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Brake Pad Replacement Cost

If you need to find out how much brake pads cost, here you will be able to find pricing information for brake pads on a wide range of cars. You’ll also get some helpful pointers, such as how much brake pad replacement cost, when to replace your brake pads, when to change out your brake rotors, what types of brake pads are available, how much you can expect to pay for new brake rotors, their installation, what brands are best and which ones may be best suited to your needs.

When factoring the price of the maintenance of your vehicle, brake pads cost should be at the top of your list. Making sure your brake system is functioning at top capacity is imperative for the safety of you and your family. It can be very foolhardy, to say the least, to travel in a vehicle with poor brakes.

A lack of functional brakes can cause a serious accident resulting in severe injuries to passengers and driver alike. Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, your braking system should always be kept up to par to ensure optimum safety and protection on the road.

Brake pads replacement – when and why?

Normally pretty much all components associated with the brake system of your automobile are made to last, however, it is highly recommended to check out your brakes often and change brake pads, rotors, line, and fluid if necessary. To have an understanding of the value of the braking system let us quickly review how it works.

Anytime someone presses the brake pedal in their auto, it engages the primary brake cylinder. The piston inside the cylinder causes the pressure throughout the brake lines which are fastened to every single wheel. Consequently, the brake fluid under pressure activates every single wheel cylinder, which then pushes brake pads to the rotors which then enables each of the wheels quit rotating which successively causes the car to stop going.

brake pad replacement
Brake pad replacement

Replacing brake rotors often is not needed, you might get away with merely resurfacing each one. Actually, everyone ought to perform the sanding and resurfacing of their rotors every now and then. This approach definitely will keep their outer layer nice and equal and in turn, each of your pads and rotors will last much longer. You can often tell that the rotor is warped by the pulsating brake pedal.

Also following a certain interval of usage there comes a moment when the brake pads end up hazardously thin, which you can tell by screeching or squealing sounds while stopping. If not resolved sooner rather than later, the pad can damage brake rotor which in turn will require its replacement since even if you set up completely new pads, they will very likely need another replacement again following a couple months of driving your motor vehicle. The cost of brake pads often depends on what kind of brand you will pick, either you’re going to purchase online or locally, and if you would want an extended warranty on each pad.

How Disc Brakes Work

Disc brakes work using friction. Two metal disc pads clamp down on a rotor behind the wheel to stop it from spinning; stopping the rotor stops the wheel from spinning, which in turn stops the movement of the car. This is a whole principle how braking system works.

Because these metal pads use friction to work, they are subject to being worn down and worn down brake pads make the braking system less responsive.

A car with worn brake pads may not come to a complete stop when the driver wants or needs it to.

Types of Brake Pads

A car’s braking system consists of brake pads, calipers, rotor discs and brake lines. When replacing brake pads, you should take time to inspect the other parts as well. Brake pad costs depend on the type of pads you buy for the make and model of your vehicle. Pads for an economical car, for example, may be lower in price than those for a luxury car.

Semi-metallic pads may be composed of 50% metal or more, combined with other bonding materials. They are durable in construction but tend to be noisy when used. In addition, the pads cause greater wear and tear on your brake rotors, resulting in your having to replace these more often.

Generally, there are four types of brake pads as follows:

  • Semi-metallic pads
  • Organic pads
  • Low metallic pads
  • Ceramic pads

Organic pads are constructed out of carbon, rubber or glass fibers. They are quiet to use, mainly due to their organic composition. However, they have a short lifespan and must, therefore, be replaced more often.

Low-metallic pads are constructed of organic materials mixed with low quantities of steel or copper fibers. Because of the addition of metal, the pads are noisy to use.

Ceramic pads are composed of ceramic fibers mixed with filler materials and very small amounts of metal such as iron. These pads are the most expensive of the four types, but they offer the best quality and performance.

