Average Brake Pad Replacement Cost
There’s a great deal of variance when it comes to the cost of getting your brake pads replaced.
There is also the comparison and decision to use aftermarket vs manufacturer (OEM) parts. Aftermarket parts are typically less expensive, are more available and greater selection, while OEM parts have a greater assurance of quality, are easier to choose and come with a warranty.
A complete brake repair job for one wheel including pad replacement, new calipers, rotors and labor can cost anywhere from $300 to $800. If all top-of-the-line parts need to be replaced, this can easily inflate to $1000+. The average price is right around $450.
Year, Make and Model
As mentioned above, the make and model of your vehicle has a significant impact on the price of pads and sometimes even the cost of installation. Luxury and/or imported vehicles typically have higher maintenance costs in general, not just for brake pads.
Type and Quality of Parts Used
Pads come in a wide range of quality and materials and the differences in price reflect that. Therefore, premium ceramic pads for a high end vehicle such as an Audi R8 will cost significantly more than standard semi-metallic pads for your Toyota Camry.
Doing some research to determine which parts best fit your needs and buying aftermarket parts yourself instead of paying a technician labor and markup costs to decide for you can save you hundreds of dollars.
What are Brake Pads?
disc-brake-300x251Brake pads are one of three primary parts of disk brakes – the others are calipers and a rotor. The rotation of a car’s wheels is slowed by the friction created when two pads are pushed against either side of a rotor by a set of calipers.
The pads are typically made of some friction material (ranging in composition from composite to ceramic to organic to metallic) and a steel backing plate. Rotors can be made of ceramic matrix composites, reinforced carbon-carbon or simply cast iron and are attached to the wheel or axle. When you press down on the brake pedal, brake fluid is used to engage a piston that clamps the brake pads onto each rotor.
When to Replace Them?
Manufacturers state that semimetallic pads should typically last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, but it really depends on the type of vehicle, your driving style and the kind of use they’re subjected to – stop & go traffic in the city will wear them out faster than highway driving.
The best way to determine if your brake pads need to be replaced is by removing the tires and doing a visual inspection. If the thickness is less than 2-3mm, then it’s time to replace them.