The braking mechanism in cars was improved considerably in late 1960s. It was the time when drum brakes were replaced by the disc brakes.
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.
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 $100 and $300 per axle.
The average repair price for an entire brake job - rotors, calipers, drums, pads, cylinders - can cost about $500. 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.
While braking, if you experience a lack of pressure on the brake pedal, there is a possibility that the pads are worn out.
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.