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My V has approximately 65K on the odo with the OEM pads. I usually get the oil changed at the dealer, and they measure the pad thickness as part of the courtesy inspection. Last time the thickness was down to 2mm on all four wheels. I haven't heard the brake pad wear indicator yet, but I do get a teeny squeal sometimes if I apply the brakes while backing up. The car is also starting to shudder slightly under light to moderate braking going downhill.

I live in an apartment and do not have the tools or space to work on my own brakes. Should I wait until I hear the indicator, or just go ahead and get them swapped out? After six years, it might be time for new brake fluid too.
 

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Some brake squeal while backing up is normal, especially when the brakes are still cold.
They're made to function primarily while moving forward.
Shuddering while going forward though is more concern.
Especially if it doesn't improve after brakes warmed up.
Go ahead and change them.
I've never bothered with fluid purge, but lots of folks have experience with brakes here.
Hope it helps
 

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A shudder while braking indicates warped rotors. And at 2mm I would definitely recommend replacing the pads. As for fluid, don't worry about it. Unless the fluid is discolored, I wouldn't do a thing. Don't trust the screeching wear indicators because after 60k miles, the indicators can actually be bent back or rusted/broken off. If you came into my shop, I'd recommend changing the pads/rotors. Its a fairly inexpensive job.
 

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Just picked up the wife's 2008 today. I took it in because I heard a slight noise during braking. They said the front brake pads had about 25% of their lining left, BUT THE REAR BRAKES WERE ALMOST GONE! This is unlike any other car I have ever known. Usually I get twice the miles out of the rear brakes that the front pads last. Our total miles is 66,646.

They also discovered the left lower ball joint was ready to fail - it pulled apart during disassembly. The right side was deemed in perfect condition - also unusual. I have seen other reports of bad left ball joints at low mileage. Rock Auto will sell Moog lower control arms with ball joint for around $35; Beck Arnley arms cost around $54.

Just be aware that you may be expecting to do only a front brake job, and you may need the rears as well.
 

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Drums are a different story completely. They see very little actual real world use. Fronts usually do about 70% of braking, especially in a FWD. 2mm for pads indicates the are in need of replacement, however 2mm on the shoes is still healthy. The drums on Versa's work fairly well and are generally problem free on the ones i have serviced. I have an 07 with 325 000KM on it and to this date rear shoes have never been replaced. I just gave them a service a while ago, sand the shoes down, turn the drums on a brake lathe, and lube all the pivot points and clean all the brake dust out of the drums.

They may just be trying to sell a 4 wheel brake replacement because of customer ignorance. 2mm on rear drums is fine. YMMV however since i am not an aggressive or hard driver like many people, i have a 6 speed manual so i save my brakes that way too.

Were the rear drums ever serviced in the life of the car? The last person doing the service could have adjusted them improperly when putting the drums back on and caused them to overheat, unlikely but shit happens. Drums are pretty damn reliable, i prefer working on drums than disc brakes.
 

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I have no idea why brake fluid is not changed more often. However, it is vital to be fresh in order for it to do its job and prevent rust from within the lines.

Remember, brake fluid is hydrPHONIC meaning that is loooooves to absorb water. Any sort of worthy shops should have brake fluid test strips to determine what condition thebrake fluid is in and how bad the contaminents are. At my previous job (Firestone complete auto care) we were required to test EVERY vehicles brake fluid with the test strip. You'd be surprised at the braking qualities between old fluid and new fluid.

If it is bad - get it change. We charged like $60-70 for a full brake flush with fluid.
 
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