Warning Signs it’s time for Brake Pad Replacement?

how much are brake padsThere are a number of indicators that will tell you that you need to replace your brake pads. The textbook way is to monitor the thickness of each brake pad and compares them to the thickness of your rotors. If the brake pads are 1/3 the thickness of the rotors, it’s time to replace them. On average, brake pads will measure out to about 2 millimeters thick by the time they reach this level of wear. This is about the thickness of two pennies. The most well-known symptom of worn brake pads is a squeaking noise that will emanate from the brake whenever the driver taps the pedal. This is from something called a wear-indicator, which is there to indicate that the brakes need replacement.  If your car starts to make a high pitched squeal when you apply your brakes, this another sign that you need to get your brake pads replaced soon. Don’t make the mistake of putting it off, this high pitched squeal will quickly turn into a grinding noise, which will indicate that the brake pads are completely worn, and the metal backing is rubbing on the rotors, which at this point are most likely to be damaged and require replacement as well, causing you to spend several hundreds of dollars more. In several newer cars, a warning light will turn on when you have worn down your brake pads far enough, so check your dashboard every day.

For most people that noise is the first indication that they need to get new brakes, but it is a good idea to regularly inspect the brakes for signs of wear as the noise is not necessarily a reliable sign. The brakes often need to be replaced prior to the point that they start squealing. It is always best to replace pads before the squealing starts. As we already said if on inspection the driver finds that the brake pads are less than 3/32 of an inch thick, the pads will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Another symptom of some kind of issue within your brake system is having brake pedal traveling too far whenever you apply brakes. That could quite possibly imply air in the brake lines. Generally, you can pump the pedal whenever you begin using the brakes, but it is necessary to diagnose your brake system and track down the issue. Actually, it is necessary to do so asap if you also encounter such signals as soft brake pedal, really hard brake pedal, dragging or pulling to one side while driving. For most effective results in diagnosing and repairing your brake lines, pads and rotors remember to visit your neighborhood auto technician.

How much do brake pads cost?

In regards to the different types of brake pads that you can purchase, there are several options to consider. If you are not sure where to begin, we suggest you first read up about front and rear brake pads. Whether you are going to a mechanic to get your brake pads replaced or are doing it yourself, this is the most basic piece of knowledge that you need. Then, if you would like to explore other options, such as whether to buy metallic or ceramic brake pads, we have provided some helpful articles for you throughout this blog.

Front Brake Pads

front brake pads cost
Front brake pads

Assuming your brake system is functioning normally, the brake pads on your front tires will have to be changed out much quicker than the brake pads on your back tires. This is due to the fact that the majority of cars these days operate on front wheel drive, where the engine powers the rotation of only the front two wheels. Furthermore, in front wheel drive, the bulk of the car’s weight, about sixty to seventy percent is also loaded onto the front wheels. This, in turn, places a lot more stress and friction onto the front brake pads than on the rear brake pads, causing them to wear out much faster. Because a car’s stopping ability is highly dependent on the braking mechanisms of the front wheels, it is very important to inspect the front brake pads frequently. The standard bit of advice is to check all your brake pads every 10,000 miles, but we would advise you to check the front brake pads much more frequently, especially if you typically experience a lot of stops and go traffic. It is much easier to remember to check your brake pads each time you need an oil change, which is about every 3000 – 4000 miles.

Front Brake Pads Cost

If you want to know how much front brake pads cost, keep in mind that prices will depend on a number of things, such as what car you drive, the type of brake pads you want, and brand.

There are several different models of brake pads available. To give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay, here is a general pricing guide on basic replacement front brake pads (per pair) for the most popular car models. If you don’t see your car listed below, you will many times find that prices on front brake pads will be about the same for similar models offered by your car’s brand.

Coupes and SedansSUVs
Audi A4$68Acura MDX$41
BMW 3 Series$32Audi Q5$68
Cadillac CTS$54 – $57Chevrolet Equinox$23
Chevrolet Aveo$21Ford Explorer$32
Honda Civic$13 – $19GMC Terrain$23
Dodge Avenger$21Honda CR-V$25
Ford Focus$46Hyundai Tucson $45
Hyundai Elantra$23Jeep Grand Cherokee $30
Infiniti G Series$18Kia Sorento$20
Lexus I Series$23Nissan Rogue$50
Lincoln MKZ$26Subaru Outback$22
Mazda 3$22Toyota RAV4$25
Mercedes Benz C300$69Volkswagen Tiguan$55 – $100
Mini Cooper$33 – $59
Nissan Sentra$20
Subaru Impreza$19
Toyota Corolla$25
Volkswagen Jetta$41 – $90
TrucksVans
Chevrolet Silverado$20Chrysler Town and Country$40
Dodge Ram$60Dodge Grand Caravan$40
Ford F-150$30Honda Odyssey$25
GMC Sierra$20Kia Sedona$30
Honda Ridgeline$31Mazda 5$22
Nissan Frontier$19Nissan Quest$20
Toyota Tacoma$20Toyota Sienna$20
Volkswagen Routan$40

