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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a good 5-6 years for me, probably 50,000 miles since the last time which I did when I had the left front axle joint repaired/replaced after one brutal pothole too many.

Currently, I don't notice any loss of braking power, but I was wondering if there is a "safe zone" when it's advisable to get your brakes done regardless, just so they don't just randomly give out on you some day and you end up rear ending somebody.

I do notice that when I'm backing up, sometimes the brakes do make a weird whining/squeaking sound, but have read that this is fairly normal.

Comments/thoughts?
 

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2016 Nissan Versa S (manual transmission)
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I think there are too many variables to give you a "mileage estimate" as too when brakes need to be changed. Stop & go commuting, type of hills/mountains you drive, how your drive, etc. all factor into how quickly your brake pads wear out.

I had one sports car that I thrashed and got 15K-20K miles to a set of brake pads and rotors. My work truck I usually get about 30K depending on the type of loads I haul and if I tow a trailer.

I usually just check my brakes from time to time, jack it up and look at the pad thickness and do a general (visual) inspection of the entire front end. I also keep a set of pads and rotors in stock (on the garage shelf) for each vehicle and when its time, I just change them out.

My versa has about 25K miles on it, I did a visual inspection a few months ago and there was plenty of pad left.
 

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My 02 Ford just had brake pad/shoes put on it last week for the first time since I bought it in 2008. I'd put about 135K on them since I purchased the car. Nearly every set of brakes I put on my vehicles in the past 45 years have lasted in access of 100K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My 02 Ford just had brake pad/shoes put on it last week for the first time since I bought it in 2008. I'd put about 135K on them since I purchased the car.
Curious: What outward signs/symptoms prompted you to replace them?
Or did you do it more as a "just in case" insurance policy?
 

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I like to do a visual inspection of the brake pads to see what thickness is left. Once my front pads are down to less than the thickness of the backing plate, it's time to pull them. Use a micrometer to check how much the rotors are worn, and you can determine if they need replacement as well.
 

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Curious: What outward signs/symptoms prompted you to replace them?
Or did you do it more as a "just in case" insurance policy?
I'd had the front wheels off a couple months ago replacing tie rod ends/ball joints and saw the front pads were getting pretty worn. When I bought the car in '08 the previous owner told me he'd just put new front brakes on it prior to my purchasing it but didn't mention the rear. The car has about 215K so it's very likely this was the first time the rear brakes had been replaced since new. Checking front pads can often be done without removing a wheel if they are open faced wheels. If the fronts and rears have been replaced at the same time the fronts will always wear faster unless you happen to forget to release the emergency brake and drive with it on.
 

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If you do all highway driving, you'll get more out of them, but I wouldn't expect more than 30k out of front pads with normal driving. Replace the pads and rotors if the pads have less than 3mm of material left or the rotors are causing a pulsation when you press the pedal.

Every reputable shop does a complimentary look over of the car while it's in for service, so they should let you know if they are low when you are in for oil changes and stuff.
 

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If you do all highway driving, you'll get more out of them, but I wouldn't expect more than 30k out of front pads with normal driving. Replace the pads and rotors if the pads have less than 3mm of material left or the rotors are causing a pulsation when you press the pedal.

Every reputable shop does a complimentary look over of the car while it's in for service, so they should let you know if they are low when you are in for oil changes and stuff.
I've never had to replace a set of brake pads with that few miles on them. I think every set of brakes I've replaced in the past 30 years have been in use at least 100K miles and many of those sets were used in city driving in Charlotte, NC on a daily basis 5-7 days a week. I don't do a lot of highway driving but when I know I'm going to have to slow down or stop I let the car coast to bleed some of the speed off prior to having to hit my brakes. I also keep some distance between me an the car in front of me and often if they hit their brakes I just let off the gas, coast and never have to touch my brakes. When I had the pads replaced on my '02 Ford a couple weeks ago the old pads had about 135K miles on them and I suspect the rear shoes may have been original with about 215K miles.. Some people are hard on brakes some are easy on them the OP will just have watch the wear and see how hard he is on brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've never had to replace a set of brake pads with that few miles on them. I think every set of brakes I've replaced in the past 30 years have been in use at least 100K miles and many of those sets were used in city driving in Charlotte, NC on a daily basis 5-7 days a week. I don't do a lot of highway driving but when I know I'm going to have to slow down or stop I let the car coast to bleed some of the speed off prior to having to hit my brakes. I also keep some distance between me an the car in front of me and often if they hit their brakes I just let off the gas, coast and never have to touch my brakes. When I had the pads replaced on my '02 Ford a couple weeks ago the old pads had about 135K miles on them and I suspect the rear shoes may have been original with about 215K miles.. Some people are hard on brakes some are easy on them the OP will just have watch the wear and see how hard he is on brakes.
Good to hear this...I'm definitely a "coaster" myself.

In fact, I used to be in the habit of shifting into neutral to coast on the freeway when going downhill or approaching an exit ramp without any cars behind me, so definitely try to brake as little as possible. Stopped the shift-into-neutral thing only when someone convinced me it's not good for an automatic tranny.
 

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My 2016 versa has the original from factory pads and I just hit 85,000 miles. They are getting a bit thin, so I'll probably change them in 10,000 miles or so. I don't have any squeaking or stopping problems yet.
 
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