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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] .
post Post   Comments (249)
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Brakes serviced
Amount: $1,449.00
Posted by: J.Wade in Columbia, MD.Posted: May 11th, 2018 12:05PM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: CRV
Auto Shop: Jim Coleman
Car had noise when applying brakes. (No service lights on.) Went back to dealership and was charged $1440.00 for inspection, rear pads and rotors brake fluid and left rear caliper.
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Front and back brake pads and all rotors replaced
Amount: $275.00
Posted by: NJDealGuy in Langhorne, PA.Posted: February 20th, 2018 08:02AM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Accord LX 2010
Auto Shop: Craigslist & Advance Auto Parts
My strategy whenever I feel theres a problem with the car is to first take it to a dealer that tests and diagnoses what needs to be done (such as brakes, alternator, etc). Was quoted approx $850 by the Honda dealer in this case to replace all brake pads and rotors on my car (and in addition suggested calipers, and other shocks/struts bs). Then went to advance auto parts with 20% off coupon and purchased front/back premium wearever brand ceramic brake pads and 4 rotors and a can of brake fluid for approximately $205 in total including tax.
Found a 'mobile mechanic' who came to my place on craigslist who was a professional that actually works for a dealer and does this work for some side income and did the replacement work for me and charged $70 (and took about 2 hours for him to do the work).
I've used this strategy for several different things as needed over the years and believe it is the way to avoid getting ripped off and also have control over what is being done on the car
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replaced all brakes and turned rotors and new brake fluid
Amount: $304.00
Posted by: a user in houston, TX.Posted: July 22nd, 2017 08:07PM
Car Make: nissanCar Model: pathfinder
Auto Shop: sears
Fair price for what they did ceramic pads and used 80 dollar coupon found online
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Brakes and rotors FRONT ONLY
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: DRIVING MACHINE in Oakland, CA.Posted: March 13th, 2017 03:03PM
Car Make: LincolnCar Model: MKS
Auto Shop: Dealership
New front brake pads, new rotors, brake component test, system inspection and road testing. Only original Lincoln Motor Company parts were used. I feel it may look price first but not that expensive if I compare other luxury car brand. Pads come with lifetime warranty, rotors come with 2 yrs warranty
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Brakes
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Siameezkat in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: March 7th, 2017 06:03AM
Car Make: InfinitiCar Model: G35
Auto Shop: Infiniti
Sooooo took my Infiniti to Meinkie and they replaced the back brakes a month later I smell something burning so caliper on passengers side was stuck, they gave me some line about it was some electrical problem that made my emergency brake engage. Yeah right....so I take it to Infiniti and they say I need new brake pads, rotors and calipers and might as well do the other side to. Haven't got the bill yet but looks like around 1500 not to mention the job I paid for at Meinke around 400.00!
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Our 2012 Honda Accord Requires new Brake Pads FREQUENTLY!
Amount: $234.00
Posted by: frustratedHondaOwner in Santa Clara, CA.Posted: July 23rd, 2016 05:07PM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Accord 2012 LXP
Auto Shop: Japanese Beatle
Man our 2012 Honda ACcord LX-P is only 6 years old but I can't count how many times we've had to change the brake pads! Finally switched to a local mechanic instead of paying dealership prices. This was for the rear brake pads. REally liked the mechanic at this place, Japanese Beatle. I also asked his advice about some scratches on the bumper and he told me the local Maaco sometimes has bumper specials, which I might try to catch sometime.
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Front and rear brake pads and rotors
Amount: $1,030.00
Posted by: James C in Chicago, IL.Posted: June 23rd, 2016 12:06AM
Car Make: CadillacCar Model: CTS4
Auto Shop: Grossinger AutoPlex
Made decision to use dealer thinking warranty would help,...my mistake, should have said no on estimate, but I was traveling and in a rush.
Would have been cheaper at independent shop in Chicago
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Rear brake rotors
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Jeffrey G in Deerfield beach, FL.Posted: June 10th, 2016 12:06PM
Auto Shop: Mobile mechanic
Had my friend replace the rear brake rotors on my toyota highlander 4 cyl.
