We get this question all the time at LightHouse Automotive. Customers want to know when it's the best time to get new brake pads or brake rotors. The truth is, there is not a "one size fits all" answer when it comes to brake repair and replacement. There are many factors that go into brake wear. Therefore, it is important that you get your brake pads, rotors and fluid inspected regularly and replaced as needed.
The general rule of thumb says you'll probably get your brake pads replaced every 50,000 miles. However, some brakes may wear out after only 25,000 miles. Some may last up to 75,000 miles. If you are driving and hear a lot of screeching, squealing or squeeking every time you come to a stop, it may be a brake problem and you'll want to have it checked out as soon as possible. You never want your brakes to fail!
Here are some common factors that affect the lifespan of your brakes:
1. Personal Driving Habits
Some people just like to ride the brakes more than others. Naturally, the more you use them, the more wear and tear you'll experience. If you like to jam on the brake pedal and come to screeching halts, your breaks will not last as long.
2. Driving Conditions
Here in Colorado, we have mountainous terrain and four seasons of weather. Certainly, hilly roads, curvy mountain passes and wet/snowy conditions all contribute to increased brake usage. Likewise, if you deal with a lot of stop-and-go traffic in your daily commute to work, that will also put more strain on the brakes.
3. Quality of Brakes
When you buy a new car, your owner's manual will have a factory recommended maintenance schedule that will give you a general idea of when to replace brake pads and rotors for your specific make/model of vehicle (though the factors listed above may impact the lifespan of those original brake components). When brake pads/rotors have been replaced, there are obviously different aftermarket brands and different qualities to consider. Cheaper brakes may save you money in the short term, but they likely won't last as long as something that is of better quality.
The best recommendation is to have your brakes inspected whenever you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance jobs like oil changes and tire rotations. LightHouse Automotive will be happy to take a look at your brake pads, rotors and fluid to make sure it everything is in good shape. If repairs or replacements are needed, we will guide you through our recommendations and help you find the best new brake parts for your car. We also match brake rotors. Take a look at this video from Pro-Cut Brake Lab that explains the lathe matching process we use:
If you need a brake inspection, brake service or brake repair, call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-4302 or schedule your brake service appointment online. Let our brake experts keep you safe on the road.