Should I do the break pads

Submitted: Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:05
ThreadID: 107012 Views:1826 Replies:17 FollowUps:7
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Hello everyone. My mechanic tells me the xtrail I have will need new brake pads in 5000kms. Is there any danger in towing a van for another 5000kms or should I have them done now thanks johno
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Reply By: Member - ironJosh - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:07

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:07
Why don't you have a look?
AnswerID: 529537

Reply By: John and Regina M - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:22

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:22
Would I be correct in assuming you have no idea? About pad whereabouts? Or thickness requirements? Replacement types?

I'd take your mechanic's advice.
AnswerID: 529539

Reply By: rumpig - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:23

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:23
one would assume he means the brake pads will be worn down far enough to need replacing then and at the moment they are ok, i highly doubt it'll be metal on metal otherwise he'd be saying they need doing now.....without seeing them and only guessing here, i'd drive the 5000k on what you have.
AnswerID: 529541

Reply By: Mark S (cns) - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:31

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 22:31
The way I see it, if they only have 5000k of life left, then they would be about 90% worn out when you are ready to travel 5000k towing a van? See where i'm coming from here...?
I would replace them now and be done with it.
AnswerID: 529542

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 23:02

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 23:02
Why would you replace pads that had 5000KM left on them. Depending wether you are driving in the city and that is where it was checked and the mechanic thinks you can do 5000Km in the city. A lot different to driving in the outback where you drive 600Km to 800Km maybe more a day only using you brake once a day.
I travel twice a year 5000KM and apply the brake 7 times in that distance. Once a day when stopping for the night.
Now travel 5000Km in the city and your brake would be applied 50,000 times and more so depending on the type of travel will depend on how long your brakes will last.
Your brakes have squealers on them and you will know when to replace them. Once the noise starts you have plenty of time to replace them.
Cheers Andy
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FollowupID: 812370

Follow Up By: Mark S (cns) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 10:36

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 10:36
Yeah, hearing you Andy, each to their own I suppose. Typically pads last well over 100,000km's, in my experience (last 2 vehicles @120,000k and still not worn and that is predominantly urban driving) so regardless of where the car is driven, if there is only 5000k left in them, then they do not have much comparative life left in them, (closer to 95% worn) so for the sake of $100 or so in parts, why wait for the annoying squeal that could potentially happen on the trip? Sure, if you were not doing a big trip and could readily drop in to your local mechanic with minimal inconvenience, then you could wear them right down.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 812386

Reply By: SDG - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 23:52

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 23:52
Recently went to Kangaroo Island with a few friends. One of them had a full service done, and was told that the pads will need replacing in about the five thousand km mark. Mechanic said to save money for trip, and replace when she gets back.
700 odd km later, the brakes started squealing. As I was not there at the time, met up on island, nothing I could do about it. I got them changed for her on the island.

Not the first time mechanic has done similar. I told her to change mechanics.
AnswerID: 529550

Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 02:44

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 02:44
Changing them now might be cheaper because if the discs are still ok they won't need machining. If you change them later as suggested when they start making a noise you're running metal on metal which is not a smart thing to do especially if you're towing.
AnswerID: 529554

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 09:01

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 09:01
Hi Batt's,
Brakes have squealers on them today and when the noise from the squealers is heard you have up to 2 mm left on the pad before it is metal to metal. 30 years ago it use to be the way you have described but not today. Once you hear the squealers it's time to replace.
Cheers Andy
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:45

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:45
I didn't know about squealers so I learned something there so I looked it up and found out that you need to change your pads as soon as you can after you hear them. But if you keep driving with the noise you can get a small groove mark in your discs so they're good for non mechanically minded people who just drive cars and have no interest in fixing things themselves. But there only good if people are told what they are and that there car has them fitted so you can rule out 99% of the population because who is going to read the car manual from front to back. I believe the car dealers should inform people of things like this when they make a purchase because it would be something you would remember.
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FollowupID: 812426

Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:48

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:48
modern disks usually need replacing with the pads anyway - not that often they have enough meat to be machined and reused after changing the pads
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FollowupID: 812477

Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 06:56

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 06:56
Since you even asked the question - change them now. The mechanic cannot accurately guess how many Kim's you will get, and you tow a van on a road with other humans on it. Are you sure your focus is correct for this type of pastime?
AnswerID: 529556

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 08:18

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 08:18
To answer your question, there is no danger towing with your car until the brakes start squealing, indicating the linings are spent. You have to decide if you want to deal with this inconvenience if it happens in the middle of your trip. If you change them before you go then you won't have to think about it. If the trip involves hilly country then the brakes are bound to cop a hiding on the way down any winding hills.
AnswerID: 529558

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 09:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 09:22
Yes. Do them.

