Do you want to hear something interesting. Brake pads usually need to be replaced before brake rotors do. However my 13 year old bmw has the original brake pads and they still have a lot of life in them. However, my brake rotors need to be replaced. So next week I will dropping my car off at the mechanic to have my brakes replaced which means that both the rotors and pads will be replaced. What is interesting is that if I didn’t get new tires this week the rotors wouldn’t have been visible and I wouldn’t have been aware of the problem.

I’ve done a bunch of brake jobs over the years, including my son’s truck yesterday. That is the weirdest car repair story I’ve ever heard. Are you sure your mechanic is honest? Light scoring on the rotors is normal and is removed when they do a brake job.

And heavy scoring is usually due to worn pads scratching the surface. It might be that something lodged in a pad and ruined the surface.

In light of the fact that my car is 13 years old and has its original brakes I am not questioning the fact that I need new brakes. What I have trouble understanding is that whenever I bring it in for service and ask them to check my brakes I have been told that I have a lot of life left in my brake pads as if that was the only thing I had to worry about.

Is this because my brake pads are more affected by miles driven, which is only 50,000 miles, than age of car and brake rotors are more affected by the actual age of the car?

I have never heard of rotors wearing out before pads. I’ve always gone through two or three sets of pads before the rotors need replacing. The only true way of knowing how worn they are is to measure the thickness with a caliper. I can’t think of a situation that would cause this. Age has nothing to do with either, it’s just how much the brakes are used. The pads are “softer” than the rotors so they wear out first.

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A 13yo car, but only 50k miles? I’m guessing that means more local, stop and go driving than average. Others could maybe tell you what that might mean for your brakes.

It’s odd the pads outlasted the rotors, when I was young and poor me and my friends would do our own brake jobs and it was cheaper to replace the pads more often than do a complete brake job. My wife’s Ford mini van went over 100k miles before it needed brake pads and never needed rotors in over 150k miles.

I tend to “ride my brakes,” could that have anything to do with it?

Wears out pads faster, still much faster than rotors.

Pads and rotors are all about how much breaking you do and not age or miles driven. I have long commute and drive a lot of highway miles. I often get 200,000+ miles on my commuter car. If you live in city and sit in stop and go traffic you are going to go through brakes quickly. I recall when i was in a cab riding through a major city, i noticed a huge number of break shops.

Why your rotors wear can be from several factors. The pad materials is probaly the biggest factor. I have destroyed many sets of rotors. I had a rock from dirt road get jammed in the brake and eat huge grooves in rotors. I have had many warped rotors over the years. That is from cheap quality steel in the rotors. If you ride your brakes, you will build up a lot of heat that will cause warping and premature pad wear.

Anotger thing from age, is sticky calipers. The brake fluid will start to break down and get gummy. Also corrosion in the calipers can cause sticky calipers.

Your car is 13 years old and 50k miles. My new truck is 14 months old and 40k miles.

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