How Long Do Brake Pads Last

Most car owners know about brake pads. These are the money-saving material that stands between your rotors and drums, keeping them from rubbing together. How long do brake pads last, and is it time for a replacement? Here’s what you need to know.

Brake Pad Durability

On average, a brake pad lasts up to 50,000 miles. Some wear out in the 30,000-mile range due to frequent hard braking, usually in urban areas or constant mountain driving. On the other hand, you might go 80,000 miles on the same brake pads if your driving habits are ideal and your daily travel is easy.

The best guide to replacement timing is your owner’s manual. Beyond that, a good mechanic can confirm whether it’s needed. There are brake-related reasons that your pads might wear out too quickly. A mechanic should look for faulty brake calipers or air in the hydraulic brake lines.

Watch for These Signs of Brake Pad Wear

Brake Lights

If your brake light comes on, you need to check on your pads and fluids. It’s probably one or the other. A few vehicles, particularly certain luxury ones, are adding a brake pad light to the dash, but most vehicles don’t have this yet.

Wear Indicator

Good brake pads have a wear indicator. This user-friendly feature causes a whining noise when its time to replace the pads. This has also been described as a squeaking, squealing or screeching noise. If you hear this often while braking during dry driving conditions, it’s time to get a brake inspection. If it’s raining, wait and see if it stops when the undercarriage is dry.

It’s important to remember that some brake pads may not have this feature. If that’s true, then the only way to know is to watch your mileage and get inspections.

Visual Inspection

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can access the pads by removing the wheels. This should allow you to see them and to take measurements. If it is ¼ of any inch, it’s still good. At ⅛ of an inch, it needs to be replaced. If you are buying used cars, this is a good reason to get an independent inspection. It’s part of what is checked when determining which vehicles can be certified preowned cars Scottsdale.

Extreme Wear

If a driver misses the signs that new brake pads are needed, the pads may wear away and allow the metal parts to rub together. This can lead to a loud grinding noise. Some mechanics describe it as a low growl. This indicates extreme wear that will only get worse. Getting pads as quickly as possible could save you from the expense of replacing the rotors and the drums or discs.

Choosing the Best Materials for Your Brake Pads

If your mechanic is suggesting that you change materials, you should consult your owner’s manual and other sources to make sure that a different material will work well in your vehicle. Your Scottsdale Lexus dealer mechanic will tell you that it is best to stick with the original equipment manufacturer when replacing brake pads on a Lexus.


These common pads are made with embedded metallic fibers to reduce brake fade. They do not wear as long as ceramic pads.


The most expensive kind, ceramic pads are also expected to last longer and offer the best performance. They reduce brake dust and wick away heat.

Non-metallic Organic

Another alternative is non-metallic organic ones. These use organic fibers to handle friction. They wear faster than standard pads, but some people prefer how they quiet the brakes when stopping.

How to Protect your Brake Pads

To make your pads last longer, you may need to break some bad habits. Drivers who slam the brakes, making hard stops a regular occurrence, need to learn to brake earlier and more slowly. It is also a bad idea to use short stabs to the brake.

Leaving your car sitting in a garage or outdoors for a year or longer may lead to brake pad problems. If you must leave it, arrange to have it driven every few weeks just to keep the brake pads in shape.

Getting the Best Possible Deal on Your Next Car Rental

A reliable rental car stands to enhance your next travel excursion in a number of ways. Most notably, having access to a vehicle will ensure that you’re able to explore your new locale at your own pace, which can be a boon to travelers who are accustomed to getting around via public transit and rideshare services. Additionally, while the desire to save money is perfectly understandable, renting a car needn’t be a prohibitively expensive undertaking. Cost-conscious travelers looking to get the best possible deal on car rentals can benefit from reading on.

Shopping Around for the Right Bargain

Anyone who thinks that renting a vehicle is too expensive has probably never comparison shopped for rental cars. As is the case with virtually every product and service under the sun, a little bit of effort on the part of consumers can unearth amazing deals on vehicle rentals. Furthermore, thanks to search engines and consumer listing sites, bargains on rental cars are easier to find than ever.

In addition to seeking out rental services with agreeable pricing, you should look for services that are renowned for their customer service. For example, the last thing you want is a rental service that will hold you responsible for damage you didn’t cause or overload you with hidden fees. You can get a solid feel for how much a rental service – or any type of business, for that matter – values its customers by perusing reviews on popular consumer feedback aids like Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau’s website and Facebook Ratings and Reviews.

Of course, the first step in all of this is firing up your favorite search engine and doing some research. For example, if you’ll soon be charting a course for Illinois and are interested in seeing Chi-Town, do a quick search for “car rental Chicago.”

Turning Down GPS

It’s easy to see why having GPS in a rental car would be an appealing prospect to many travelers. After all, if you’re driving around an unfamiliar locale, it stands to reason that you’d want to know where you’re going. However, since springing for GPS stands to add a fair amount to your bill, it may be in your best interest to explore other options.

For instance, if you already own a detachable GPS unit for vehicles, simply bring it on your trip with you. Conversely, if you own a smartphone, you can just rely on your favorite GSP app.

Not Buying Fuel Service Plans

Depending on how much driving you intend to do, a fuel service plan may not be wisest investment. The exact details vary from place to place, but many fuel service plans entail renters paying the cost of a full tank of gas at the outset in exchange for not having to return the vehicle with a full tank. While this may initially strike you as a solid deal, it ultimately stands to cost you more than it stands to save you.

The aforementioned plans ensure that you’ll be charged for a full tank of gas, regardless of whether or not you actually use a full tank. As such, if you wind up returning the car with a tank that’s only partially empty, you’re essentially losing money. While filling up the tank before returning a rental vehicle may be a bit cumbersome, it’s often cheaper than paying for a full tank right off the bat.

Thoroughly Inspecting the Vehicle

Make a point of thoroughly inspecting your next rental vehicle before driving it off the lot. If you stumble upon any dings, dents, scratches or other signs of damage, bring this to the attention of the relevant parties and make sure they document it before you proceed to head out.

Having access to a rental car can make navigating a brand-new locale considerably easier. However, an understandable reluctance to spend money regularly prevents many travelers from renting vehicles. Given how expensive vacations and other large-scale travel excursions can be, there’s little wonder as to why people shy away from things that stand to compound travel costs. Fortunately, as long as you’re armed with the right tips, getting a great deal on a rental car should prove neither difficult nor time-consuming.