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Brake Pads, Rotors, Sensors, Hardware, Hoses,Brake Fluid & Labor
Amount: $724.48
Posted by: Mercedes88 in King of Prussia, PA.Posted: April 7th, 2016 11:04AM
Car Make: MercedesCar Model: 560SL
Auto Shop: MIDAS
Rebate of $100.00 on installation of $724.48. Mercedes dealer in West Chester, PA quoted a price of $540.00 for front pads and brakes?? Pep Boys quoted a price of $496.00??????
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front breaks and break fluid
Amount: $370.00
Posted by: van81 in yonkers, NY.Posted: April 6th, 2016 12:04PM
Car Make: dodgeCar Model: durango
Auto Shop: mavis
I bought this car used. now a year later and I have to repair breaks. I so feel the dealership, should pay.
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front brake pads and rotors
Amount: $312.00
Posted by: dcw in marion, VA.Posted: March 29th, 2016 01:03PM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Accord EXL
I bought new rotors and pads. Paid 85.00 for the labor to install. I could have bought cheaper parts but paid extra for low dust pads and rust resistant rotors
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Rear brake pads and new rotors.
Amount: $360.00
Posted by: Toeser in The Villages, FL.Posted: March 11th, 2016 10:03AM
Car Make: SubaruCar Model: Outback
Auto Shop: NAPA
Pads were an upgrade from basic. I probably could have done better, but don't know any service providers in the area.
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Front and Back Wagner Ceramic Brakes and Wagner Rotors
Amount: $135.11
Posted by: Yoder in Pueblo, CO.Posted: February 9th, 2016 01:02PM
Car Make: VWCar Model: Jetta
Auto Shop: DIY
Let the car sit for two years and rotors and breaks were nice and rusted. Couldn't get the wheels off so I paid $14 for a tire rotation and they quoted me $350 for all pads and rotors. I still thought that was way too much.
Front Ceramics - $34.36
Rear Ceramics - $20.83
Front Rotors - $24.14x2
Rear Rotors - $15.82x2
plus about 2 hours of my labor as the rotors were rusted to the hub as well.
Then paid $40 to the same shop to bleed the brakes and I supplied them with the brake fluid.
First time ever changing the brakes and they stop better than when I fist got the car, just do a little research and go for it.
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Rear Brakes
Amount: $151.00
Posted by: TAS in sparta, NJ.Posted: February 2nd, 2016 06:02AM
Car Make: InfinitiCar Model: Q45
Auto Shop: Home-self
I do my own brakes not only to save money, but to do it right, I drive high miles. Poor jobs can squeak, rust out your calipers and damage ABS. I did a full rear job, fully rebuilt calipers (one stuck, did both sides), new rotors, pads, shims, fluid flush/bleed. Took 4 hrs going slow, longest time to rebuild calipers. Costs: Caliper rebuild kit ($5 x 2) Caliper piston ($14 x 2) Caliper giude pins w grease ($12 x 2) ceramic pads ($27 set) rear rotors ($23 x 2) brake fluid, 32 oz ($7) pad quiet spray ($6) brake cleaner ($6). Did proper job, following the vehicle specific repair manual. I found garages lack diligence and skip steps. DO IT RIGHT, do it yourself!
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Toyota 2003 Celica GTS Front Brakes
Amount: $336.69
Posted by: Stuart Z in Columbus, OH.Posted: January 27th, 2016 03:01PM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Celica GTS
Auto Shop: Voss Toyota
My son reported "squishy" brakes. In addition, I heard an odd sound from the right rear tire area. Upon taking our car to the Toyota dealer (I have a Platinum maintenance warranty good until 5 years 2017 or 100K miles, now at 4 years and 70K miles) it was determined that lack of tire rotation caused uneven wear on the right rear, producing the odd rotational noise. The brake issue was determined to be a frozen right front caliper. The work include resurfacing 2 front rotors, installation of 2 new pads, shims, and a new right front caliper. Total parts $209.19 labor $227.50. A discount was applied since I had a few more items taken care of plus oil and power steering flush/fluid, cabin air filter, removal of dysfunctional power antenna, and tire rotation. Sure - dealerships cost more....but with my warranty I did the only prudent thing!
