It’s common knowledge that tires are the single most important maintenance item in a car. Every car owner should prioritize getting their tires in good shape and catch tire-related issues early on before they develop into something serious. Yet, many owners also neglect to consider a brake pad and rotor replacement cost.
However, if tires are the most important thing to look after, what’s the second most significant maintenance item of a vehicle? If safety is of utmost importance in a vehicle, then the braking system undoubtedly follows tires as critical maintenance items.
With that said, much like tires, it’s common for most car owners to neglect brake maintenance work. In fact, some can leave the brake pads to wear until only the backing plate remains, severely compromising braking performance.
For most car owners, it’s not until you need good brakes that you notice a problem with your braking system. And when it comes to that point, it’s already too late. Fortunately, automotive braking systems are amongst the most well-developed nowadays, and the safety tolerances are great.
As an example, modern ABS systems have made it possible for anyone to pin the brake pedal to the floor and not lock up the tires. Cutting-edge electronic stability programs have brake vectoring that can manipulate braking torque on individual wheels to prevent skidding and ensure that the driver isn’t overspeeding into a corner.
Regardless, it is important to note when you need to replace the brake pads and perform routine brake service to keep your brakes operating optimally. Electronic systems can only intervene so far with thoroughly worn brake pads and warped rotors.
- Components Of The Braking System
- Replacement Costs (& When To Replace Them)
- Signs When You Need To Replace Them
- DIY Maintenance & Servicing
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Braking System Components
Before you hurry along to a workshop to get your brake system checked out, understand the individual wear and tear components that piece together neatly to provide adequate stopping power. This way you’ll know which component isn’t working properly when there’s a problem with your brakes.
1. Brake Pads (Brake Shoe)
This is the wear-and-tear item that every car owner should acknowledge. The brake pads are what’s mounted at each individual tire, and they are primarily what determines the amount of stopping power a vehicle offers.
Basically, brake pads consist of just 3 separate pieces. At the caliper pistons, the backing plate, then a bonding adhesive, and finally the friction material.
When you step on the brake pedal, these brake pads get pushed physically to make contact with the brake rotors. The friction material then ‘bites’ into the brake rotors to slow the vehicle down.
This of course wears out the available friction material. The amount of braking power that a vehicle offers is highly dependent on the friction material used and the size of the brake pads. Of course, the more exotic and larger the pads, the more expensive it is when you need to replace them.
You’ll also find pad shims that cover the backing plate. The shims are made of pliable material, typically a mix of rubber and metal. It’s there to prevent the caliper piston from slamming against the pads and to make up for the minute imperfections on the backing plate to reduce brake noise.
Typically, brake pads also come with a wear indicator. It can be a mechanical wear indicator, which is a metal tab that scrapes against the brake rotor when the pad is worn. It might also be an electrical wear indicator, which detects when the pads are worn and displays a warning light in the instrument cluster.
2. Brake Rotor
Brake rotors otherwise referred to as brake discs, are circular discs that are physically connected to each individual wheel on your vehicle. This means that when your wheels turn, they turn the rotors too.
Basically, the rotors provide a surface for the brake pad to push and ‘bite’ into to slow the car down. Normally, your brake rotors have a big flat surface made out of cast iron. Some high-performance car uses steel, with carbon-ceramic discs being the go-to choice for track application.
Of course, with so much friction, brake pads will eventually wear down the rotors and necessitate a replacement. The minimum thickness is usually provided on the discs, or you can refer to the owner’s manual.
Furthermore, due to the rigorous heating and cooling cycle that brake rotors go through in their lifetime, it’s common for damage to form. This can be seen in the form of rotor warps or even cracks. Damaged rotors must be replaced since braking performance is compromised.
3. Brake Fluid
As you can imagine, brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that is specifically formulated to transfer driver-applied braking force into hydraulic pressure to actuate the brake pads.
There are many classifications of brake fluid, but the most commonly used nowadays are DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids. They are all glycol-based brake fluids, but mineral oil or silicone (DOT 5) brake fluids can be seen in specialized applications. The different classifications represent the performance of the brake fluid.
Brake fluids have to meet a few important criteria. First, brake fluids must have low compressibility. They need to transfer the force applied by the driver to the brake caliper pistons efficiently.
