88,000 miles on brakes?

I have a 2004 Honda Accord that has 88,000 miles and has yet to require brakes. Lots of highway miles and a standard transmission are helping it along…but is this possible, or could my low brake detector just be malfunctioning?

Pull your wheels off and see for yourself. I only have 43,000 miles on my 2005 Accord, but the brakes pads look new. I do mostly highway driving and maybe you do, too. I checked mine because the brakes were pulsing when it seemed like ABS was not called for. But it must have been the ABS.

Yes, it’s certainly possible, I have 120,000 miles of non-highway miles on my ES300 front brakes, just had them checked, still OK. Rear brakes went at about 80,000 miles. But yes, have them checked.

Careful highway driving can result in astonishingly long brake life. In 1976 Popular Mechanics did a long life auto survey, and a gentlemen by the name of John Becker of Williamsville, Mo, a cattle dealer, drove his 1970 Chevrolet standard 6 to 285,000 miles before he needed his first brake job, front shoes only.!!!

Mr. Becker, whose rear shoes lasted 330,000 miles, drove the way we have been advocating; be smooth and proactive, anticipate obstacles, see a few blocks ahwead. I call it the Wayne Gretsky style, since this star hockey player always anticipated where the hockey puck WAS GOING TO BE, rather than where is was at the moment he saw it.

So, charliem, your brakes could last another 197,000 miles if you drive like Mr. Becker.

This style of driving will also give you great gas mileage, an added bonus.

Brake pulsing could be due to slightly warped rotors and have nothing to do with ABS. I know I had warped rotors that caused a very slight pulsing only when I was just barely using the brakes. In heavier braking it was not noticeable.

Definitely possible. There are 90,000 miles on my wife’s 2002 VW Golf, and the original pads/rotors are still good, and that’s with the car going into/out of D.C. for the first half of its life. Gentle stops and keeping a prudent distance between cars in traffic get most of the credit.

Brakes should be inspected visually on a regular basis rather than rely on chirpers, low fluid lights, etc.

That being said, it’s quite possible for a car to go a long time on the original brakes depending on the type of driving.
My current Linocln has almost 230k miles and has had one set of front and rear pads around the 140k miles mark. Mostly highway driving and a soft foot will do it.

On a small to medium sized vehicle…it’s NOT unheard of. I replaced the brakes on my wifes 96 Accord at a little over 100k miles and probably could have gotten another 20k out of them.

I do a lot of highway driving and have a standard transmission. I didn’t have to replace by brakes until the 134,000 mile mark. Check the fluid level in your master cylinder. If you haven’t added any fluid, then you will have a rough approximation by the fluid level. If its half way between the max and min lines, then the pads will be about half worn. If its near the min, then you need to get the brakes inspected by a trusted mechanic.

If you have rear disc brakes, these need to be checked as well, rear discs often wear out faster than the fronts. If you have rear drums, the shoes will usually outlast several sets of front pads.

Very helpful and re-assuring. Thanks to all for your replies.