How long does it take to change brake pads? | REVISION (2023)

Regardless of the age and type of your car, you've probably dealt with squeaky brakes at least once. And while this is a sign that your brake system is wearing out in general, the problem usually lies with the brake pads. They wear out much faster than brake discs, so it's only natural that you'll need to replace them occasionally.

Still, many drivers who are on a tight schedule wonder –how long does it take to change brake pads? Replacing brake pads takes an average of half an hour to one and a half hours. It mainly depends on changing all four pads at once and this guide will shed light on the actual urgency of the replacement.

Why do brake pads wear out faster in a braking system?

How long does it take to change brake pads? | REVISION (1)

Brake pads are key components of your car's braking system, as the calipers press them against the rotors to keep the wheels from spinning. The system requires brake fluid to flow through the brake lines and support the hydraulic pressure used to press the brake pads against the brake disc.

That's why they suffer from excessive friction and heat that comes from frequent braking, and it's natural that you need to change them. In addition to the question of how long it can take to change brake pads, drivers also wonderhow long do brake pads last.

The truth is, they should last between 20,000 and 70,000 miles on average, but that number depends on several factors. At the very least, you should rely on the material, quality and braking style of your brake pads.

Yes - if you're wondering if hard braking makes the brake pads wear out faster, the answer is yes. However, the pads themselves are often seen as a sort of “waste material” between calipers and rotors. After all, you don't have to change brake discs as often, and calipers are much longer than the average lifespan of brake pads.

But if you keep telling yourself that you don't have time to take care of changing your brake pads right now, you're putting those components at risk. The worst that can happen is when the pads wear down completely and metal-to-metal friction results in warped discs and damaged calipers. As you can imagine, that just adds another headache and a longer utility bill.

The time taken to change two brake pads compared to all four brake pads

How long does it take to change brake pads? | REVISION (2)

The brake pads on the front wheels usually take more braking load than the rear pads, so these pads sometimes wear out faster than the rear ones. If you're in a hurry, changing just the front brake pads isn't a bad thing, and it takes less time than replacing all four pads at once.

However, it's best to change all four brake pads at once if you have the time and can afford this repair. By replacing all brake pads at the same time, you get optimized braking performance. Of course, it's best to consult your mechanic about this, as all four may not need to be replaced if only the front pads are worn.

First consider the type of brake pads

Another thing that can affect the time it takes to change brake pads is the type of brake pads your car uses. For example, the dilemma ofsemi-metallic versus ceramic brake padsit's been around for a while and both types are good for specific purposes.

However, carbon ceramic brakes are not as common to find as semi-metallic pads; therefore, your mechanic may need more time to order replacement pads. However, it might cost you a few extra hours of waiting time. There are also organic brake pads that are becoming more common on new vehicles in the US, so the type of brake pad your car uses can affect your replacement time frame.

Ceramic brakes also tend to last longer than semi-metallic brakes, so you may need to visit the mechanic less often to change them. This is one of the main advantages, even if the exchange takes a little longer.

Signs of Bad or Worn Brake Pads

How long does it take to change brake pads? | REVISION (3)

To help you plan and prepare to take your car to a mechanic during the 30 minutes to an hour and a half it takes to get the replacement done, it's important to find out the signs of bad brake pads. Here are some of the top signs that your brake pads need replacing:

  • Squeaks or squeaks when braking
  • Grind metal on metal
  • Steering wheel shakes when braking
  • brake pedal vibrations

In general, all the feedback you get from your car when braking is telling you that something is wrong with the braking system. Worn brake pads are likely to blame, especially if you have any of these symptoms.

It all starts withnoisy brakes, and if you don't replace the pads in time, you risk eating them completely. If there is no contact material between the calipers and rotors, metal-to-metal contact can begin. Because of this, you may also hear those annoying noises when you brake.

