You don’t want to put off new brakes because you are worried about the cost of the job. Understanding the different brake system components and their average costs can help you plan for this repair.
The Function of Brake Pads & Rotors
The two parts that are commonly replaced during a brake job are the pads and rotors. Brake pads are the components that are most commonly associated with bad brakes. They are made from metallic or ceramic compounds that wear from the friction needed to stop your car. You will need the appropriate hardware to install new brake pads.
The pads press against a rotor surface. This is a metallic disc that mounts directly to the wheel hub assembly. Its flat surface can become damaged from letting brake pads wear too much. Many auto technicians will resurface the rotors when possible to cut down on the total repair cost.
Brake pads and rotors are found on cars with disc brakes. This is the front-axle setup for most vehicles, and the back on many others. However, some cars have rear drum brakes with different hardware.
Materials & Replacement Costs
To properly do a brake service, you’ll need to have a dull set of pads, rotors, brake cleaner, and some tools. The initial investment in your tools will run you around $100 or so, but you can use these for multiple brake jobs and, in some cases, other projects like replacing a worn steering pump.
Brake pads are not an expensive part. For most cars and light trucks, they will range between $50 and $100 for a complete set. If you need new rotors, they will add to the repair cost. A pair can run you between $70 and $200 depending on vehicle specs, and you’ll need two sets to do all four wheels. Taking it into a shop can easily double or triple that cost by adding several hours of labor to the bill.
DIY vs. Professional Replacement
Changing a car’s brakes is a pretty straightforward job and a great way to save money. Investing in a good-quality torque wrench set and a few simple brake-specific tools should get you set up and ready to go. Still, some car owners may feel a little underprepared for the job. It requires removing the wheels, calipers, pads, and rotors. You’ll then need to inspect each component, clean and resurface mounting surfaces, make any adjustments, and replace worn parts with new ones.
If you are unsure about whether or not to replace your car’s brakes and rotors, take some time to research the process and decide if you can successfully handle it. Online videos and tutorials should provide enough information for you to make a sound decision.
Shop for Brake Parts and Supplies
If you are ready to take on the job of replacing your car’s brakes, you want to start with the right tools and parts for the job. Shop an online auto parts store for everything you need, then either have it delivered or pick it up in your local store.