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Brake Pads Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your brake pads replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your brake pads replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to fully replace brake pads?

The average cost for a brake pads replacement is $115 to $300 per axle, including $35 to $150 for parts and $80 to $120 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The parts bill includes new brake pads cost and may involve replacing the brake rotors or brake fluid as well. As for the labor cost, it takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, determine whether a repair is necessary, and then perform the brake pads replacement.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

How much do brake pads cost each?

There are three types of brake pads: organic brake pads, semi-metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads. Organic products are the cheapest, ceramics the most expensive, and semi-metallics fall somewhere in the middle. 
Here’s a breakdown of the parts you’ll need to replace your brake pads and what they cost:
  1. Brake pad ($15-$540): In a disc brake system, the brake pads provide the friction that slows the wheels and stops the car. Good mechanics check them (and the brake rotors they rub against) whenever possible since brake pad material wears down quickly. Front brakes often use disc rotors, while rear brakes use brake drums. If a car uses a disc rotor on each axle, the rear brake pads often wear out more slowly than those in the front.
  2. Brake rotor
    ($22-$2,280): In a disc brake system, the round, metal brake rotor presses against the brake pads when the brake pedal is applied. Because the rotors are attached to the wheels, they bring the car to a stop. Brake rotors should be smooth and not warped, pitted, or cracked—if they are, you’ll need new ones!
  3. Brake calipers
    ($22-$980): In a disc brake system, the brake calipers are the metal arms that press the brake pads against the rotors when they fill with brake fluid. Bad calipers can lead to brake fluid leaks and bad braking performance.
  4. Brake fluid ($5-$40): Brake fluid is the thin, oily blood that courses through the veins (ie. the brake lines) of your vehicle’s braking system under hydraulic pressure. Ask your mechanic to top you up while they’re looking at your brake pads to keep everything working properly.
Keep in mind: If your brake assembly is in bad shape, you might also require new brake rotors, brake calipers, and brake fluid.
We recommend purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend reputable brands like ACDelco, Wagner, and Bosch. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost a lot more than aftermarket parts. The cost of brake pads for luxury brands like Mercedes, Audi, and BMW is especially high. However, certain aftermarket performance brake pads offer similar, if not superior, product quality. On the other hand, OEM parts usually justify their higher price tags with a better warranty. 
You can buy new brake pads at automotive body and parts shops like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts; at dealerships; or online at Amazon and RockAuto. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Toyota, Chevrolet, BMW, Nissan, and just about every other car maker sell OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part.

Where can I get my brake pads replaced?

Not only does a trustworthy auto repair shop guarantee your safety, but they also guard your wallet against unscrupulous schemes and unfair pricing estimates. Find the perfect match for you and your vehicle through Jerry's
GarageGuard™
, our fair-pricing partner!
Jerry's GarageGuard™ lets you compare quotes for brake pad replacements between different garages. You’ll be able to save money and budget exactly what you need for diagnostics, parts, and labor. You can pick whatever price you like with confidence knowing that Jerry's GarageGuard™’s network of 2,500 car service centers is vetted and trustworthy. You can even read reviews by real users about their experiences!
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
174 Reviews
Yoo's Auto Service & Collision
address
189 W Duncannon Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
177 Reviews
54th Street Auto Center
address
415 W 54th St, New York, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$191
118 Reviews
Byrider Colerain
address
9797 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
140 Reviews
Zipin Out Auto Service
address
38472 Cedar Blvd,, Newark, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$140
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic do a brake pad replacement?

A brake job requires a moderate amount of know-how, basic equipment, and high attention to detail and safety. Here’s what a mechanic will do:
  1. Confirm the thickness of the brake pads. A mechanic will replace any brake pads that are less than 2 mm thick.
  2. Inspect the brake rotors. While they don’t wear out as quickly as brake pads, a warped, uneven, grooved, or pitted brake rotor is cause for concern.
  3. Inspect the brake calipers. The mechanic will verify the brake calipers are working as intended by looking at the torque plates and brake calipers and how they move.
  4. Lubricate the vehicle’s braking system. Once they’re finished with replacements, a mechanic will ensure the many moving parts in the disc brake system can slide smoothly by applying lubricant.
  5. Top off the brake fluid. It’s self-explanatory—no brake fluid means no braking.
  6. Test the brakes. The final step after reassembly is to check everything works as intended.

What happens if I don’t replace my brake pads?

Driving with worn brake pads is dangerous
. You’ll have trouble braking and you could hurt yourself or someone else. A lack of brake pads could also damage your brake rotors (as your unprotected brake calipers scrape against them) and eventually warp many more components in your vehicle's braking system.

What is a brake pads replacement?

A brake pad replacement targets the friction material on your brake calipers. During normal operation, the brake calipers fill with brake fluid and press the pads against the brake rotors, slowing the wheels and stopping the car. During a brake replacement, a mechanic evaluates whether your brake pads are still thick enough to function and replaces them if not.

When should I replace the brake pads on my car?

If you’re having a hard time slowing or stopping your car when you press the brake pedal, it might be time to get your brake pads checked. Here are six signs that your brake pads are worn out:
  1. You hear a grinding, screeching, squeaking, or squealing noise when you press the brake pedal.
  2. You feel a pulsation or vibration in your vehicle when you press the brake pedal.
  3. Your steering wheel pulls to one side or the other when your vehicle’s brakes activate.
  4. Your vehicle’s braking performance is compromised, taking a longer time and distance to come to a complete stop.
  5. You have a high-mileage older vehicle.
  6. You see a brake warning indicator light, a brake wear warning message, or a maintenance reminder message on your dashboard.
Key Takeaway If you notice anything unusual while you brake, don’t hesitate to take your car to a garage.

How long do brake pads last?

Brake pads can last from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, but their exact lifespan depends on the manufacturer. Check them regularly to avoid any safety issues. Keep in mind, too, that your driving habits and practices affect your brake pads’ durability.

Is it easy to change your own brake pads?

It’s not easy to change your own brake pads or brake rotors. A brake pad replacement demands a moderate amount of skill and confidence in performing car repairs. Even if you have the necessary equipment—like safety goggles, gloves, wrenches, rags, brushes, etc.—the risk of performing an incorrect DIY brake repair is high.

FAQs

If you’re diligent about vehicle maintenance, it may be okay to just replace your brake pads and skip a rotor replacement However, if you let your brake pads wear down too much, your brake rotors might become worn and warped. If that’s the case, you should replace both parts at the same time.
Yes, brakes can break while driving. In such situations, a cool head is your best friend. Don’t panic—try the brakes again, steer away from danger, and deploy your emergency or parking brake carefully. You won’t come to a stop as quickly, but you should be able to slow down.
Car brakes rarely fail without warning. Any problems with your vehicle’s braking system should manifest well before giving out—keep an eye out for unusual noises, reduced braking performance, and warning lights on your dashboard. Unless your car suffers acute and sudden damage (or you refuse to maintain it), a brake failure shouldn’t take you by surprise.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.