Following that, they must be able to endure high-temperature operations without boiling over. Even DOT 3 brake fluids can withstand over 200 Celsius before boiling. However, over time, glycol-based fluids will absorb moisture naturally and reduce the boiling point. This is referred to as the dry and wet boiling point.
Brake fluids that boil are an issue since they cause vaporization within the lines. Vapor is compressible and severely reduces braking capability. Finally, the brake fluid must inhibit corrosion (unless you’re okay with learning how to fix rust on a car) within the system, and lubricate the moving parts within the brake system.
Time has an impact on a brake fluid’s properties. Whether it’s due to the fluid absorbing moisture or contamination. This is why it’s necessary to replace the brake fluid periodically. However, the brake system is fully contained, so you should never be required to top off brake fluid regularly if there are no leaks.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost
If you’re planning to replace your brake pads and/or rotors, here’s how much that might cost you…
Brake Pad Replacement Cost
You’ll most frequently find yourself needing to get the brake pads replaced on your vehicle. With that said, it’s difficult to specifically determine the price of a brake pad change, since it varies wildly from vehicle to vehicle.
If you have a normal compact car with a basic front single-piston brake setup, it should be relatively straightforward. You can expect to pay around $150 with labor included. Most shops would be able to carry out the job quickly enough, and brake pads should only cost around $50 to $100.
This is the cost per axle of course. You should always replace brake pads in pairs, meaning if you replace the front left brake pad, the front right brake pad should be replaced alongside. Brake pads are always sold in pairs either way. This is to ensure the braking force is even across the axle.
The rear pads might be cheaper because it’s typically smaller. Some cars still use a rear drum brake setup though, which might cost more in labor since it’s more involved to replace brake shoes.
Of course, this is all dependent on your vehicle type. If you drive a sports car or large SUV, you should expect to pay much more. Costs can range from $500 to even $1000 per axle. This is because the costs of brake pads increase exponentially if it’s larger.
If you’ve ever done a big brake upgrade on your vehicle, you would know how much those performance pads can cost. It also depends on the material used on the brake pad. Daily drivers can make do with organic pads which cost less; while high-performance sportscars need metallic or ceramic pads that can endure higher temperatures.
Brake Pad Replacement Frequency
The good thing about the brake pad is that while it’s a common maintenance item, it doesn’t require that much attention. However, the replacement interval is highly dependent on how you drive your car, and the type of car you’re driving.
For example, someone who drives a light city car will need less frequent pad changes when compared to a luxury SUV. It’s also highly dependent on the compound used on the brake pad. Soft organic brake pads on normal cars provide better drivability, but also wear out quicker.
In general, brake pads can last upwards of 40,000 to 50,000 miles before needing a replacement. It can be half that with frequent stop-and-go traffic in a heavy car. If you commute frequently on quiet highways though, brake pads can even endure 70,000 miles before needing to be changed.
The only way to know for sure is to measure the lining thickness. You can buy brake pad measuring tools that allow you to measure the lining thickness without removing your wheels. It’s generally recommended that you replace brake pads that have less than 4mm of lining material remaining.
Of course, you can always just wait for the pad sensor to warn you, or even until the metal tab starts to scrape on the brake rotor. Those are manufacturer calibrated and provide you with immediate feedback on when to get your brake pad changed.
Sometimes, you’ll also find the need to replace the brake rotors. This is typically done as a maintenance procedure alongside a brake pad change. Again, as you might imagine, replacing the brake rotor can vary wildly in price depending on the car you drive.
As with brake pads, you should always replace the rotors in pairs. This ensures that braking performance is kept equal across the axle.
Brake Rotor Replacement Cost
For a normal compact car with a modestly sized brake rotor, you can expect to pay around $400 to $500 per axle with labor included. The rear axle brake rotor will tend to be cheaper due to the smaller size. Rear rotors are also normally solid rotors that are cheaper to manufacture.
However, on the other hand, if you drive a premium European car then the cost can rise exponentially. You can expect to pay around $1000 per axle for a luxury sedan, and upwards of $2500 per axle for a large full-size SUV.