A few years back we went for what we thought would be a simple drive from Sydney to Lightiing Ridge and back. Straight up and back. Simple.

We got to the Ridge and when finished seeing what we wanted to see, we still had heaps of time left. So we changed our mind. We continued north to Roma, swung west and came home the "long" way via Coober Pedy.

What if you change your mind like us. What if you would like to just drop in at Woollamakanka. You really can't if the pads are worn.

Phil
AnswerID: 529563

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 10:04

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 10:04
It is no good to find out if you don't have enough brake ability left, by accident.

You might drain your whiskey glass to the very end but brakes aren't the same concept.
AnswerID: 529566

Reply By: bluefella - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 12:08

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 12:08
If that was said me I would replace them.
AnswerID: 529580

Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 12:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 12:22
"Is there any danger in towing a van for another 5000kms or should I have them done now thanks johno"

I guess you will find out when you put your foot on the brake and nothing happens, the thing is the mechanic had the wheels off so half the job was already done, my mechanic would have just done them and let me know, had he not I would look for a new mechanic.

Phil.
AnswerID: 529581

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:27

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:27
Just out of interest - when I had the Jack's pads replaced I got quotes from two places (one a well-known servicing franchise, the other a dedicated brake place - FAR cheaper) and neither would entertain replacement without rotor machining. The rotors were unmarked but I think they said something along the lines of no guarantees if not machined.

I didn't mind as the brake specialist machined them 'in situ' saving many $$$, and it was the first replacement at 200k+ km iirc. Just wanted to know if this is "normal" practice?
AnswerID: 529595

Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:22
Bazooka,
There's two trains of thought on this. Me personally don't machine my disc rotors upon pad replacement. I give them a bit of a de-glaze with some emery paper and that's all.

However, when I was with a big brand dealer, it was custom to upsell a machine with every pad replacement. Was it necessary? I didn't think so. Did it generate more business? Of course. Then before you know it, the discs are undersized and need replacement.

Having said that, I wouldn't dream of doing a clutch without machining the flywheel and I guess the basic principles are the same with a clutch as they are with brakes. The only difference is that discs are easier to have a second crack at if they are found to need additional work, whereas pulling out a gearbox just to machine a flywheel is a real PITA.

In my opinion....if the discs don't have excessive runout (causing shudder under braking), haven't been cooked and aren't under sized, then a simple de-glaze is all they need.

Fab.
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FollowupID: 812428

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:41

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:41
Thanks Fab. Looking at the rotors before and after I think they did the minimum required. Anyway it was a good job at a good price (with only one small complication which owners of old Jacks will know about), and you can't be unhappy about that.
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FollowupID: 812431

Reply By: Tony F8 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:27

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:27
Really just bite the bullet and have them replaced, you are talking about a very important part of your vehicle, the ability to stop. God help the other road users if your brakes do fail,If you can afford to tow the van, you can afford to renew your brake pads.
Tony F8.
AnswerID: 529612

Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:43

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:43
Bazooka I was told a few yrs ago with some newer vehicles the discs wear to a certain extent with the pads then you throw the discs and pads away for new ones. My wife had a 2008 barina and within 3 yrs of city and hwy driving the discs were grooved that much it looked like it had been driven off road all it's life. Personally I reckon Holden just skimped and used cheap parts. On 4WDrives I would usually go through 2 sets of pads before the discs need machining but sometimes only one set if there marked then I get them machined. I've had a few bad dealing with a couple of so called brake specialist and I only let them machine the discs these days I haven't let anyone touch anything else for over 20yrs.
AnswerID: 529617

Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:13

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 20:13
REPLACE THEM NOW! I say.
It's relatively cheap compared to the inconvenience of having to do it on the road and at places that might not stock the pads you need.

You fail to mention what sort of places you plan to visit. Sand and mud will reduce your pad life dramatically, so will hilly terrain especially when towing a van.

Also...two other things to consider.
1. Thinner pads are less able to dissipate heat as well so will overheat easier.
2. Thin pads mean that your caliper pistons are travelling in an area or the caliper body that is at the extreme limits. This is generally where surface rust and gunk accumulates. It doesn't take much foreign material to upset the piston seal and create a fluid leak and loss of braking performance.

Mate.... your car and van are pretty big investments. Are they worth risking, plus your own personal safety and peace of mind for the sake of $100 dollars?

Just do it and be done with it.

Fab.
AnswerID: 529621

Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 14:24

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 14:24
Johno, they may be ok for use while normal driving (round town etc.) But start towing a van and the increased load could also reduce your pad life, so that 5000km could become 2500km. Change them before you set out.
May the fleas of a thousand afghan camels infect the crutch of your enemy and may their arms be too short to scratch.

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