If the rotors are damaged, you risk losing time

Your car's braking system depends on several parts, and one thing can lead to another. So if you don't replace your brake pads in time, metal-to-metal friction can lead to warped or damaged brake discs. Replacing discs along with brake pads can only increase the time it takes to replace them.

It makes no sense to replace the brake pads if there are anySigns of bad rotors, and your mechanic will confirm it. So if you also need to replace the disks, that will add up to an extra hour or more, and the total changeover time could be a few hours.

Our opinion

Overall, we hope we've helped answer the question "how long does a brake pad change take" and highlighted some factors that can affect the time it takes to get the job done. Do not postpone replacing brake pads just because you think the brake system still has sufficient functionality.

In this way you run the risk of having to replace the brake discs as well and results in more time needed to change the brake pads and brake discs. Doing this as soon as the pads wear out will give you peace of mind, and giving up half an hour or so of your time won't feel like a waste.

How long should it take to replace the brake pads?

Replacing the brake pads should take between half an hour and an hour and a half, depending on whether you are replacing all the pads at once and what the brake discs are like.

Is changing brake pads easy?

Replacing brake pads is not easy, but you can do it yourself, although without prior knowledge it will most likely take you three hours or even more.

Is it urgent to replace the brake pads?

Yes, replacing the brake pads is urgent because the more they wear out, the greater the risk of having to replace the brake discs as well.

How much does it cost to replace brake pads?

Replacing all four brake pads averages between $300 and $600, but depends on the type and material of the brake pads, as well as the vehicle model and labor costs.

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Filip Gromovic

Filip is a longtime automotive enthusiast dedicated to researching performance parts, tires and suspension.

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How long does replacing brake pads take? ›

Consider this: even an expert automotive technician takes between 30 minutes to an hour or more to replace the brake pads and rotors on some vehicles. For someone with little to no experience, brake pad replacement could take several hours or more.

How long does a brake job take at a dealership? ›

How long does a brake repair or brake replacement take? Under normal circumstances, brake repairs or replacements will take, on average, 1 to 2 ½ hours; however, based on the number of repairs, it could run a little longer.

How many hours of labor is a brake job? ›

How long does it take to replace front brake pads? While every vehicle is different, most automotive repair shops quote the front brake pad replacement job at or around 1 hour for a passenger car or SUV.

How much should a full brake job cost? ›

A complete brake repair that includes pads, rotors, and calipers typically averages between $200 and $800.

Should you replace all 4 brake pads at once? ›

But, when changing brake pads, should you do all four at once? Well, first, you absolutely should replace both front or both rear brake pads at the same time. Unless something's really wrong, one should be wearing out at about the same rate as the other.

How much does Walmart charge for a brake job? ›

While Walmart Auto Care Center does not offer brake services, they do offer a wide range of services to help you keep your vehicle operating at its best. Here is a list of their services, including prices: Standard oil change – $32.88.

Is it better to getting brakes done at the dealership? ›

This is because unlike aftermarket parts, they're made from higher quality materials. This means you'll be replacing those parts less often and less frequently. When it comes to replacing your brakes, the dealership is one of the best options for you!

Are dealer brake pads better? ›

As a result, OEM brake pads are always top tier in terms of quality. OEM pads are usually quiet, and don't make much dust. Brake noise is annoying, and it's one of the biggest complaints consumers have about their vehicles. OEM pads are often designed to be noise-free.

How much labor cost for brake pad replacement? ›

The average cost of labor is between $80 and $120 per axle. The average brake pad replacement total is between $115 and $300 per axle (parts + labor). Most cars have two axles.

Can you drive on grinding brakes? ›

It may be possible to Drive the Car for a while before the Brakes completely Stop Working. This isn't advisable for two reasons: It is not Safe. Driving on Grinding Brakes will only make the issue Worse and increase the Cost of Repair. The Grinding Noise your Brakes are making is the lack of Pad Material in the Brakes.