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Front- New Pads & Rotors, Rear- New Shoes & Refinish Drums, Oil & Filter Change, Changed 2 bulbs ( brake & rear )
Amount: $450.00
Posted by: Liz4rmLA in Northridge, CA.Posted: January 18th, 2016 06:01PM
Auto Shop: L.B. Auto Service
Very nice. Showed me what he was going to do and what was wrong. Took a few hours since they were busy and gave me a lift home so I wouldn't have to wait there.
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Rear rotors and pads
Amount: $324.94
Posted by: Neatfix in Monmouth Junction, NJ.Posted: September 9th, 2015 11:09AM
Car Make: SubaruCar Model: 2003 Legacy wagon
STS tire and auto worked fast, did a good job, finishing in aboult an hour. Charged $114 for quick work, $89.95 for pads and $120 for two new disc rotors. Professional treatment.
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Front pads and replaced rotors
Amount: $359.00
Posted by: DJones in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: September 4th, 2015 07:09AM
Auto Shop: National Tire & Battery
Sept 2015, not 2014 -Quoted $325 when I purchased new tires. Returned 2 weeks later quoted $395. Negotiated $350. Then found on line a coupon @ Tires Plus for $60 off per axel. Pays to shop around.
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Rear brakes, pads and rotors
Amount: $480.00
Posted by: TJ WV in Wheeling, WV.Posted: July 15th, 2015 02:07AM
Auto Shop: Straub Nissan
Overcharged. Bought the car there and went back for "free" state inspection. They placed a rejection sticker on the car which gave me 5 days to repair. Scheduled the work there, quoted $350. Charged $130 more than quoted. Never again!
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Brakes
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Dawn Boline in Spokane, WA.Posted: July 10th, 2015 07:07AM
Car Make: SaturnCar Model: Ls
They didn't make any noise or go to the floor
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Front/Rear Pads/Rotors/Sensors
Amount: $883.27
Posted by: Chris, Germany in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Other.Posted: July 9th, 2015 03:07AM
Car Make: BMWCar Model: 325xi
Auto Shop: Bosch Auto Services
Sensor came on but nothing felt wrong while on the autobahn. Took it to the Bosch shop in my hometown and got the call for 800Euro. Seems the discs weren't thin or warped but "damaged/old." The good news is they had new QuietCast(TM) Premium Rotors and Pads in. Spent two days in the shop.
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Front brake pad replacement 2000 Chevy silverado
Amount: $38.00
Posted by: Betty Norris in Riverside, CA.Posted: June 22nd, 2015 05:06AM
Auto Shop: Mom's place
I just did my daughters truck brakes. Never did a truck before been doing my own on cars for 30 years. With truck it was just super sized. Did have problem with one of the caliper bolts. After a few hours I managed to get it off. I don't go auto shops cause I'm tired of being taken advantage of cause of being female.
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front pads and rotors
Amount: $220.00
Posted by: Juan Garcia in cicero, IL.Posted: June 8th, 2015 03:06PM
Auto Shop: CERMAK TIRES
Best price inthe town (the owner is a CHRISTIAN MAN
THIS IS MY FAVORITE PLACE
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Front Brake Pads Replacement and Rotors Resurfaced
Amount: $188.00
Posted by: Moises L. in North Hollywood, CA.Posted: May 18th, 2015 03:05PM
Car Make: SaabCar Model: 9-3 Aero
Auto Shop: Busy Brake Shop
I was expecting to pay more for brakes for a Saab but thankfully found a good shop near my job that had great reviews! Parts were $85 + $95 in labor and a few bucks for tax.
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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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