If you drive a car with rear brake drums, this can last you a lifetime. Typically brake drums don’t need to be replaced unless in extreme cases. You can expect to pay approximately $400 per axle with labor if the brake drums need to be replaced.
Undoubtedly, if your brake rotors are massive drilled or slotted, then you can expect to pay a lot more for the disc. Of course, you can even upgrade your stock rotors to a performance rotor, but keep in mind it always comes with higher maintenance costs.
In some cases, your brake rotors might not actually be worn down at all. It might just be warped, which means that it’s possible to ‘skim’ or resurface the disc surface to reuse the rotor. Typically a resurface service costs around $15 per rotor without the labor of removing and installing the rotors. That’s much more economical if your car has expensive rotors.
While scarce, it’s worthwhile to note that in some high-end sports cars, 2-piece rotors are used in lieu of conventional rotors. These rotors have a detachable rotor surface that can be replaced separately. However, the costs can be exorbitant due to the exotic construction and specialized applications.
Brake Rotor Replacement Frequency
Again, much like brake pads, how often you should replace your brake rotors is dependent on your driving behavior. However, some would say that you should replace the brake rotors every time you carry out a brake job.
Needless to say, that’s not a definite rule, and it can rack up the costs rapidly if you toss out perfectly good rotors every time. A good rule of thumb is that special attention should be paid to the rotors for every other brake pad replacement job carried out. If there are signs of severe warping or wear, then you can proceed with a rotor replacement.
That puts it at around 70,000 to 80,000 miles. You don’t want to wear the rotor out until there’s no surface remaining for the pads to bite into.
The only way to determine for sure is to measure the rotor thickness. The specifications vary from vehicle to vehicle, and you should consult the owner’s manual for this information. Some rotors have it written right on the hub. Some have an indicator on the rotor surface.
There are also indicators and symptoms that the driver should recognize that necessitate a rotor change. For example, if you start braking and feel the brake pedal vibrating, this indicates that the rotor is rattling when the pads are pressing upon it. This can happen due to a warped rotor
When this happens, you should get your brake system checked and serviced. This means that the brake components must be cleaned thoroughly and replaced if needed.
An often overlooked part of brake system maintenance is the fluid that actually makes the brakes work. In fact, when was the last time you checked the brake fluid of your vehicle, despite there being an access cap for it?
Brake Fluid Replacement Cost
It’s not quite as straightforward as just replacing the fluid though. To properly replace the brake fluid with new fluid you have to perform a thorough fluid flush. This will typically cost around $80 to $120 depending on what brake fluid and how much you use.
Typically, changing out the brake fluid is affordable, since brake fluid is readily available, generally universal, and affordable. Most of the cost is due to the labor. But no matter your vehicle, it should cost about the same.
There are a few types of brake fluid. Most cars nowadays use a range of brake fluids ranging from DOT 3 and DOT 4. Some premium European car calls for a variety of enhanced DOT 4 fluid though.
The difference between the various brake fluid lies within their rated wet and dry boiling point. Of course, the higher the rated boiling point of the fluid the more expensive the fluid is to replace.
In rare cases, DOT 5 brake fluid is used instead. DOT 5 is completely different from DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluid in that it’s based on a completely different base. Instead of glycol-ester, it’s silicone.
DOT 5 fluids are used in vehicles that are expected to sit for a while. Harley Davidson is one of the few manufacturers that use this fluid from the factory. This fluid is different in that it doesn’t absorb moisture, so it can be left for a long time without contamination.
In higher-performance cars that see extensive track use, then DOT 5.1 might even be recommended. DOT 5.1 has an even higher boiling point so it can endure extensive high-speed braking maneuvres without vaporizing.
Brake Fluid Replacement Frequency
The recommended replacement frequency of brake fluid changes differs wildly depending on the manufacturer. As always, you can refer to the owner’s manual for this information.
A good rule of thumb is to check your brake fluid at every general service to make sure it’s in good condition. Otherwise, replacing it every 20,000 miles or 2 years is a safe guideline. Some carmakers even recommend 40,000-mile intervals.
Otherwise, you should get the brake system flushed when the brake fluid inside is contaminated. This can happen due to the hygroscopic property of glycol-based brake fluids. It means that brake fluid will absorb moisture out of the air and lose its efficiency.