The prices shown here are for basic semi-metallic brake pads that you would be able to purchase at big box stores such as Autozone and Pep Boys. Buying from these locations is usually the least expensive option, as they typically cost half as much as their OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement counterparts. You will often find that aftermarket brake pads provide comparable if not better performance.

For the majority of cars, front brake pads cost around $20 – $40. Where most passenger cars and trucks will tend to be in the $20 – $30 range, you will notice that most SUVs and vans will be in the $25 – $40+ range.

Front brake pads for Japanese and American cars will usually have a lower cost than they would for European and English cars. For example, Honda, Nissan, Dodge, and Chevrolet will typically incur the lowest expense, while Audi, Mercedes Benz, and Volkswagen will incur the highest expense. However, Ford owners may be disappointed to find out that replacement parts for many of the auto maker’s cars are notably more expensive than other American brands. Cadillac is another exception as it is America’s luxury brand, and will also command a higher price tag on its brake pads.

Rear Brake Pads

rear brake pads cost
Rear brake pads

Again, if your brake system is working normally and your car has the front wheel drive like most cars, these don’t have to be replaced as often as front brake pads. It is not uncommon for drivers to go through three sets of front brake pads before switching out the rear brake pads. This is due to the fact that less weight is placed onto the rear wheel. Moreover, the only real hard use on them is when the driver applies the parking brake to secure the car in a stationary position, up or downhill for example, or during emergency stops. Nevertheless, you eventually do need to replace them, so it is wise to inspect them every ten thousand miles because you want to make sure your rear brakes work in case you actually do need them in an emergency. However, if you have a luxury or race/performance oriented car, your rear brake pads may wear out as fast as your front brake pads because these types of cars usually have rear wheel drive and their weight is equally placed across all four tires, demanding an equal distribution of workload on all four brake pads when stopping the car. But if your car has front wheel drive, and you are finding that your rear brake pads are wearing out faster than your front brake pads, you may have to get your calipers checked out, because there is a good chance that they are sticking, and may have to be loosened or replaced altogether.

Rear Brake Pads Cost

The cost of rear brake pads is determined primarily by the make and model of your car, as well as the type of pads that you would like to have put in.

The list provided here shows the lowest prices that we found on basic third party (not your car’s manufacturer) standard replacements for the most common cars sold by large chain auto parts stores such as Kragen and Napa. While you can certainly purchase originals from your car’s manufacturer, you can expect to pay at least twice as much for them. On the other hand, these aftermarket rear brake pads will meet or exceed original equipment specs, while saving you a considerable amount of money.

Coupes and SedansSUVs
Audi A4$40 – $66Acura MDX$27
BMW 3 Series$20Audi Q7$28
Cadillac CTS$43Chevrolet Traverse$20
Chevrolet Cobalt$20Ford Edge$30
Dodge Caliber$20 – $26Honda Pilot

$27
Ford Taurus$51Hyundai Santa Fe$45
Honda Accord$29GMC Acadia$20
Hyundai Accent$25Jeep Wrangler$25
Infiniti M Series$18Kia Sportage$20
Lexus E Series$23Nissan Murano$18
Lincoln MKS$51Subaru Forester$21
Mazda 6$21Toyota Highlander$31
Mercedes Benz E Class$43 – $63Volkswagen Touareg$28
Mini Cooper$33 – $59
Nissan Altima$18
Subaru Legacy$38
Toyota Camry$23
Volkswagen Golf$21 – $50
TrucksVans
Chevrolet Avalanche $30Chrysler Town and Country$40
Dodge Ram$52Dodge Grand Caravan$40
Ford Range$21Honda Odyssey$25
GMC Sierra$30Kia Sedona$31
Nissan Titan$23Toyota Sienna$28
Toyota Tundra$24Volkswagen Routan$40
Honda Ridgeline$23Nissan Quest$33

