Front vs rear brake pad wear

a mechanic recently told me that the rear brake pads on the newer cars wear out faster than the front pads. I was always under the impression that it was the opposite.
I have a 2005 Camry and it just seemed like something I should question.

It depends on the vehicle.

Some vehicles have front brake bias, and others have rear brake bias, and others have diagonal brake bias.


Some cars with ABS use the fact that ABS won’t allow the brakes to lock to use the rear brakes more than in the past. Since the fronts usually wore out first, in the past, now they can even things up… or make the rears wear worse.

My large 2004 SUV did this, wore out the rears first with the factory pads.

Also rear brakes tend to be smaller.

Just changed rear pads on a 2005 Toyota SUV that shares a lot with the Camry. Front pads on it don’t need changing for a while longer.

Thanks to all who responded

FWIW, I just had the original rear brakes on my 2008 Camry replaced. They lasted 109,000 miles. The Front brakes lasted 84,000 miles. Of course, as you said earlier, they’re telling you this is on newer models, but on a front-wheel drive car, you’d think it would be front wears first.

Two other rear brake wear factors.

1- Some cars use the rear brake to help keep the car flat during braking. This creates a rearward bias that can wear rear brakes faster.
2- Salt spray in areas with harsh winters corrode rear rotors more quickly and cause increased rear brake wear. Front brakes get less spray and are larger so they wear more slowly from this.

I have also noticed that some car manufacturers use an OEM brake pad on the rear brakes that is not very hard. At my first replacement I use a high quality pad that is harder than the OEM and that has made a huge difference. My “go to” pad lately is the Raybestos EHT (Enhanced Hybrid Technology). My Mazda dealer can’t believe the wear I am getting and, in combination with Raybestos Advanced Technology rotors, they stay smooth and non-rusty for a long time. And I live in the snow belt of New York State.

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Another thumbs up here for the EHT pads.