What is the labor charge for brake pads and rotors? ›

Labor at a shop to replace rotors and pads is approximately $150 to $200 per axle. Brake rotor and pad repair generally comes out to around $250 to $500 per axle when visiting a professional shop.

How much does Midas charge for a full brake job? ›

Midas Cost and Service Breakdown
Brake PadsBrake Pads & Rotors
$200-219 (includes rotor resurfacing)$350-$400 per axle

How do I know if I need new rotors? ›

It could represent four signs that it's time to replace your brake rotors.
  1. Vibrating Steering Wheel. If you feel pulsing in the brake pedal and vibration in the steering wheel when you slow down, your rotors could be signaling trouble. ...
  2. Intermittent Screeching. ...
  3. Blue Coloration. ...
  4. Excessive Wear Over Time.
Jun 28, 2018

Do you need to replace rotors when you replace brake pads? ›

Deep grooves that have developed in a worn rotor will act as a hole-puncher or shredder and damage the pad material as it is pressed against the rotor. Be sure to replace the rotors when changing the brake pads.

Do front or rear brakes go out first? ›

Your front brake pads will also wear down faster than your rear pads. The front of your vehicle handles a lot more weight transfer as you brake, causing more wear. Over time heat and friction also contribute to brake pad wear.

What happens if you drive too long with no brake pads? ›

You can damage the brake rotors and calipers.

Your car's brakes are a closely-connected system of moving parts, and when one component is damaged, the wear can trickle down into other elements.

What happens if you don't break in new brake pads? ›

Breaking in your brake pads is necessary to prevent brake rotor warping. New brake pads are always hard. Therefore, using them casually while they're brand new may warp your rotors over time.

Does Jiffy Lube do brake replacement? ›

Jiffy Lube® provides brake replacement without stopping your day. Whether you need pads, shoes, rotors or drums, a Jiffy Lube® brake service helps get your vehicle brake system back to manufacturer specifications.

What does a typical brake job include? ›

A brake job usually involves replacing the brake linings (which means replacing the brake pads and/or shoes), resurfacing the rotors and/or drums, adding new brake fluid and bleeding the system as needed, and looking for other worn components.

Does Costco replace brake pads? ›

But if you're looking for a place to have your brakes serviced, unfortunately, Costco Tire Center does not service brakes or rotors. In fact, Costco does not offer any automotive services beyond basic tire services like installation, balancing, rotation, and alignment.

What happens if you wait too long to get brakes done? ›

If allowed to wear out before being replaced, other components of the brake system may be damaged – especially the brake discs or drums. In addition to often costly repairs, driving with worn brake pads or shoes can result in unsafe driving conditions.

Will my car tell me if my brakes are bad? ›

A small metal piece called an indicator is designed to make a really irritating noise when your brake pads are wearing out. If you've ever heard a high-pitched screech as you depress the brake pedal, you've probably heard the indicator's warning cry.

What are three 3 signs that brake pads are worn? ›

Signs The Pads On Your Brakes Need Changing
  • Squeaking.
  • Grinding.
  • Vibration When Braking.
  • Taking Longer To Stop.
  • Indicator Light Comes On.
  • Brake Pads Appear To Be Thin.
Aug 17, 2020

How long do Autozone brake pads last? ›

Most drivers get somewhere between two and five years on a set of brake pads.

Is it OK to buy cheap brakes? ›

Regardless of which kind of brake pads you opt for in your vehicle, it's important to purchase high-quality versions. Cheap brake pads not only produce a lot of dust and noise, but they also are a major safety concern.

How often should brakes be replaced? ›

As a general rule, you should get your brake pads replaced every 10,000 to 20,000 miles to keep wear to a minimum. When it comes to your rotors, you have a bit longer. Your rotors should be replaced between 50,000 and 70,000 miles to keep your brakes in peak health.

Why does my car make a scraping noise when I brake? ›

If you hear this sound, it likely means you've worn out your brake pads to the point of exposing their metal backing plates, which are now rubbing against the metal of your brake rotors.