Can’t find your car on the list? You can be confident that rear brake pads for your car will have comparable pricing as they would for similar vehicles offered by your car’s manufacturer. For example, basic rear brake pads for a Toyota Camry will cost the same as they would for a Toyota Avalon, twenty-three dollars per pair.

Please keep in mind that the prices shown above are for the brake pads only and not the cost of installation. Unless you know how to do your own brake jobs, you should expect to pay a mechanic about $100 for labor to replace your rear brake pads for you.

Ceramic Brake Pads Cost

Ceramic brake pads cost a bit more than basic semi-metallic brake pads, for several reasons. The next time you need new brake pads, consider the following benefits and advantages of ceramic brake pads. You may find that they will be worth the extra cost and accommodate your driving needs better.

Ceramic brake pads are specially designed to offer long-term reliable performance. This is made possible with ceramic’s superior robustness and durability, which allows the pads to grind away much slower than steel or cast iron based brake pads. In addition to its excellent wear resistance, ceramic has the ability to withstand high levels of heat, the primary by-product of the friction that occurs the brake pads are applied to the rotors. This further minimizes brake fade as well as brake recovery time after each engagement.

ceramic brake pads cost
Ceramic brake pads

Ceramic brake pads also offer the driver smoother and quieter operation. This can be contributed to their low friction surface, which when placed against the rotor produces a noise that has a frequency too high for the human ear to sense. Furthermore, ceramic brake pads often feature intermittent copper fibers throughout. Since copper is a much softer metal than either steel or iron, it provides a sort of cushioning and noise dampening effect. This is quite different from the way traditional brake pads work, which feature chopped steel fibers, steel wool, or porous cast iron, all of which are very abrasive and produce a high level of friction as well as unnecessary noise.

The smoother operation of ceramic brake pads also offers more cleanliness to the driver. One nasty by-product of using semi-metallic brake pads is excessive brake dust, which is essentially shavings made as the rotor grinds against them. This not only produces an unsightly brownish black stain on a car’s brake components and rims but also damages the finish and sheen of a car’s tires. While ceramic brake pads also produce brake dust when applied, it is a much lesser amount and much less noticeable. You will surely appreciate this if you own a luxury car, or simply take special pride of ownership of your car and want to ensure that it always looks nice and clean.

Although they cost more up front, ceramic brake pads may provide significant savings over the long run. They last three to four times longer than their semi metallic counterparts. If you factor in the cost of buying three or four sets of semi-metallic brake pads, plus the expense of having someone change them out every time, you will often find that you end up spending much more for them. This doesn’t even include the cost of replacing rotors, which also have to be changed out more frequently when using semi-metallic brake pads due to their high abrasive characteristics. An entire brake job with rotor replacement can easily cost $400 – $500 dollars. Compare this to the nominal cost of about $150 – $200 for purchasing and installing ceramic brake pads which are much easier on a car’s rotors and don’t have to be replaced as often.

All in all, expect to pay two to three times more for ceramic brake pads as you would for semi-metallic brake pads.

Brake Pad Replacement Cost

The crucial role of the brakes is the reason that some drivers prefer to have them repaired only by professionals, but the job of replacing disc pads is fairly simple and can be done by most people without any special tools, even if they are not particularly mechanically inclined.

