How often do we have to change brakes


I have a 2003 Infiniti G35 coupe with 75k miles. I took it to get serviced at the dealership on January 4 2007 and they replaced the front routers and brakes, and told me that the back ones were not yet due. The car had 61k miles at the time.

I have taken the car today for it’s 60k mile service and they replaced the back brakes and routers and also told me that the front routers and brakes needed to be replaced again.

Does that sound right? How often do these things need to be replaced?


14,000 miles on a set of brakes front or rear isn’t normal unless the reason is that the rotors used were cheap and warped.

However, your numbers don’t add up. You took the car in to be serviced by the dealer in January with 61,000 miles on it and you now just took it back in with 75,000 miles on it to get the 60,000 mile servicing? Is there a typo here? Is there missing onformation here?


This may warrant a second opinion, but from here we cant tell. Sound fishy though.


“Sure, go ahead and replace the brakes. But could you save the old parts? I’d like to take a look at them…” Suddenly, it might turn out your brakes are just fine. “Sorry, we got yours mixed up with another car.”


thanks for the reply.

no typo. i took it in for the following:

Replace front brakes and routers
Brake flush
Fuel flush
Transmition flush
Replace timing belts
Relace fuel hoses from recall
Oil Change

the 60k mile service was due at the time, but i didnt do it then. I waited until the back brakes were due and so now the car has 75k


“Sure, go ahead and replace the brakes. But could you save the old parts? I’d like to take a look at them…” Suddenly, it might turn out your brakes are just fine. “Sorry, we got yours mixed up with another car.”

Or they have some old brakes that fit the car they did a month ago.


Brake replacement does not have a specific “due” date. If you live in the midwest in a small town, you may replace brakes evry 8 years or so. On the other hand, I took a cab in San Francisco recently and asked the driver how often they did brake jobs and he said; ‘every 3 monthns or so’.

If the dealer has this on his so called maintenance program, it is a work generator. If the owner’s manual says this is a condition to keep the warranty valid, you should do it, but don’t use he dealer.

In technical terms, brake work is called “Condition-based Maintenance” rather than “Time-based Mainten-
ance” In industry, plant owners often ignore some the manufacturer’s recommendations, since they are often over-kill and the plant owner knows the operating environment better.

If your car is used on rough service and frequent off-roading, your brake work, etc. may well be warranted.


I’d get a second opinion from a reliable independent shop. 75K would be fine for the rear brakes, but 14K on the front brakes just plain isn’t normal. Somethin’s fishy.


Doc, he got 61K out of his first set and allegedly 14K out of his second set. Unless his teenage son just got his license, somethin’s fishy.


Fishy indeed!! Like a kid in a candy store some shops can’t resist doing everything possible once the car is on the hoist. Another way of looking at it is if all the brakes are done at once (whether they need it or not), then it is easier for the shop to guarantee the work. I once had rotors replaced, and shortly after when the rear brakes were being done by another shop was told I needed new rotors! I produced the rotor invoice and the asked the technician to accompany me to the rotor shop. He declined and never mentioned the rotors again. Short of joyriding in San Francisco, it is hard to wear out front pads this quickly!


My Mercedes dealer wants to replace my brakes if a bird poops on my hood. It is a handy way to generate an $850 repair charge, half of which is used to stock up the wine cellar on the dealer’s sloop.

Now, when the dealer recommends a brake job, I mentally summise that my next real brake job will be in 30k miles.

Another though is the previously mentioned “teenager” angle. If these cars with ABS and ESP are driven hard, at least on my Mercedes, the brakes are used to prevent wheel spin and that could eat up pads.


It is just TOO EASY to make a good living without ripping people off… What gives these days? A well run shop charging average flat-rate labor and marking up 50% on quality parts can pay good mechanics double to triple the average local income while making a more than reasonable profit for the owner and keeping customers driving safely and reliably without being gouged. WHAT GIVES?