You can tell that the brake fluid is dirty from the color and appearance of the fluid. When the brake fluid is new it’s generally a light-gold color, and when it’s contaminated it’ll darken to green. You might also see sediments in the fluid reservoir.
These sediments are built up from rust within the system. Moisture within brake fluid will cause rust to form, which is obviously not ideal in an enclosed system.
How To Tell If You Need New Rotors And Brake Pads
Maintaining a vehicle’s braking system is crucial for safety. Worn brake pads or rotors can lead to accidents. Here are some common signs that indicate the need for brake pad and rotor replacement:
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #1: Unusual Noises
Hearing strange sounds while braking is often the first sign of worn-out brake pads or rotors. A high-pitched squeal may occur when the brake pads are thin. A grinding noise indicates the pads are completely worn, and metal is rubbing against metal. Don’t ignore these noises; get your brakes checked immediately.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #2: Vibration or Pulsation
When the brake pedal vibrates or pulsates during braking, it’s often a sign of warped rotors. Uneven rotor surfaces cause the brake pads to move in and out, resulting in vibration. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to avoid further damage.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #3: Brake Pedal Feels Different
A soft or spongy brake pedal indicates air in the brake lines or worn brake pads. If you have to press the pedal harder than usual to stop the vehicle, it’s time for a brake system inspection.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #4: Parking Brake Issues
The parking brake should hold the vehicle securely on a slope. If the parking brake lever feels loose or the vehicle rolls, there might be an issue with the brake pads, rotors, or cables. Get them inspected and repaired.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #5: Dashboard Indicators
Modern vehicles have dashboard warning lights for the braking system. If the ABS light or brake warning light illuminates, there might be a problem with the brake pads, rotors, or fluid level. Don’t delay in seeking professional help.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #6: Decreased Stopping Power
Noticing a decrease in your car’s stopping power is a critical sign that there may be an issue with your brake pads or rotors. If your vehicle takes longer to stop than usual or if it doesn’t stop as effectively as it once did, it’s imperative to get your brake system inspected immediately.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #7: Leaking Fluid
Brake fluid is essential for the brake system to function properly. If you notice a puddle of fluid under your car or a decrease in the brake fluid level in the reservoir, there might be a leak in the brake lines. A leak in the brake lines can lead to reduced brake pressure and compromised brake performance.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #8: Burning Smell
A burning smell while driving is a warning sign that should not be ignored. It could be due to overheating brake pads or rotors. Overheating can occur if there is excessive friction, often caused by worn pads or rotors. If you smell something burning while driving, it’s best to pull over and check your brakes.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #9: Car Pulling to One Side
If your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, it could be due to uneven wear of the brake pads or rotors. Uneven wear can cause an imbalance in the braking force applied to each wheel, causing the vehicle to pull to one side.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #10: Thin Brake Pads
You can sometimes see the brake pads through the spokes of the wheel. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost, Symptoms #11: Grooves or Score Marks on Rotors
Rotors should have a smooth surface for the brake pads to grip. Over time, grooves or score marks can form on the rotor’s surface due to normal wear and tear or from debris caught between the pad and rotor. If you notice grooves or score marks on the rotors, it’s time to replace them.
DIY Brake Maintenance
If you’re somewhat mechanically inclined, you should be able to carry out brake maintenance in your garage (fun fact, go check out our explainer on the square footage for 2 car garage). It isn’t as involved a process as you might think. Moreover, the process involved for most cars is the same.
You’re going to need a floor jack and jack stands of course. A standard wrench set should be adequate to remove all the parts involved. Also, be prepared for a dirty garage floor since brake dust will get everywhere. A brake spreader also helps, but a handy screwdriver can do the job as well.
1. Replacing The Brake Pads
First of all, you have to jack your car up safely, and be sure to use jack stands. Remove the wheels on your vehicle. From here, the procedures depend on what type of brakes your car uses.
Most cars have a floating caliper with two assemblies. This means that only one side of the caliper has pistons, and the caliper glides on two pins along with the caliper bracket. You only have to remove one screw holding the caliper in and pivot it up and away to access the brake pads. Then you can reset the caliper and replace the pads.
