Brake pads and brake system longetivity


#1

I wonder how long do brakes last under typical and various driving patterns. With my current car (2006 Suzuki Forenza) at 80k miles, I do not recall having to specifically change the brake pads or any other brake component besides the brake fluid (at 58k miles).

No mechanic mentioned anything about them to me during service work, oil changes. And peering through the wheel covers, I don’t see any real scraping/scratching of the rotors on my disk brakes, nor do I hear the wear indicator squealing sounds of worn brakes that I heard when I drove a really used car.

Perhaps I got lucky here, just like how I managed to get 9 yrs of life out of the car’s OEM battery. Original tires didn’t last as long but still great at 7 years, 58k miles.


#2

It depends on vehicle and driving habits. There is no rule-of-thumb answer.

As for battery. Colder climates batteries last longer. I’ve had them last over 10 years. Average about 7-10.


#3

daluu
…I do not recall having to specifically change the brake pads or any other brake component besides the brake fluid (at 58k miles).

Why did you have to change brake fluid?


#4

The range for me has been 35k to 145k on pads. Depends on the vehicle, pad type and location. I had one vehicle with that range, only difference was the pad type.


#5

Did you look at the bill for the brake fluid? Possible they changed the pads at the time.

I got 70k on the fronts, 40k on rear.


#6
I got 70k on the fronts, 40k on rear

The rears usually last twice as long as the fronts. Is that suppose to be 140k???


#7

In LA city traffic, figure 15,000 miles. If you are gentle with the brakes and they are well designed you could 100,000 miles out of a set. There are so many variations, it is impossible to define a life.

Congrats on changing brake fluid at 58K - I’d guess that means 6 years. In the US, almost no one even thinks to change fluid. Your mechanic must own a moisture tester and checked it.


#8

I once took a taxi in San Francisco and asked the driver how often they did the brakes. He said every 3 months!. Out there you seem to be going either up or down.


#9

“I once took a taxi in San Francisco and asked the driver how often they did the brakes. He said every 3 months!. Out there you seem to be going either up or down.”

I get mail by a rural carrier. Before he retired, I had a carrier that drove K-cars for years (several carriers here did, too). Anyhow, he carried brake pads and some tools on the route and would change them on the route if needed. Talk about excessive brake wear…

…the geographic size of these routes is huge and speeds vary from 20mph to 60mph with hundreds of stops in between.
CSA


#10

I get about 80,000 miles on the front pads of my Corolla. As mentioned it depends a lot on the terrain, the type of driving you do, and how long it takes from when the upcoming traffic light turn red 'til you take your foot off the accelerator pedal. And whether your car is equipped with an automatic or manual transmission. Automatics tend to be harder on the brakes than manuals.


#11

Mike, no, that is correct. Second sets went at 66k and 120k.

03 Passat. I suspect they skimp on the rears


#12

MikeInNH
The rears usually last twice as long as the fronts.

Not on many of these cars with rear rotors significantly smaller than the front.


#13

I’ve never seen a vehicle with front and rear rotors being a different size.


#14

Environmental conditions and maintenance habits along with braking habits determine longevity.
The pads on my Lincoln have about 160k miles on them and still have about 75% of the lining left. Open road driving and keeping the sliders clean and greased helps.

As for rotor size between front and rear, many cars have different sized rotors. The fronts on my LIncoln are about 30 Millimeters larger in diameter than the rears.
On my daughter’s Mustang the rear rotors are actually a little larger than the fronts.

Same for my son’s Camaro; the rears are larger than the fronts.


#15
On my daughter's Mustang the rear rotors are actually a little larger than the fronts

Must be the V6 model… But the front pads are bigger.


#16

I don’t doubt that larger rotors exist…just never seen them before on any vehicle I’ve owned or worked on. I have seen different size and type of calipers from front to back. My 05 4runner had a 4 piston design caliper for the fronts, but a single piston caliper in the back.


#17

Most cars have different diameter rear rotors. My ES300’s rear rotors were larger, I guess because it had the drum parking brake inside. The rear pads also wore out before the front pads. Many without the drum parking brakes are smaller.


#18

I’ve seen cars with equal or larger rear rotor diameter, but the swept area is smaller because the “hat” is larger.
With light braking the front and rear brakes do close to equal work, and the rears can be expected to wear faster.
With heavier braking there’s more weight shift to the front, and the proportioning valve makes the fronts do a larger proportion of the work.
So it seems a driver who uses the brakes gently might wear the rears faster vs a more aggressive driver who might wear the fronts faster


#19

Circuitsmith, thanks, that explains the numbers I got.


#20

If you really want long brake life, break that bad habit of accelerating towards red lights that you had enough momentum to reach by just coasting.
Your brakes will last nearly the life of the car and people will think you’re lying when you tell them what kind of gas mileage you get.