Car Repair Costs

How Much Should It Cost to Replace Brake Pads and Rotors?

how much should it cost to replace brake pads and rotors
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The Average Cost to Replace Brake Pads and Rotors Is $534-$678 for Parts and Labor.

  • Cost at the Mechanic: $534 – $678 
    • Parts: $311-$397
    • Labor: $223 – $281
  • DIY Difficulty Level: beginner
  • Cost to DIY: $143 – $164 for pads, $168 – $233 for rotors
  • Urgency: Brake pad and rotor is done at prescribed mileage intervals, but you should replace them immediately when a noise and/or vibration is felt in the brake pedal.

*These prices are based on national averages listed on RepairPal.com. Related repairs or maintenance may also be needed. For a custom maintenance schedule based on your make, model, and mileage, download the free FIXD app.

What Is Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement?

Front Disc Brake System

On cars equipped with disc brakes, the pads and rotors are the wear items that must be replaced over time to ensure safe braking. When you press the brake pedal, fluid in the master cylinder applies pressure to the brake calipers, which in turn squeezes the brake pads against the brake rotors. This friction is what stops your car. 

Over time, the material used for the brake pads and rotors wears out. The cost to replace brake pads and rotors depends on the vehicle and the type of material used for the pads and rotors. For these parts prices, keep in mind that it is for a four-wheel brake job that replaces all pads and rotors. Pads are sold in sets of four so you can do just the front or back brakes, and rotors are sold individually.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Brake Pads and Rotors?

worn out brake pads

Brake pads and rotors are designed to wear, but continued driving on worn out brake components can pose a serious safety risk in the worst case scenario. In addition to being a safety concern, waiting too long to replace brake pads and rotors can also result in damage or excessive wear to other brake system components that can make the brake job cost even more.

How Often Do Brake Pads and Rotors Need to Be Replaced?

Generally speaking, the average brake pads should last between 30,000 and 50,000 miles, while rotors should be able to last at least two sets of brake pads before requiring replacement. In reality, the lifespan of your brake pads and rotors is dependent on several factors including the weight of your vehicle, road conditions (flat vs. hilly), your driving style, if you use the vehicle for towing, and more.
For more information on how and when to replace brake pads and rotors, consult your owner’s manual for specified maintenance schedules. Knowing how much it should cost to replace brake pads and rotors can help you decide between a DIY repair and paying someone else to do it, but considering that this is one of the 10 easiest DIY auto repair jobs, even a beginner can do this job and save hundreds of dollars.

compressing brake caliper piston

Common Symptoms That You Need to Replace Your Brake Pads and Rotors

  • High-pitch squeaking or grinding noise when brake pedal is applied
  • Vibration felt in the pedal when brakes are applied
  • Visual inspection shows brake pads and/or rotors worn beyond serviceable use

The following services are commonly performed with brake pad and rotor replacement:

Claim Your Custom Maintenance Schedule

Get the FIXD Sensor and free app today for a custom maintenance schedule based on your make, model, and mileage. Never miss important maintenance again with automated maintenance alerts! Learn more at fixd.com.

Jeffrey-Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

Jeffrey N. Ross
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a '91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, your DIY costs are way out of line. I’ve never paid over $75 for one set of pads for disc brakes and that price it’s the top of the line. Also, when have you ever replaced all brakes at one time. Generally the fronts go out first and the backs last 2-3 times longer than the front. And rotors tend to run less than $100 per rotor, however if you take them to an O’Reilly’s you can have them turned for $10-$20 each, making the job cost in some cases under $100.
    I feel sorry for the folks who have to take their cars to some of these shops. They get taken for a ride just because they are uninformed and not knowledgeable about the process. Unscrupulous mechanics are everywhere preying on the public.

    1. Thank you for your response. These prices are based on nationwide averages listed on RepairPal.com.

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