Brake pad life

I have a 3 year old Hyundai Sonata. Recently, I started hearing a grinding sound occasionally when I’d brake. One of my rear brake pads is worn and is grinding the disc, but they say this is normal wear and tear and not covered by the warranty. I have almost 37,000 miles on it, mostly driven in a mid-sized city. I don’t ride my brakes, and I don’t hit a lot of stop and go traffic, I drive on paved streets - does this seem like “normal” wear and tear?

“mostly driven in a mid-sized city” translates to shorter brake pad life. Brake pad life is vehicle and driving style/conditions specific.

Normal likely.

Absolutely. It varies widely, from 20k to 100k or more. 37k is normal.

Automatic trans?
They tend to wear brakes faster in city driving.

Agree with others; 37,000 in a mid size city is normal for 3 years of driving. Years ago Popular Mechanics had an article on long lived cars. A Midwestern cattle dealer had a standard Chevy with over 200,000 miles on the original brakes. He was a careful driver who geared down his manual transmission on steep slopes and drove at moderate speeds, mostly in rural areas.

I used to be picked up by a limousine service to take me to the airport, 55 miles away. They had full size Mercury and Ford cars. The driver told me they “did” the brakes at 160,000 to 180,000 miles, since most of the driving was highway.

At the other end of the scale, I once asked a San Francisco cab driver the same question, and I got “every 3 months!” as an answer.

In short, don’t blame the car.

…and don’t expect your warranty to cover what is known as a “wear item”. No manufacturer will cover wear of brake pads, simply because where the car is driven and how it is driven are the biggest factors in the rate of brake pad wear.

No car manufacturer should be expected to pay for brake pad replacement simply because someone does mostly urban driving or because that person “rides” the brakes.

The only thing that confuses me is: “One of my rear brake pads is worn”

You will have 4 pads in the back. All 4 should be worn about the same. If one is worn a great deal more than the others then there is a another problem.

Either way, a warranty is not going to cover pads.

Subaru actually covers this particular item 3yr/36,000 miles. They cover all wear items even windshield wipers during this period. My wife is hard on brakes and got new pads and rotors machined under warranty at 35k miles as they would not pass state inspection.

One is worn completely away and grinding.
The other 3 might be down to 5%