How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced?
Both brake pads and shoes act as vital components that require consistent car maintenance to work their best. Even with the best maintenance schedule, you’ll need to replace your vehicle’s brake components soon.
Brake pads and shoes typically need to be replaced every 30,000 miles (or more in some cases). The cost varies depending on the age and make of your car, but usually requires a few hundred to replace. With EnduranceAdvantage™, not only do you get the most comprehensive auto protection package available on the market, you’ll receive $140 toward the cost of replacement pads or shoes to help alleviate the financial burden.
Not sure if you need to replace your brake pads? Our experts explained the role of brake pads and shoes and when you should be expecting to visit your local mechanic.
What are Brake Pads and Shoes?
The two terms are used in conjunction since most cars have brake pads, while some have brake shoes. Here are the key differences:
- Brake pads—in a typical car, you can visibly see the rotor, or large metal disc, that the pads are attached to. These kinds of brakes are commonly called “disc brakes” due to the large metal disc. You may often be able to catch a glimpse of this disc if you’re peering through the wheel. The pads are on either side and when you press the brake pedal, the pads squeeze the rotor to slow it down, causing your car to come to a stop.
- Brake shoes—a less common kind of brake system, drum brakes are typically associated with larger vehicles like semi-trucks or large, heavy-duty vehicles. They were once commonplace in all cars, but disc brakes replaced them as the dominant brake system after World War 2. In a car with drum brakes, the steel brake shoes are inside a rotating, cylindrical part called a brake drum. When the brakes are applied, the shoes are pushed into the drums, which eventually slows the rotations to stop.
How Often Should Brake Pads and Shoes be Replaced?
Your brakes are an essential part of your overall operating system, and most drivers can tell pretty quickly when something is awry with their brakes. However, an issue with the brakes doesn’t always mean the pads need replacing.
Here are some common reasons you may change your brake pads or shoes:
- Screeching or scraping—screeching applies specifically for brake pads. Brake pads typically have a piece of metal inside called a wear indicator. The pad itself gets worn over time, and at that point, the metal bit will rub directly against the rotor disc, which causes a loud and distinctive screeching sound when you brake. You’ve likely heard it from other drivers or your vehicle, and if you do, it’s time to have a mechanic take a look at your car. You might hear a scraping noise with brake shoes when coming to a stop if they are getting worn out or can’t reach the drum center quickly.
- 30,000 miles driven—this is the average number of miles your brake pads or brake shoes can last, though a lot is dependent on what type of vehicle you have and how you drive it. For example, people who are hard on their car may notice their brake pads wearing out sooner, but someone who typically goes without hard braking frequently may last up to 40,000 or 50,000 miles with the same brake pads or shoes.
If you need new brake pads or shoes, the price may be up to $300 for a total replacement. However, EnduranceAdvantage™ can help cover the cost. Our newest protection plan covers up to $140 towards the costs for replacement pads or shoes over the lifetime of your auto warranty.
Other issues may arise with your brakes, but they’re typically not related to the pads or shoes. For example, the pedal may feel ‘spongy’ or loose when you press down, or your brakes may be slow to respond. These are typically signs of more significant issues than just the pads or shoes, but it’s certainly worth asking if pads or shoes need replacing.
What Can Cause Damages and Consequences of Neglect?
Very little can cause damage to your brake pads or shoes other than simple wear and tear. However, driving with worn brake pads can cause other problems down the road like:
- Damaged rotors—when the brake pad indicator scraps directly against the rotors, the screeching sound isn’t the only issue that may crop up. This constant scraping may cause the disc to warp and even break.
- Overheated brakes—if the friction between the brake pads and the rotor gets too great, it will generate too much heat, causing the brakes to overheat and shut down. Because they’re part of a drum brake system, brake shoes are less likely to overheat.
- Takes longer to stop—when brake shoes wear out, the vehicle may take longer to stop, which matters in situations where you need to stop fast.
For your safety, regular car maintenance of brake pads and shoes is necessary. The great news is, EnduranceAdvantage™ covers both repair and labor costs so that you can get repairs covered without worry.
Experience Protection & Savings With Endurance Advantage™
EnduranceAdvantage™ offers up to $3,500 in maintenance coverage, including oil and filter changes, brake pad and wiper replacements, and more. The program also has unrivaled eligibility—most auto protection plans have a steep list of disclaimers and exclusions, but not EnduranceAdvantage. The fully customizable plan means there’s something for everyone, whether customers have a high-mileage vehicle or a car with advanced tech.
Every EnduranceAdvantage™ extended warranty helps cover regular maintenance and one-time services like brake pads/shoe replacement. Plus, our new plans have the broadest eligibility guidelines to provide solutions for all and provide peace of mind. Contact us to find the personalized Endurance warranty coverage that’s right for you today.
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After more than 16 years as a technician and service advisor, Adam Karner transitioned to the auto protection industry in 2009. As a Product Manager for Endurance Dealer Services, he brings valuable hands-on experience. Read more about Adam.