning on doing the rear brakes and rotors sometime in the next few weeks. Doesn't that seem really long?
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#4801369 - 06/30/18 12:04 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 856
Loc: Toronna
City no highway yes, I think brake wear is almost 100% driver dependent.

My friend's dad has a van that has like 400000 km on it with original rear brakes. Mostly highway driven by old people.


Edited by maxdustington (06/30/18 12:04 PM)
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#4801376 - 06/30/18 12:06 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11072
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
On my personal vehicles, I do pads when the friction material is the same thickness as the backing plate. I will do pads and rotors at that time.
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#4801385 - 06/30/18 12:10 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19298
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I do them when they are worn as needed but don't let then get to the metal.
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#4801386 - 06/30/18 12:11 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: Trav]
WiskyBadger Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 1662
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Trav
I do them when they are worn as needed but don't let then get to the metal.

Same
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#4801396 - 06/30/18 12:23 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
dogememe Online   content


Registered: 04/15/17
Posts: 703
Loc: SF BAY AREA, CA
Not frequently enough. On my previous Escape I waited til the front pads were grinding grooves into the rotor, making a terrible scraping noise, covering the wheel in dust, and barely even braking the vehicle, to slap new pads on with the same old rotors. Those new $13 pads were excellent and then I sold the vehicle to a coworkers daughter and apparently the same brake pads and rotors are still on there and work great.
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#4801398 - 06/30/18 12:24 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 5627
Loc: FL, USA
I have them changed when they wear out. The rears on my Accord needed to be done at 50K.
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#4801399 - 06/30/18 12:27 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 5494
Loc: MIchigan
What kind of driving do you mostly do ? Normally the fronts wear out before the backs.

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#4801412 - 06/30/18 12:48 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: maxdustington]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29992
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: maxdustington
City no highway yes, I think brake wear is almost 100% driver dependent.

My friend's dad has a van that has like 400000 km on it with original rear brakes. Mostly highway driven by old people.


I beg to differ. While an easy, careful, good driver can greatly extend brake life, take the OP or your friend's dad and move them and their car to NY and let him drive in our rush hour traffic 5 days a week. I will guarantee their brakes won't last as long as they did.
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#4801419 - 06/30/18 12:58 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 12156
Loc: NH
5 years. Usually rust gets under the pad material. That can range from 100k to 150k miles.

On my prior Jetta, the rears made it to 165k I think, then a rivet was through. Everyone said to just do rotors when doing pads as they wore as a set on that car, so I didn't care about going to the end. The fronts still had 3/4 of the pad material left--but one fell off going down a hill at the 175k mark. So these days after a couple of years I start really inspecting them for damage.

I picked up this '99 Camry and being an automatic I suspect it'll need brakes every 50k/2 years, based on the wear I saw last. I kinda drive it harder than I should. My Tundra needed brakes at the 5 year mark now that I think of it.
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#4801425 - 06/30/18 01:03 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1884
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Brake pad wear is extremely driver dependent. I get long life out of mine, but a buddy drove hard on the brakes all the time, even when coasting or cruising he would apply them fairly hard to adjust speed, take corners, react to traffic, etc.

The difference I would estimate is mine lasted 4 or 5x longer on a mile-by-mile basis, same vehicle make and model, just based on talking to him and knowing when he had to do maintenance. Manual vs Automatic transmission also makes a difference, and with the proper driving technique they can last much longer on a MT equipped vehicle, and weight of vehicle and cargo also plays a role (a truck that never carries cargo vs. one that usually does, or tows, makes a big difference).

Bonus is if you are easy on brakes you probably also are getting good gas mileage, so the savings are compounded. It's worth teaching new drivers the proper technique, especially if you're the one who buys the parts and does the repairs (or pays for them) on the vehicles they are driving.

It maybe should be said that it's entirely possible to be easy on the brakes and not be a nuisance driver by impeding others, and entirely possible to be a nuisance driver if you don't use the proper technique, so it's not just a matter of coasting to a stop everywhere and calling it good. Drivers who are hard on brakes, especially combined with an Auto Trans vehicle, can be just as bad of a nuisance if they are constantly lighting up those brake lights for no good reason.

I go by the wear indicators or measure, and replace Disk Brake pads at 10% remaining wear. Rotors as required, that can also be measurement based (usually the minimum thickness is cast or stamped into the rotor) or by feel if there is some issue with mounting and they go out of round which is easily felt in the pedal.

For many years I drove various versions of GMC/Chevy 73~80 half tons, which are notoriously hard on front rotors (they were just a bit under-speced by GM and had a tendency to warp if shock cooled, such as going through water after heating them up), but only had to replace them a few times, and most of those due to minimum-thickness being met rather than warping, but twice for that reason (over I-don't-know how many of those trucks, I drove them essentially for 20 years straight and always bought used ones, the most expensive one cost me $2200 and a couple were $800 jobs).

The ¾ and 1-ton versions were perfectly fine that way. The '96 RAM has OK fronts but it's an easy swap to the bigger 1-ton brakes as the hubs are the same. GM uses the same callipers for their heavy duty light trucks so they are cheap.

Of course it's a huge mistake to put off replacement when required as the costs go up considerably if rotors need replacement, so there is no good reason to put it off and no free lunch if you do.
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#4801458 - 06/30/18 01:53 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2883
Loc: Wet side WA
More often than this.

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#4801461 - 06/30/18 01:55 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1495
Loc: North Carolina
For me when they get down to the wear indicator if for some reason I don't catch them sooner when I rotate the tires. Currently my 2002 Chevy Silverado still has the original pads and rotors on the front at 181k and last tire rotation they looked like they still had half the pad left. I had to do the rears at 70k because the passenger side caliper froze and wore the pad down. So I replace it along with the rear pads and installed slotted rotors.

My 2014 Cruze diesel still has over half the pads left on front and back at 61k miles.
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#4801466 - 06/30/18 02:00 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: FordBroncoVWJeta]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1232
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Johnny that rotor is just now starting to have a positive ROI! smile

My 2011 Fusion is at 123k and still on original front rotors and pads. I got the car with 19k and the rear pads and rotors were shot at 46k due to grooving. That set has made it nearly another 80k but they are starting to groove some. Probably make it to 135k or so. Fronts still look perfect!

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#4801559 - 06/30/18 03:36 PM Re: How often do you change brake pads/rotors? [Re: Warstud]
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline


Registered: 04/16/16
Posts: 787
Loc: KS
Originally Posted By: Warstud
What kind of driving do you mostly do ? Normally the fronts wear out before the backs.
I'm guessing it's a VW thing. Other owners have said the same thing. Rear bias?
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17 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T
15 Honda CRV 2.4
12 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0
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