Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 21:04
ThreadID: 107051 Views:1798 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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A few days ago there was a question about whether to change pads or not, but this got me thinking.
On average, for highway use, what is the expected life span of pads? I know that a long haul truck (Melbourne-Brisbane via Newell) can get around a million k's, but car brakes are no where near as thick as these.
Don't care about city drivers. I know some of them need to replace yearly. (Probably riding the brake)

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 21:23

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 21:23
I have a peugeot 406 hdi mainly 100,000 klms.of highway driving for the front and the rear are still original at 110,000 kms.
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Reply By: Wayne NSW - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 21:48

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 21:48

I don't think that I have ever checked how long the brake pads last, but I do check them regularly.

Having a diesel Troopy and using engine braking a lot when in the Vic High Country the brakes do a bit but not as much as you would think.

When I do the Kimberly again the brakes are not used a lot compared to the kilometers driven.

Driving through mud however, can and have worn the rear pads and rotors. Mud sits on top of the rear calipers and will feed between the pads and the rotor as a fine abrasive. A very quick way to destroy rear brakes.

So it will get down to
1.What transmission you have.
2. Diesel or petrol.
3. Weight of vehicle.
4.Where you drive.
5. and How you drive.
A lot of variables making it very hard to put a time or the amount of kilometers on brake
pad life.

AnswerID: 529707

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 22:52

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 22:52
VW Golf in Melbourne traffic, softish discs, 60,000km
60series LC at 200,000km never replaced still quite ok.
Camry SDV Wide body Auto, 100,000km and at least 1/3 of pads remained.

Ford Falcon GT with horrible grill, worn out in 17,000km. Not mine, wouldn't own one.

All depends on the situations, the person driving, so many variables.
AnswerID: 529713

Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 10:34

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 10:34
Many modern vehicles have bigger rim dia and also bigger dia discs.

The larger diameter the disc means a faster speed of the disc through the pads ie pad/disc surface speed, and that will wear the brakes at a faster rate than most are used to.
So if it a modern vehicle with rubbish bin lid sized rims and discs the size of a large silver tray, don't expect long pad life.
FollowupID: 812519

Reply By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 23:44

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 23:44
Got 207,000km out of the OEM Jack pads, a mix of town/long haul driving but they were from the asbestos era. Happy if I get half that from the Bendix 4WD replacements.
AnswerID: 529719

Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:21

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:21
I thought they were still one of the few things that still created asbestos dust. Learn something new every day.
FollowupID: 812508

Follow Up By: blown4by - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 11:17

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 11:17
By law there is no longer asbestos in brake pads (or brake linings)
FollowupID: 812642

Reply By: Graeme - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 05:56

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 05:56
Brakes depend totally on the driver. I have got 130,000 from the Patrol auto, expect the D4 Disco to go to at least 90,000 and the Golf DSG to go the same. Modern cars have very soft pads and discs for pedal feel and ABS.
The number of times I have followed people down the various passes who have ridden the brakes the whole distance is unbelievable, simply because they have never been taught how to drive an auto.
The modern auto with the torque converter lock up has excellent retardation when the correct gear is selected, and is now virtually on par with a manual; certainly my experience with the Disco (6 spd auto) and the VW DSG (automated manual).
AnswerID: 529725

Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:27

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:27
Got abused by a family member a while back at the bottom of the Clyde, for not having brake lights working on the camper.
They were working. I just did not use the brakes. My engine did it for me.
But your right. The amount of people who ride their brakes going down mountains. Even worse when you can smell their brakes and your sitting behind them.
FollowupID: 812509

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:23

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:23
Yeah, I don't care if in their ignorance they cook their brakes and have to pay for repair.

What I do care about is their subsequent inability to stop, especially if they're behind me.

People should be taught roadcraft and how to DRIVE, not just pass a test

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FollowupID: 812512

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:58

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 08:58

Bought an '06 falcon XR6T in 2009. Have done about 80K clicks since, and still haven't changed the pads. Mostly outback highways, but few trips down Pacific H'way, and around Brisbane.

When we were living on station, Landcruiser 75/79 series pads lasted between 24K and 30K kms. And occasional major repair to rear brakes when they weren't checked every service.


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AnswerID: 529734

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 10:03

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 10:03
Did 160,000k in a manual TD 99 Jackaroo - 75% city 25% touring - all original pads still there, nowhere near worn out when I sold it. Just on 120,000 in our current manual 05 Landcruiser TD - pretty much all cruising and no city - front pads recently replaced while the front hubs were apart (but they could have gone another 10k probably - rears still have plenty of meat on them). The diesel braking effect is a big factor, more so in manual trans versions - it helps to be a light-footed driver too.
AnswerID: 529740

Reply By: Member - Peter G20 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:38

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:38
I have a 1998 Gu diesel patrol Manuel and even though it has done more city driving than country I only had to renew the front disk pads at 240K and the although the rear pads were still good I changed them at 290k.

Everything about the drive train is heavy duty and you do get a longer service life from a 4WD than a normal car, provided of course you use your gears where possible for braking and coast to a stop at traffic lights!


AnswerID: 529766

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:50

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 09:50
As others have mentioned, braking system life is such a variable thing.

Yes driving habits can make huge a huge difference to brake life....many of the modern vehicles go and stop so damn well people never have to learn to conserve brakes or leave extra margin in daily driving.

Lots of people, particularly women ( sorry its just the way it is) drive their modern fairly heavy vehicles pretty hard, but don't realise untill the brake and clutch repair bill comes in or they realise how much fuel they are using.

Then there is the huge variability in brake system design.
Some of the manufacturers can design braking systems that are efficient and well balanced and designed well from end to end.

Others frankly are just thrown together..then they have to use crude engineering tricks to make the brake system tolerable.
Methods such as
Applying excessive amounts of brake boost, to make the brakes seem more efficient.
Relying on the ABS to cover up for failures in fundamental design.
Use of agressive pad materials and soft metals in disks and drums to incresase braking efficiency where better design would have resulted in longer brake life.

I've always scratched my head and wondered why there has always been such a good market for replecement brake rotors in very late model vehicles.

There are all sorts of garrage tales about what causes a brake system to have such a short life.

The larger the braking surface especially the larger the diameter should result in better efficiency and longer brake life.
Hard pad materials should not result in undue rotor wear, the opposite in fact.

If a particular vehice has a tendancy short pad and rotor life, that is entirely due to bad design on the part of the manufacturer.

Of course brake surface contamination ( such as dust, sand, mud and water) can wreck brakes in very short order.

AnswerID: 529862

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