The Average Cost to Replace Brake Pads and Rotors Is $534-$678 at the Mechanic, But You Can Save by Doing This Job Yourself
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance may also be needed.
Cost at the Mechanic: $534-$678
- Parts: $311-$397
- Labor: $223 – $281
Brake pad and rotor replacement is done at prescribed mileage intervals, but you should have them replaced immediately when a noise and/or vibration is felt in the brake pedal.
Cost to DIY: $143-$233
- DIY Difficulty: Beginner, you can do this job even if you have no prior experience or special tools
- Parts Needed:
You can save over $200 in labor by doing this relatively easy job yourself. When shopping for brake pads and rotors, be sure to select parts that fit your make and model.
Keep in mind: The cost of brake pads and rotors can vary substantially even on the same vehicle, but you should only need the more-extreme and higher-priced option if you put more abuse on your vehicle such as towing, racing, off-roading, etc.
What Is Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement?
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?
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.
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
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with brake pad and rotor replacement:
- Replace brake shoes and drums
- Brake fluid flush
- Inspect brake calipers
- Rotate tires, they’re off the car anyway!
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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