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CostHelper > Cars  > Brakes

Brakes Cost


How Much Do Brakes Cost?

 
average costAt a Repair Shop: $130-$800 per axlehigh costAt a Car Dealership: $350-$850 per axle
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Brake pads can last tens of thousands of miles but they wear down over time, and should be inspected and replaced when needed.

Brake rotors/discs (the part the pads rub against to stop the vehicle) may last through two or three sets of pads before needing to be replaced; slightly scratched rotors can sometimes be resurfaced (shaving off enough metal to make them smooth again).

A brake caliper holds the brake pad and piston in place around the rotor; a caliper typically lasts longer than pads or rotors, but may need replacing if sticking or leaking brake fluid.

Typical costs:

  • Brake repairs typically cost $130-$900 per axle, depending on the make and model of the vehicle and what is included -- whether it is only a basic inspection and brake pad replacement or if it includes replacing pads and either resurfacing or replacing rotors; or if it includes pads, rotors, calipers and flushing the brake fluid system. Prices are typically higher at car dealerships than at standard repair shops (such as independent or chain car-repair companies, or muffler or tire shops).
  • For example, from 2010 to 2012 CostHelper readers reported paying $140-$799 for an average of $349 for brake repairs on one axle in standard repair shops; or $350-$850 at dealerships for an average of $504.
  • For work on front and back brakes, CostHelper readers reported paying $273-$1,025 for an average of $567 at standard repair shops, or $280-$935 for an average of $578 at dealerships.
  • Repairs tend to be more expensive on vehicles with higher initial purchase prices; these sometimes have more complex systems that require more labor. For example, a CostHelper reader reported paying $965 for front and back brake pads and front rotors on a Mercedes.
Related articles: Wheel Alignment, Replacing a CV Boot, Replacing a Timing Belt, Tires, Oil Change