Some cars though, notably premium cars, use a fixed caliper that only has one assembly. These calipers have pistons on both sides, and only the piston moves when the brake is applied. The pads will be held in by retaining pins and tensioning clips, and some have a security pin on the back of the caliper.
You have to use a hammer and pin punch to remove the pins and replace the pads. In some cars, it might be necessary to remove the caliper to replace the pads.
2. Replacing The Brake Rotors
If the rotors need to be replaced, you can do it while you’re changing the pads. All you have to do is to remove the caliper bracket which retains the brake rotors. On some cars, there will be a security screw holding the rotor to the wheel hub though, which you have to remove as well.
Sometimes, the rotors won’t come loose easily. This is due to rust buildup on the wheel hub which holds the rotor in place. In this case, some WD40 and a bit of coercion with a hammer will loosen it right up.
3. Replacing The Brake Fluid
If you suspect that air has gotten into the brake lines, or if the brake fluid is dirty, then you can always replace it on your own with a brake bleeding tool. These tools ensure that air does not enter the fluid lines while you’re bleeding it. However, if you have a helper, you can do it without any special tools.
All you need is to ask your helper to repeatedly pump the brake pedal. Then, with pressure built up in the brake lines, depress and hold the brake pedal. Loosen the bleed valves on the caliper to allow fluid to escape.
Either way, be sure to bleed the fluid starting from the furthest caliper to the master cylinder. This is to ensure that air bubbles do not enter the brake lines of the caliper that has already been bled.
By going through the process yourself, you can save on labor cost, which constitutes most of the cost of brake system maintenance. You can also better understand the condition of your brake system this way, and even choose which parts you want to use on your own car for optimal performance.
- Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid level. Most manufacturers recommend inspecting your brake pads and rotors every 6,000 to 7,000 miles. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations.
- Replace Brake Fluid: Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, which can lead to a decrease in its performance. It’s important to replace your brake fluid as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
- Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle: Overloading your vehicle can cause excessive wear and tear on your brake system. Make sure to follow your vehicle’s weight limit as specified in the owner’s manual.
- Drive Carefully: Avoid hard braking whenever possible. Hard braking can cause excessive wear on your brake pads and rotors. Try to anticipate stops and slow down gradually.
- Get Professional Help: If you’re not comfortable inspecting or replacing your brake pads or rotors, it’s best to seek professional help. A certified technician can help diagnose and repair any issues with your brake system.
Remember, the braking system is one of the most critical safety features of your vehicle. Don’t ignore any signs of trouble. Regular maintenance and timely repairs will ensure your vehicle stops effectively when you need it to.
Brake Work and Maintenance: Facts You Need to Know
- Brake work is crucial for ensuring safety on the road and requires regular maintenance.
- AutoZone provides all the necessary brake parts for DIY or professional repairs.
- The frequency of brake jobs depends on factors such as driving conditions, quality of parts, and maintenance.
- Quality brake pads usually last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, while rotors and calipers have varying lifecycles.
- Driving habits, environmental factors, and materials used affect the longevity of brakes.
- The cost of brake replacement varies based on factors such as the brand, make and model of the vehicle, and materials used.
- Mechanics may charge different hourly rates, and manufacturers price parts differently, making it difficult to estimate the cost of new brakes.
- For brake pad replacement only, expect to pay between $115 and $270 per axle, including parts and labor.
- Replacing rotors with brake pads is critical for maximum safety and can cost between $250 and $500 per axle at a professional shop.
- Caliper replacement is the most expensive aspect of the braking system, with a complete brake job costing between $300 and $800 or more, depending on the vehicle.
Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you’re still puzzled about a brake pad and rotor replacement cost, our FAQs here might have some answers…
How Much Does A Brake Pad And Rotor Replacement Cost
Brake pads alone aren’t all too expensive. A set of brake pads could be had for just around $50 to $100. Add that up with labor costs, and it should cost you around $150 on average. However, vehicles with larger or more complex braking setups may cost you closer to $500 or even $1,000 for a set of brake pads. Meanwhile, brake rotors are slightly more expensive, costing between $400 to $500 per axle. Once again, heavy-duty and high-performance vehicles will cost more to have their rotors replaced. This is likely around $1,000 to $2,500. Add them all up, and the average brake pad and rotor replacement cost is roughly $550 per axle, on average.
