Best Ways to Keep Your Brake Pads and Rotors And How Much They Cost

How Much Are New Rotors?

Keeping your vehicle's brakes in good shape is essential for safe driving, as slowing down and stopping when you need to can prevent accidents, whether it's for regular driving or in poor weather conditions. When thinking about car brake maintenance, there are two critical pieces that you should pay attention to: the pads and the rotors.

The brake rotor is a metal disc attached to a rod that stays in place while driving, and the brake pads have connections to the wheel. Whenever you hit the pedal to slow down while driving, the pads and the rotors push together, and the resulting friction is what slows the rotation of your wheels, helping you reduce speed or come to a full stop.

While these parts are sturdy, they do have their limits, and after so many times colliding with each other, both the brake pads and rotors will wear down, steadily making them less effective. To continue driving safe, you'll want to replace them when the time comes.

So how much are new rotors when it comes to parts and labor costs, and how do you know when you need to replace them?

The Costs of Installing New Rotors

When it comes to replacing your brake rotors, these parts have better results if you swap them in sets. If you need to change the front, left side rotor, you'll also be changing the front, right-side one. The same applies when working with the back. If you want to choose OEM parts, you can expect for that expense to fall between thirty and seventy-five dollar for one part. High-quality ones can cost up to and above one-hundred.

In terms of paying for labor, the expenses on this end can between one-hundred-and-fifty and two-hundred dollars per axle. Since it's best to replace two at once, the total labor costs can fall between three and four hundred dollars, with the total for parts potentially falling between sixty and one-hundred-fifty dollars.

For a two-wheel project, you can expect parts and labor on rotor replacement to come between $360-$550. If you need to change out the rotors on all four axels, the potential expense would roughly double: somewhere between seven-hundred and eleven-hundred dollars.

New Rotors and Brake Pads

It's relatively common for someone to replace their brake pads without also needing to get new rotors, but the inverse isn't always true. If you're replacing your rotors, you may need to install new pads as well, which will naturally increase the cost of parts and labor. You can expect to pay between $250 and $500 per axle—so potentially $500-$1000 for two brakes, $1000-$2000 for all four.

Take note that various factors can impact the final price tag for a rotor replacement job, such as the complexity of the work, which mechanic you go to, and even the make and model of your vehicle—a Ford SUV will likely have a different service cost different Ram trucks.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Rotors and Brake Pads

Now that you have a thorough breakdown on understanding how much installing new rotors can be, how do you tell when it's time to replace them. Naturally, to help with determining this, there are some signs you can keep an eye out for to know when to take care of your maintenance best.

Because you'll likely be replacing both the brake pads and rotors at the same time, it's generally easier to keep an eye on your brake pads, take them in for maintenance when they need it, and allow your mechanic to conduct a full inspection to let you know if it's time for new rotors as well. As

You've Driven Between 30,000 and 70,000 Miles Since Your Last Switch

Your brake pads tend to need replacements between having driven thirty- to seventy-thousand miles since the last maintenance trip. While this range is quite extensive, it takes into account that your driving style and roadway conditions can play a significant role. If you drive a lot and use your brakes frequently, you'll likely fall onto the lower end of the spectrum.

If your car, SUV, or pickup truck is a pre-owned model, a vehicle history report can help you track maintenance milestones and not miss important ones.

The Brake Pads Have Worn Down

Because your brake pads wear down over time, you may not notice the impact on when you use them. However, it can be easy to do a quick visual inspection to see how things are holding up. If the pad has worn down to around two or three millimeters, then it's time for some new ones before they wear down all the way.

You Hear Squealing Whenever You Brake

Some brakes have a specific type of metal under the padding that will make a high-pitched squealing noise when you break. If your brakes have this setup, that's about as clear of an indication that you're going to get that replacement time has come.

A Warning Light on Your Dashboard Lights Up

While the squealing piece of metal is one option, manufacturers also can use metal beneath the standard pad material to connect an electric circuit, which will then power the corresponding warning light on your blackboard.

Your Vehicle Shakes When You Brake

Sometimes due to their use, brake pads can wear down unevenly, which in turn can impact the state of your rotors. When brakes get this way, you can feel like braking is shaky or bumpy, thanks to the uneven surface. If that's the case, it can help to have a mechanic look and confirm the issue, as other automotive problems can cause a similar sensation.

The Importance of Getting Prompt Brake Maintenance

Worn down rotors and brake pads are potential safety issues, especially if you also have to drive through inclement weather. Waiting to get repairs can potentially cause damage to other parts of your car or lead to an accident.

While it can save money to handle a DIY job, working with a mechanic can also ensure that you get quality replacement parts, as not all after-market products have the same level of quality as their OEM counterparts.

Best Practices When Driving on New Brakes

After you've replaced your brake pad and rotors, paying attention to how you drive will help extend the lifetime of your parts. As mentioned, how you drive and the conditions you go through will impact the brake wear and tear. Here are a few quick tips on how to best drive after new parts are in place.

Not only will your new parts last longer, but if you ultimately sell your vehicle, it will help to have them in good shape, as the condition of maintenance can impact used car values.

Try to Avoid Stomping on the Brakes

Sometimes you don't have any choice but to hit the brakes as hard as you can, especially when there's a risk of colliding into something. However, we don't encounter these situations every day, and yet many drivers feel the need to go as long as they can before stopping before a sign, traffic light, or turn. Continually putting heavy pressure on your brakes that way wears them down faster.

Instead, give yourself time to slow down. Start by taking your foot off the accelerator and let momentum start to fall away on its own. You can also begin to brake earlier, gently easing into a stop rather than slamming on the brakes.

Keep Enough Space Between You and the Car Ahead

It can be easy to lose track of how much space you're leaving open between yourself and other vehicles when traffic is stressful. Naturally, the less space there is, the less time you'll have to slow down if necessary, which means you'll need to slam the brakes to stop in time. Since we don't want to do that, making sure you're leaving room between yourself and others.

The three-second follow rule can help determine a suitable distance. If the car ahead of you passes a sign, for instance, it should take you at least three seconds to drive past the same signpost, if not more. If your count doesn't reach three seconds, you should back off.

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