Replacing Ford truck brakes way too often



My husband and I bought a used 1998 F150 pickup with 30,000 miles on it several years ago. We replaced both front pads & rotors and rear brake shoes at 75,000, which seemed normal. But since then, we have had to replace the front brakes and rotors two more times at 11,000 mile intervals! We’ve taken this situation to two different shops, and they just say, “Worn out.” We don’t ‘ride’ the brake. Any ideas?

We also have had an occasional problem with the parking brake failing to disengage on the first try. Could there be a connection?


[b]The problem with the parking brake may be an indication that the rear brakes are worn/out of adjustment.

If the rear brakes are worn/out of adjustment, it puts a higher demand on the front brakes to stop the vehicle. And when that happens, you’ll go through front brake pads and rotors in no time.



Thanks for this suggestion. We’ve had the rear brakes checked since replacing them 20,000 miles ago and we are told they are OK. Perhaps we need to move on to repair shop #3. Or even - gulp - the dealer.


what kind of brakes are you replacing them with?? The typical brakes sold at ADAP or PepBoys are NOT quality brakes. Try a GOOD local autoparts store or OEM.


We have the work at done at local independent repair shops, and we have not asked what brand parts they are using. Looking back at the tickets, they indicate metallic brake pads, but nothing more.

One other clue: they tell us that there is a lot of rust on the brakes they are removing. In one case, they had to use a sledge to get them out. We don’t live near the ocean and we have had minimal rain for years. We do live on a gravel road.


Are both sides wearing evenly? Are the inside and outside pads wearing the same? What is the reason you are takeing it in to have the brakes checked ie; noise, pulsation, lake of brakes?
I am suspecting one or both of the calipers are not fully releasing causing the brakes to drag all the time. Did the shop make sure to grease all the caliper slides?


So are you taking truck in for a specific complaint regarding the brakes and if so, what are the symptoms?

The rust/sledge hammer business sounds awful suspect to me. Very suspect.


One mistake (usually made by a rookie mechanic) is to NOT grease the pins the pads slide on. What happens if the mechanic doesn’t grease these pins is the pads bind up and this will cause uneven and premature wear of the brakes.


I don’t know for sure, but I assume Car Quest since the shop is behind the Car Quest auto parts store.


Symptom this time was a noise. Symptoms in the past have been poor brake performance, long stopping distance, unpredictability.


We’ll have to check with the mechanic about whether there has been uneven pad wear. As I mention above the sympton that caused us to bring it to the mechanic was a noise, especially when the wheel was turned to the right; then, all the time. This time the mechanic did not complain about removing the pads. However when the brakes continued to grab briefly the next day, then stopped, he removed some rust “on two metal surfaces that slide over each other.”


Thanks to all for these good suggestions. I will try to find out the answers and get back to you.


I wouldn’t worry about the sledge hammer. It is pretty common in removing stuck drums. I would be more alarmed if it didn’t take a sledge hammer to get them off.


Noise with disc brakes does not always mean the brakes are bad. Sometimes moisture overnight will cause them to become noisy.

Out of adjustment rear brake shoes will affect the park brake and may have another effect.
When the rear shoes are out of adjustment this will change the way the brake pedal feels. The pedal may seem mushy or the pedal may have more travel in it before the brake engage. Maybe this is causing the loss of braking feel you mention.


I have the same problem. I replace my brakes on my 1997 F250 once a year. I was told that this is normal. I drive about 20,000 miles per year and because it is a heavy truck the consense has been that this is normal. They wear evenly.
To make the cost easier to swallow I bought a “Lifetime” warranty and now I replace them myself. Only takes a about 2 hours. Last time I had the rotors turned but the cost was only about $25.00. Might replace the rotors next year. I already have the replacement pads in the box ready to go. Long story but I recommend you just plan on replacing them, often.