Brake Pad Replacement Cost

On an average, the cost of replacing the brake pads is around $200. Know more about brake pads and their replacement in the following paragraphs.
Cost of new brake pads: $40 to $100 (pair)
Labor charges: $100 to $500
Average cost of replacing the brake pads: $200
Tip: You can save a considerable amount of money if you replace the brake pads on your own.

The braking mechanism in cars was improved considerably in late 1960s. It was the time when drum brakes were replaced by the disc brakes. Disc brakes work on the principle of conversion of kinetic energy of the rotating wheel into thermal energy. These brakes are equipped with pads, which have a frictional material on their surface. When the brakes are applied, the frictional surface of the pads causes the rotors or discs to stop, thus stopping the vehicle. Over the course of time, the frictional material wears off and needs to be replaced. All vehicles are equipped with a wear indicator which comes in contact with brake rotor when the frictional material has worn out. The contact causes a squeaking sound, which alerts the driver that the brake pads need replacement.

Average Replacement Cost

Ideally, a single brake pad will cost anything between $20 to $50. But, it's highly advisable to replace them for a pair of wheels. For example, if you need to replace the pads on the front right wheel, you should also replace those on the front left wheel. This is done in order to maintain uniformity, as it is more desirable if the pads on both sides wear out evenly. Rotors need to be replaced as well, especially if the pads have been replaced more frequently as newer brake pads take a toll on the rotor disc. Rotor discs cost anywhere from $35 to $75 per wheel, depending on the type and quality of the rotor. A complete replacement includes removal of the wheels and examination of the pads, rotors, calipers and bearings, and road tests to check proper replacement. The process will also include cleaning the parts, replacing the rotors, and repacking the bearing. So, the total cost will be between $90 to $250 per axle.

The repair price for an entire brake job - rotors, calipers, drums, pads, cylinders - can cost about $750 or more. If you want to replace all four brake pads, it is advisable to get it done at the service station, as pads are not manufactured distinctly for rear or front use.

Points to Remember
  • Brake pads have a small piece of metal in them. When the pads wear off, this metal comes in contact with the disc of the brake, leading to a squeaking sound. The purpose of the metal is to act as an indicator of the condition of the brake pads.
  • While braking, if you experience a lack of pressure on the brake pedal, there is a possibility that the pads are worn out.
  • If a grinding, hissing noise emanates while pressing the brakes, you should immediately check the brake pads of the vehicle.
For optimum life and performance of a braking system, keep your vehicle in good condition. Smooth driving and frequent servicing will also delay the wear and tear of the brake pads.
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