How Long Do Brake Pads Last
Brake pads are among the more regularly replaced items on a car. For those who drive frequently, especially with a lot of stop-and-go traffic, the brake pads will wear out sooner. On average, brake pads are designed to last between 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles. If you put less braking force on those pads (i.e. not braking all too often), you could feasibly extend their shelf-life to around 70,000 miles.
How Long Do Rotors Last
Unlike brake pads, the accompanying rotors aren’t replaced as often, and they’re made to last a long time. On average, the most basic set of rotors (aka brake discs) could last at least 70,000 miles before needing a replacement. But just like brake pads, the lifespan of rotors will be dependent on how you drive your car. Put too much strain on it, and the rotors could be out by the time it reaches 30,000 miles.
How To Change Brake Pads
Replacing the brake pads is a relatively DIY-friendly process, and you could even practice this at home. In a nutshell, you’ll first have to jack and lift your car up. Then, remove the wheel and get rid of the slider bolt. Carefully pivot the brake calipers around to get better access, and slide off the old brake pads. At this point, it’s a good idea to replace the old retaining clips, before sliding the new pads in. Reposition the caliber, slit the slider bolt back in, and tighten everything. All you need to do now is repeat this process for the other wheels.
How Long Does It Take To Change Brakes
Replacing the brake pads doesn’t take a lot of time. Inexperienced and amateur DIYers could have the brake pads swapped out for all four wheels within 2 hours. If not, or if you’re just starting out and don’t know what you’re doing, perhaps around 3 to 5 hours. However, professional mechanics shouldn’t take any longer than 1 hour to replace all 4 brake pads. On average, it may take them between 30 minutes to 45 minutes to swap out the brake pads for a new set.
How Much Does a Mechanic Make
The average salary of a mechanic varies based on several factors such as experience, location, and specialization. As of writing, an auto mechanic in the United States can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $70,000 per year. Entry-level mechanics typically earn at the lower end of the scale, while experienced or specialized mechanics can earn a higher salary.
Which One Is the Brake
The brake pedal is located on the floor of the vehicle, to the left of the accelerator pedal. When you press down on the brake pedal, it activates the braking system, slowing down or stopping the vehicle.
How Much Do Brakes Cost
The cost of brake replacement varies depending on several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, the type of brake pads and rotors needed, and labor costs in your area. On average, brake pad replacement can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 per axle, while brake rotors can range from $200 to $400 per axle.
Where Can I Get My Brakes Done
You can get your brakes done at various places such as independent auto repair shops, chain repair stores, or dealerships. It is always advisable to read reviews, get recommendations from friends or family, and compare prices before deciding on a place.
How Much Is Brake Fluid
The price of brake fluid can vary depending on the brand and type of fluid required for your vehicle. On average, a bottle of brake fluid can cost anywhere from $5 to $20. It is important to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the type of brake fluid required.
How Many Brake Pads Per Wheel
Typically, there are two brake pads per wheel, one on each side of the rotor. The brake pads clamp down on the rotor to create friction and slow down or stop the vehicle.
Does Costco Do Brakes
As of writing, Costco does not offer brake services. They do offer a range of other automotive services, such as tire installation and battery replacement, but brake services are not included in their offerings.
How Much To Change Brake Fluid
The cost to change brake fluid can vary based on location and the make and model of your vehicle. On average, the cost to change brake fluid can range from $50 to $150.
When Should Brake Pads Be Replaced
Brake pads should typically be replaced when they are worn down to 1/8th of an inch or less. Most vehicles have a wear indicator that makes a squealing noise when the brake pads are worn to this level. It is important to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult a professional mechanic for specific recommendations for your vehicle.
How To Check Brake Pads Without Removing Wheel
You can sometimes check the brake pad thickness by looking through the spokes of the wheel. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor, and you should be able to see at least 1/4 inch of the pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, it may be time to have your brake pads replaced. However, it is always best to have a professional mechanic check the brake pads as there may be uneven wear that is not visible without removing the wheel.