Q: I don’t know how often I should be replacing brakes

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Not even at 30k miles in my 2013 Mazda CX-5 and I have to not only replace the brake pads but the rotors as well. I am not too happy about this. Is this a design flaw or is it normal for a larger vehicle to go through brakes like this? This is my first crossover or SUV ever.

Hello, if the brakes were used to the point to where they started grinding before you took it in for repair, the backing plate might have made contact with the rotors, damaging the surface leading to replacement. Brake rotors also have a minimum thickness measurement. Once the rotors have worn down close to or under the limit they must be replaced so the brakes stop the vehicle without overheating and causing brake fade. The front brakes do most of the stopping and usually require service first. The service life of a rotor is usually two sets of pads with the rotor being machined on the first pad replacement. The rotors are turned to give the new pads a clean smooth surface to imbed on and to prolong the life of the pads and reduce noise.

There are numerous factors that impact the life of brakes including frequency of use (for example: a commute in stop and go traffic versus open highway) how hard you stop, brake hardness/softness and rotor condition. When brake pads are replaced, it is always a good idea to have the rotor turned to prolong the life of the pads. Putting new pads on worn rotors will cause pads to wear faster due to the rotors having a rough surface and may contribute to the noise.

Brake noise is one of the most common customer complaints regarding vehicular noise. Manufactures are always trying to reduce or eliminate this concern. They will often use a softer compound of material on brake pads to reduce noise. The softer compound results in faster wear. There are different compounds of brake pads in the aftermarket that might last longer but may come with some noise when braking and some compounds may not have the proper stopping power until they reach a certain temperature. You may have to try different makes of aftermarket pads to find ones you’re happy with considering wear vs. noise. To have your brakes inspected, please contact YourMechanic and one of our technicians will be happy to assist.

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