Q: told I need front & rear brakes.............I have no symptoms yet

asked by on

Want to know how to verify the need for front & rear brakes & tentative cost for the same

My car has 69000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The brake system on a car consists of multiple components that have to ALL be evaluated whenever brake "pads" are replaced. Mass production "mechanics" working in the literal "mass production" repair shops will tell you that you need new "brakes" when the pads (on a disc type system) show only about a couple or several millimeters of brake friction material left (if such is claimed, you should visually confirm the depth of remaining pad material by asking the mechanic to show you the pad as it sits in the vehicle; very easy to do). You do have to replace the pads when you only have a couple millimeters left. The problem is the shop will sometimes "offer" to put pads on while neglecting to tell you that the brake rotors MUST be either turned on a brake lathe or replaced outright, preferably with OEM dealer rotors or comparable quality. Furthermore, these shops often won’t disassemble the torque plate from the caliper and thoroughly clean and re-grease the sliding pins; such is absolutely critical. In many cases (probably not in your case though), the caliper assembly itself should be thrown in the garbage, particularly if the car has anywhere from 75,000 miles on up but surely once you get over 100,000 miles (calipers are subjected to extreme high heat and corrosion and will eventually become sticky thus quickly ruining any new set of pads and rotors you might install). In your case, with 69,000 miles, you are probably OK, but those sliding pins MUST be taken out, cleaned and re-greased. If a problem is found there, you might need new calipers.

If the pads on your car have less than a couple millimeters of friction material, they should be replaced ASAP. The rotors MUST be turned or replaced (that will depend on how much metal is left on the rotor and whether the rotor is damaged, has hard spots, heat damage, thickness variation, scoring, and so forth). The moving parts of the caliper assembly MUST be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned and re-lubricated with appropriate high temperature (special purpose, brakes ONLY) grease. If you are dealing with a shop, you should simply ask them, on an open ended basis, what their "procedure" is when it comes to "putting new brakes on". If the description they state to you is not a reasonably close facsimile to what I just recited, you know to run for the exits. The key is don’t clue them in that you already know the "right" answer, just simply ask the shop personnel, in an open ended way, to explain to you "what" they will be doing to your brakes in exchange for your money.

If you want the work done by a certified professional from YourMechanic, in a setting where you can get a first hand look at what the work entails, simply request brake pad installation but when you call in indicate that rotor replacement, or rotor turning, will be required as well as the other steps I just mentioned above. If in the course of this, additional questions or concerns arise, by all means 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. told I need front & rear brakes.............I have no symptoms yet

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

Q: Noise with steering wheel

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may make noises related to steering. The first thing to consider is that the steering, suspension, and brakes are all heavily related. Often you feel issues with the...

Q: Ac question

The most likely issue is the blower motor is not turning on. There are two in your car, one for the front, and one for the rear. Turn off the rear blower motor, and you should hear the front...

Q: How do I decline a phone call?

When a paired device receives a phone call through the infotainment system, the sound system will be muted, and you will hear a ring through the sound system. To decline a call, rotate the MENU/SEL knob to Decline, then press...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.