How many miles do brake pads last?

I’ve been struggling to remember the last time I had my car’s brake pads changed. Since I’m heading out on a road trip this summer, I want to make sure the pads won’t wear out while I’m on the road! In general, how many miles are brake pads good for?

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Answer provided by
Annette Maxon
Answered on May 06, 2022
That’s exciting to hear you have a road trip coming up! And good thinking ahead about your brake pads.
You will generally be able to drive 40,000 to 70,000 miles before you need to replace your brake pads. But know that this range varies from car to car and driver to driver. Some manufacturers even suggest swapping out your brake pads after 20,000 miles!
There is such wide variance for several reasons. Your driving will impact this—heavy driving with many fast stops or towing heavy loads will wear out the brake pads faster. The type of brake pads on your car will impact this as well—semi-metallic brake pads generally wear out around 50,000 miles whereas ceramic brake pads can last for 70,000 miles.
Even though there is not a standard rule about replacing your brake pads, these are some of the common clues that can let you know it’s time for a replacement:
  • Squealing sounds when you step on the brake
  • Metallic grinding sounds
  • If you look at the brake pads, they are too thin (think: less than ⅛ inch thick)
  • The indicator light has appeared on your dashboard
If you think it is time to replace your brake pads, head to your auto mechanic to get your car outfitted with some new ones.
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