Average Brake Pad Replacement Cost

The brake pad replacement cost will vary depending on the brand and the materials used to make them but is often between $30 and $60. Ceramic pads, which are said to be more responsive, may cost as much as $75. When replacing these items, be sure to replace both front wheels at the same time and both back wheels at the same time, to maintain uniformity. Further adding to the brake pad replacement cost is the possibility that the rotors themselves may need to be replaced.  If the driver has gone too long without replacing their brake pads, the rotors may be damaged. A visual inspection will be necessary to tell if the car needs new rotors or not. Replacement costs of this item may range from $20 to $80 per wheel, in accordance with the quality and brand of the product. If you add the cost of replacing brake calipers to this list, you may spend yet an additional $30 upwards for each wheel, increasing the total cost even further. Here you can check some other car tune-up costs  or wheel alignment cost

How to change brake pads and save money on brake pad replacement

Some vehicle owners opt to purchase brake kits and replace these items on their own, thus saving the cost of having to pay a professional mechanic for this job. If you are mechanically inclined and have some experience in this area, this is a feasible option. Brake kits fall in the range of $430 to $1500 per kit, depending on the product you choose. You may find less expensive kits online through eBay or similar sites. However, you should choose your product with great care for quality and performance. The NHTSA reports that responsibility for many traffic accidents is going to an incompetent installation of the braking system. By purchasing only quality brake system parts, you can have greater confidence in vehicle safety on the road.

The auto parts market tends to be quite competitive, giving you a wide variety of product options to buy as well as dealers to purchase from. Online dealers may offer better deals when it comes to pricing, but you should check local auto parts stores as well to see what they have to offer. You will have a better idea of where to buy after researching all the options where you live.

Here you can see brake service cost at Firestone Complete Auto Care Services with brake coupon

Type of serviceService IncludesPrice with coupon
Firestone Standard Brake ServiceFree brake inspection
Installation of new Wagner ThermoQuiet brake pads
Resurface brake rotors
$99.99 per axle

It should be noted that it may be necessary to change front brake pads more often than rear ones since they endure more stress. Spending a little on the brake pad replacement cost side can help you save on the cost or replacing rotors.

Brake Job Cost – Professional Brake System Servicing Price

Labor costs of professional services for your brake system can be very expensive, ranging between $200 and $1000 depending on the work required and on the location. This price is exclusive of the cost of parts. The advantage of using a professional service center is that they will guarantee their work, ensuring the job is done right. Unless you have some knowledge or experience in this area, tackling this task as a DIY project could be dangerous. By doing faulty work or making careless mistakes, you could accidentally damage your brake part products or risk an accident if your brakes do not operate properly on the road.

The safety and protection of your loved ones depend on having the best brake system you can. Quality brake parts and proper replacement will ensure your system is in top condition. High-quality brake pads cost more than mediocre ones, but they are well worth the investment for superior function and safety.

Inspecting the Brake Rotors

Worn down brake pads that are not replaced quickly will visibly score the surface of the rotor. A brake rotor should have a smooth surface for the pads to clamp down on. Apart from scoring, there are other problems such as the rotors wearing down due to friction from the pads.

 

brake rotors cost
Brake Rotors

The result of this erosion is that the rotors may become thin and warp. A symptom of warped rotors is that there is a wobbling sensation every time the brakes are used. In some cases, if the rotor has not been too deeply scored, it will be possible to have it machined and given a smooth surface. If it is possible to feel the grooves in the rotor with a fingernail, then it may be time to replace them.

 

The cost of brake rotors may be as little as $50 or as high as $200 depending on the model of car. Replacement of both pads and rotors can be as high as $500 or more in an auto repair shop. This cost is further motivation for the person who is mechanically inclined to do their brake repair themselves.

For the most part, brake pads are made of a semi-metallic material, though ceramic brake pads are gradually becoming more popular. Notions of which brands are best will vary among professional auto mechanics and car-enthusiasts, and there is a very wide variety of brands and materials to choose from.

Brake Rotors Cost

Although you don’t have to replace them as often as brake pads, it is a good idea to know how much brake rotors cost in addition to how much brake pads cost for your car. That way, when you inspect your brakes or go to your mechanic and he tells you that you need to change them out along with your pads, you will not be taken aback by how expensive it is.

brake repair cost
Brake rotor cost

Having to replace the brake rotors is a normal part of regular car maintenance. As with your brake pads, your rotors are subject to the wear of friction that occurs each time you apply your brakes. The two components work together. That is, your pads must squeeze down on your spinning rotor in order to stop your wheels from spinning. It doesn’t matter how good your brake pads are, or if you are using a top of the line set. If you have rotors with too many imperfections, you will compromise the integrity of your car’s stopping power, as well as allow your brand spanking new pads to wear away much faster than their expected life, which will cost you more in the end.

