Q: Brake pad replacement - Front & Rear

asked by on November 16, 2016

When the onboard diagnostics alert that the brake pads need to be replaced, is it necessary to replace the entire brake/disc unit or pads only? Also, is a brake line flush necessary at this mileage interval?

I think my wife is being given the XX upsell. Located in Houston. Thanks in advance.

My car has 32000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If your vehicle uses DOT 5 (silicone-based) fluid, the flush interval is much, much longer than 2 years or 32,000 miles. However, if your vehicle uses glycol based fluid, it should be thoroughly removed from the brake system roughly every 4 years, the more frequent the better. Glycol based brake fluids are highly hygroscopic and the resulting, that is inevitable, moisture contamination has the potential to cause lots of problems with braking systems such as corrosion, entrained gas, and so forth. If brake fluid is added to your vehicle, be sure the shop knows how to read instructions: the EXACT type of fluid specified for your vehicle must be used to top off.

As the caliper piston is pushed in to create room for the new pads, the fluid should be bled from the bleeder screw on the caliper, not forced back into the master cylinder. Also, the level of fluid at the brake master cylinder reservoir must be confirmed before you leave the shop. If you replace brake pads, the rotors absolutely MUST be measured and turned (even if only little resurfacing is required) or discarded and replaced with new ones.

If they suggest re-using the old rotors as is because they "look good", or without careful measurement and verification, that means that they do not understand that if there is .002 inches (one half the thickness of a hair) of run-out in the rotor, you will get pedal pulsation or if you don’t presently have it, you will. It is preferred to use the OEM (dealer) brake pads in your application. The sliding pins on the caliper must be disassembled, cleaned and re-lubricated with high temperature brake grease. To prevent the rotor from being warped on re-application to the hub, they have to use a calibrated torque wrench and tighten the bolts in a sequence. If, at your mention of any of these INSTRUCTIONS, they look at you as if this is the first time they have heard it, it IS the first time they have heard it and they don’t do it. If you want it done right, feel free to follow up with YourMechanic and a certified professional will do the job to perfection for you. Any further concerns, please re-contact us.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Does the 2014 Jeep Cherokee has a map sensor

Yes, your vehicle has a MAP sensor but the code P2172 can set due to quite a few issues other than the MAP sensor such as a stuck-open throttle plate, a failed throttle body, a vacuum leak, and/or an open...

Grinding sounds during braking, burning smell

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2009 Ford Flex. The pad material used in the pad can be noisy and cause a light burning smell after use. This is normal and doesn't require any fixing unless you change...

Car has a hard time starting

Hello! On your particular vehicle, the hard start condition is commonly caused by a faulty fuel pump relay, fuel pump, or fuel filter, so I suggest checking the fuel pressure to determine if there is a problem with the fuel...

Related articles

How Do I Prepare My Car for Summer?
Summer's Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their tolls on your vehicle. Follow these tips to ensure optimum wellness of your car: Air Conditioning: Have your air conditioning inspected by a qualified technician. Newer models have...
What Is Brake Dust?
It's It's time to wash the car, but when you get to the wheels they are covered by a hard to remove gray dust. Even after you clean it off, it comes back quickly. Welcome to the world of brake...
Can a Leak in the Brake System Cause Total Brake Failure?
Although Although there are several issues that can lead to total brake failure, the most common one is some form of brake fluid leak. When a brake leak is present, it affects the fluid pressure in your system. Since it...