What should be included:
  • A brake job typically includes road testing the vehicle to check its current operating condition; removing the wheels and inspecting the brake pads, rotors, bearings and calipers; inspecting and/or replacing brake hoses, mounting clips, anti-rattle shims and brake pads; cleaning the components; inspecting and possibly resurfacing or replacing the brake rotors; and cleaning and repacking bearings. Nevada Mobile Automotive service describes what should be included[1] .
  • Most front-wheel drive cars have hub bearings, which are typically inspected and replaced if necessary, rather than being serviced. Some vehicles also require a hydraulic brake system flush.
  • Brakes may need to be replaced when the wheels make a high-pitched screeching or grinding noise; if the brakes fail to slow or stop the car normally; if the brake pedal slowly drops to the floor after the brakes are engaged; if the vehicle pulls to one side while braking; or if vibrations can be felt from the pedal while the brakes are applied. DriverSide.com explains how to know[2] when it is time to change brake pads.
Discounts:
  • Some repair shops offer discounts for AAA[3] members.
  • Edmunds provides do-it-yourself instructions[4] for replacing brake pads, calling it an "easier-than-expected DIY project" that requires standard tools and takes about an hour, for a savings of about $250 in labor costs on most cars. CostHelper readers report paying $23-$285 for an average of $104 for materials for brakes on one axle, and $135-$439 for all parts for both front and back brakes, for an average of $304.
  • CostHelper readers who bought the needed replacement parts and then paid a mobile mechanic or one at a local shop or gas station to install them report total costs of $80-$430, for an average of $251.
Shopping for brakes:
  • Ask for details about why the brake parts need replacing, and the quality of the replacements (whether they are made by the original vehicle manufacturer or are manufactured by another company). The Family Handyman magazine describes potential brake-job rip-offs[5] .
  • The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence provides a searchable directory[6] of certified shops.
  • Consumer Reports lists tips for finding a good mechanic[7] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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front brake pads & rotors
Amount: $313.78
Posted by: db rich in Independence, MO.Posted: December 8th, 2014 04:12PM
Car Make: HyundaiCar Model: Elantra
Auto Shop: Calvert's Express
I went in for brake pads,$59, says rotors needed changed, don't make rotors anymore where they can be turned? Says needed to replace rotors too. Although I could go a month, before needing?
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front pads & rotors plus left caliper and state inspection
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: geo in berwick, ME.Posted: November 19th, 2014 01:11PM
Car Make: 99 nissanCar Model: sentra 225000miles
Auto Shop: independent
around $200 for pads and rotors/ 70 for caliper 65 additional labor 12 for sticker.
... all though I could have done the work my self, with a car that old I feel the expense is worth it.
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Front and Rear Brakes, Front Rotors
Amount: $650.00
Posted by: Levy in Longview, TX.Posted: October 23rd, 2014 09:10AM
Car Make: FordCar Model: F-150 XLT
Auto Shop: Super Automotive in Longview, TX
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front/back pads & rotors
Amount: $560.00
Posted by: buick in Chicago, IL.Posted: October 17th, 2014 10:10AM
$250 labor, $210 rotors, $100 pads.
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Front and Rear Brake Pads and Rotors
Amount: $864.00
Posted by: Suzannah Locklair in Greenwood, SC.Posted: September 14th, 2014 06:09AM
Car Make: 2003Car Model: BMW
Auto Shop: Firestone
I think I was probably overcharged. It was a Saturday and I was 250 miles from home.
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DIY (basic tools)
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: smar in Norwood, MA.Posted: August 23rd, 2014 08:08AM
Car Make: N/ACar Model: n/A
Auto Shop: N/A
The person that wrote this story.. don't have any idea what the true costs of auto repairs are. And like so many others that will talk about auto repairs, football, religion.... because they saw it somewhere. It seems we have a new breed of know-it-alls They Google a subject craft it in there own words post it and presto instant expert.
I'm an Auto Technician. And this is not a swipe at the DIY person I know a lot of DIY I'm one myself with plumbing and basic residential electric.
My issue is with the obvious lack of knowledge with bloggers that write this stuff.
1st. off DIY can save $250 in labor. Based on what. Basic tools I don't think so (older cars sure) but current or even 3-5 years old.
Tools: jack, stands, torx bits, metric hex, caliper piston tool (needed for twist out caliper pistons found in the rear) You find the slides are frozen, maybe you'll get lucky, heat them up using a torch or go back and buy them as soon as you put the wheels back on
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Front and rear pads and rotors
Amount: $575.00
Posted by: Joe Harrison in Attleboro, MA.Posted: August 17th, 2014 10:08AM
Car Make: CadillacCar Model: Escalade
Auto Shop: Landes auto
Paid 575.00 for
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front- piston, caliper, rotors (brake job), And radio job
Amount: $480.00
Posted by: Cassy in valley stream, NY.Posted: August 14th, 2014 03:08PM
Car Make: 1996 NissanCar Model: Maxima GLE
Auto Shop: M and T Auto Collision-Saint Albans, NY
i bought my car for $1600 and the brakes would not stop immediately when applied. I took it to this shop and they replaced the piston, the caliper, and the rotors for $300. The radio also didn't work so the guy bought a kenwood (expensive) without my consent and fixed the radio. I told him that I wanted to have it fixed at a later date but he had opened up that part of the car and fixed it already. He charged me $70 for the part and $60 for the labor. The defogger button needed to be fixed and that cost me $50. In all it is $480. I really wasn't expecting these extensive and expensive repairs since the school year and book costs are coming up in 2 weeks. hopefully these repairs last a long time, either way i am not spending this amount on car repairs again.
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Front and rear brakes
Amount: $830.00
Posted by: Druss in Clinton, NY.Posted: August 11th, 2014 07:08PM
Car Make: FordCar Model: Taurus
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Front new pads, new Rotor, parts and Rear new Drums and new shoes