Why everytime I brake I hear a grinding noise? ›

If you hear your brakes grinding when stopping or slowing down, then your brake pads, or lack thereof, are to blame. Your brakes pads need to be thick enough to ensure optimum performance and stopping power. With time, though, your brake pads can wear down.

Why is my car making a dragging noise when I brake? ›

Typically, this dragging sound is caused by a brake caliper or brake drum that has either seized or not completely released when you took your foot off the brake pedal.

Can I replace my own brake pads? ›

If you're comfortable with doing your own car maintenance, you can take on replacing your own brake pads as a DIY project. As with all auto repairs or upgrades, consult your owner's manual for specific instructions or special information before you begin.

Are rotors more expensive than brake pads? ›

The cost of replacing brake pads ranges from $100 to $300 per axle, with parts accounting for an additional $40 to $150. The cost of replacing the brake rotors will add an additional $150 to $500 per axle if you also need to have them replaced.

How much does it cost to replace all 4 brake pads? ›

Cost of brake pads

On average, drivers should expect to pay from $115 to $270 for a set of brake pads — that would be the cost to replace them on either front or back wheels. So replacing brake pads on your car would run around $230-$540.

Can brake pads be replaced in a day? ›

And how long does brake pad replacement take?” Because the various components that make up the brake system are a normal wear item, they will eventually need to be replaced and It generally takes 30 minutes to 1 hour as per expert mechanics.

Is it easy to replace brake pads? ›

If you're hearing a nasty squeal when you press on the brake pedal, then it may be time to change your brake pads. Changing your brakes is a fairly simple process for the avid DIYer and we'd rate it a 2 out of 5 wrenches in difficulty. Depending on what vehicle you have, this project could take between 45-2 hours.

How much should it cost to get brake pads replaced? ›

What's the average cost to replace brake pads? The average cost of parts is between $35 and $150. The average cost of labor is between $80 and $120 per axle. The average brake pad replacement total is between $115 and $300 per axle (parts + labor).

Is it OK to just replace brake pads and not rotors? ›

Deep grooves that have developed in a worn rotor will act as a hole-puncher or shredder and damage the pad material as it is pressed against the rotor. Be sure to replace the rotors when changing the brake pads.

Is it worth getting brakes done at the dealership? ›

Servicing your vehicle at a dealership is one of the best ways to guarantee your car gets genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Whether it is oil filters or brake pads, you will receive everything straight from the assembly line.

How much does Midas charge for a brake job? ›

Midas: Midas charges roughly $80 per hour for labor costs when working on brakes. They charge about $50 for a brake drum package, $60 to replace brake fluid, and upwards of $800 for a complete caliper and rotor job.

Should I replace front or rear brakes first? ›

Because your front brakes wear out much faster, we recommend replacing your brakes in repairs - front at one time, back at another time. You will likely need to replace your front brake pads sooner than your rear brake pads.

Does Walmart change brakes? ›

Unfortunately, Walmart Auto Care Center does not offer brake services. This includes brake checks, brake pad replacements, etc. However, you can still purchase brake parts at Walmart if you're interested in doing the work yourself for a low cost.

How do I know if my rotors are bad? ›

It could represent four signs that it's time to replace your brake rotors.
  1. Vibrating Steering Wheel. If you feel pulsing in the brake pedal and vibration in the steering wheel when you slow down, your rotors could be signaling trouble. ...
  2. Intermittent Screeching. ...
  3. Blue Coloration. ...
  4. Excessive Wear Over Time.
Jun 28, 2018

What causes brake pads to wear quickly? ›

What causes brake pads to wear out is general, day-to-day use, plus mileage incurred, the surrounding environment and/or the personal driving habits of the owner(s). For example, a city driver will use their brakes more than drivers that use the highway with little traffic, or drivers that live in rural areas.

How much is a brake job at Firestone? ›

Firestone brake replacement costs range from $350 to $470, including parts and labor on new pads and rotors.


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