On average, brake rotors last the life of two sets of brake pads. If you are really easy on your car, you may be able to resurface your brake rotors to get longer wear time out of them, allowing you to go through the third set of pads. But you want to make sure that you haven’t reached the minimum thickness indicator, which is cast into the rotor edge or hat. Resurfacing will cost around $15 per rotor. This may or may not be cost effective for you, depending on the mechanic or shop you see. If it charges a flat rate for the job type, you will most likely save money. However, as some places charge by the hour, you will probably be better off just getting brand new rotors, which on the most common cars, say a Nissan Sentra, cost as little as $28 per rotor. It takes the same amount of time to install a brand new rotor as it does a resurfaced rotor, but it takes an additional 20 – 30 minutes per rotor to perform a resurface job, and mechanics will charge about $100 per hour. In that case, you might as well get yourself some new rotors and be confident that your brakes will work.

To determine how much brake rotors will cost you, reference the price list below. We have included the price of brake rotors for the most popular cars on the market. The prices given are for the lowest cost aftermarket rotors that you can find. When possible, we have shared pricing on the front / rear rotors for each car listed. If you are unable to find your car on the list, no worries. Just find the most comparable car and you will have a reasonable estimate.

Coupes and SedansSUVs
Audi A4$56 / $52Honda CR-V$56 / $32
BMW 3 Series$78 / $77Chevrolet Equinox$63 / $48
Cadillac CTS$62 / $54Toyota RAV4$57 / $32
Chevrolet Aveo$36 / $23Ford Explorer$52 / $37
Honda Civic$33 / $27Kia Sorento$70 / $40
Dodge Avenger$38 / $37Jeep Grand Cherokee$47 / $43
Ford Focus$45Hyundai Tucson$60 / $36
Hyundai Elantra$40 / $30Subaru Outback$32 / $100
Infiniti G Series$40 / $55GMC Terrain$63 / $48
Lexus I Series$90 / $50Acura MDX$62 / $50
Lincoln MKZ$63 / $53Nissan Rogue

$45 / $34
Mazda 3$52 / $34Volkswagen Tiguan$100 / $26
Mercedes Benz C300$57 / $44Audi Q5$76 / $76
Mini Cooper$36 / $30
Nissan Sentra$45 / $29
Subaru Impreza$74 / $72
Toyota Corolla$42
Volkswagen Jetta$53 / $28
TrucksVans
Chevrolet Silverado$40 / $44Honda Odyssey$50 / $35
Dodge Ram$100 / $100Toyota Sienna$32 / $26
Ford F-150$73 / $32Dodge Grand Caravan$52 / $60
Toyota Tacoma$40Nissan Quest$40 / $40
Nissan Frontier$50 / $34Kia Sedona$56 / $45
GMC Sierra$50 / $42Chrysler Town and Country$52 / $60
Honda Ridgeline$75 / $52Volkswagen Routan$52 / $60

Brake Rotor Replacement

 

brake pad replacement cost
Brake pad replacement

The DIY mechanic is already saving on their brake pad replacement cost by not going to a mechanic, so you may want to spend a little more getting a top rated brand.

 

You should be careful, however, as this is one of those areas where price is not always a reliable indicator of quality.

You can often tell a quality brake pad from where it is made. Look for pads made in the USA instead of the common Chinese made pads if the quality is a top concern.

Some of the popular brake pad brands are:

EBC – This brand has been around for awhile and has a strong reputation for making pads with plenty of stopping power for a wide variety of makes and models. EBC pads and rotors are often affordable and are also widely used in professional racing, so drivers should be able to expect good performance from them.

Baer – These come with a zinc finish to protect against corrosion and stickers that provide specific installation instructions. These brake pads are a little pricier than some other brands, but worth the money in the long run.

Hawk – Hawk brake pads are designed for high performance in sports cars and thus have been made with durability in mind. Their HPS pads are said to provide up to 40 percent more stopping power than standard replacement brake pads.

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