Amount: $626.00
Posted by: Larry M in Naperville, IL.Posted: July 22nd, 2014 10:07AM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Corrolla
Auto Shop: CarX
New brakes all around for $626+ Tax in Illinois, They also recommended a brake fluid flush (due to moisture in line) for $70.
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All new pads and rotors
Amount: $329.13
Posted by: Wayne Gilroy in Foxboro, WI.Posted: June 5th, 2014 07:06PM
Car Make: 2003 ChevyCar Model: Avalanche 1500 4WD
Auto Shop: DIY
Ordered complete kit from amazon - all new pads and rotors delivered to my door. Opted for the more expensive slotted/drilled rotors and ceramic pads.
Took half a day in the garage, but I take the time to inspect and grease everything while I'm doing things.
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brakes grinding
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: anj in Mansfield, TX.Posted: March 28th, 2014 08:03PM
Car Make: toyotaCar Model: solara
Auto Shop: Auto Doctor
checked out four shops close to work and finally decided to let these guys do the work. After inspecting the car i was quoted $400.00 for front pads and new rotors.
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Front brake pads, rotors and alignment
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Jessbia in Alamogordo, NM.Posted: December 26th, 2013 12:12PM
Auto Shop: Martins tire
I feel overcharged, should have called around first.
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Front & rear pads & rotors
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Lov-le in Newark, NJ.Posted: November 23rd, 2013 10:11AM
Auto Shop: Newark Car Care
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Replace front brake pads 2006 Chevy HHR
Amount: $28.38
Posted by: Pauline from Freedom Worship in Kelseyville, CA.Posted: November 9th, 2013 01:11PM
Car Make: ChevyCar Model: HHR 2006
Auto Shop: Grandma's DIY
My Granddaughter jacked the car up & put jack stands in place. Once we got the wheel off it took me about 1/2 hour to R&R each set of pads and put everything back on tight. I even cleaned things up and greased everything. Got the pads from Napa Auto Parts and the instructions from Napa online. I'm 60 yrs old with 13 grandchildren & 4 great-grandchildren. Been doing my own brakes for over 30 years. Yes I wear gloves. I broke a nail this time. Darn it!
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Front pads and rotors
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: BLangille in Seabrook, NH.Posted: October 1st, 2013 09:10AM
Car Make: SubaruCar Model: 2010 Forrester
Auto Shop: NTB
Plus a $35.00 "shop fee"-
Wondering if I was overcharged? Went in for $20.00 oil change and out with a $385.00 brake job.
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Brakes & Rotors, front & back
Amount: $717.77
Posted by: Used in Bangor, ME.Posted: September 24th, 2013 11:09AM
Car Make: VWCar Model: Jetta
Auto Shop: Midas
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Front pads and rotors
Amount: $279.89
Posted by: Nke in Pottstown, PA.Posted: September 6th, 2013 02:09PM
Auto Shop: Bradleys
I thought this was very high . It looks like based on what I see here that it would be consider average for going to a repair shop.
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Front and rear Brakes serviced.
Amount: $580.00
Posted by: Tammy 123 in Momence, IL.Posted: August 31st, 2013 02:08AM
Car Make: MercuryCar Model: Mystique 1999
Auto Shop: Bob\'s
Front New Pads and new Rotors.
Back New brake shoes 2 new wheel cylinders. New hardware kit. New brake fluid. Machined drums. Adjusted new shoes. Also included oil change in price and replacing two burned out license plate bulbs and one burned out shifter bulb. The one which lights up PRND you. The brakes now work great and are quite. Hope this helps.
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brakes pads and calipers
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: LInden Frank in Fayetteville, AR.Posted: August 15th, 2013 09:08AM
Car Make: BuickCar Model: Regal
I did it myself and saved money. 90$ for the fluid, brake pads and calipers for the front. It isn't that complicated. Only one way they can go on. And this was a '95. Need two people to bleed the lines. Then you're good to go. Took me and hour to take it off and an hour to put on. That's 150 in labor I saved at least. I love it how the mechanics/who work alot of the times at parts stores, treat you like you don't know your own automobile or you aren't "certified" so how can you change brakes? It's not that hard
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Front and Rear Brakes and Rotors
Amount: $330.00
Posted by: Coppershine in Orange, CA.Posted: June 15th, 2013 12:06PM
Car Make: 1999 HondaCar Model: Accord
Auto Shop: Orange Auto Center
Purchased Prostop OEM brake pads and rotors kit online at prostop.com for front and rear wheels for $150. Repair shop installed for $180. They finished installation within an hour. I was told two people worked on vehicle. I may have been ripped off on service-time/hourly wages. Still unclear on issue.
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front and rear brakes plus rotors
Amount: $913.00
Posted by: Adolf Vask in Stafford, VA.Posted: April 27th, 2013 07:04AM
Car Make: KiaCar Model: 2010 Forte
Auto Shop: Meineke in Garrisonville, VA
Price was after a 50% off coupon for parts.
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Front brakes pads and rotors
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: Leonhuang in College Park, MD.Posted: April 7th, 2013 07:04PM
Auto Shop: Private shop
Front brake pads and rotors
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Brakes
Amount: $140.00
Posted by: DocMu in College Station, TX.Posted: February 11th, 2013 10:02AM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Odyssey
Pads are about $50-60 a pair.rnrnRotors are about $100 ea IF NEEDED.rnrn1 hour labor. Any more and you're getting hosed.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nvmobileautoservice.com/blog/2010/11/16/What-Is-Included-In-A-Complete-Brake-Job.aspx
  2.  www.driverside.com/auto-library/car_brakes_how_do_you_know_when_to_change_them-22
  3.  www.aaa.com/scripts/WebObjects.dll/ZipCode.woa/wa/route?stop=yes&
  4.  www.edmunds.com/how-to/how-to-change-your-brake-pads.html
  5.  www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Home-Repair/Vehicle-Repairs/Auto-Repair-Tips/auto-r...
  6.  www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
  7.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/how-to-find-a-great-car-mechanic/index.htm
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