Predicting how many miles you can put on your brake pads/rotors is extremely difficult and depends on a variety of factors. In most cases, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on the prediction and should frequently check to ensure the pads and rotors are still in good condition.
How Long They Last
While it’s just a guideline, you can expect your brakes to wear out faster if you usually drive in stop-and-go traffic. Those who spend most of their time on the highway may find that their brakes last a lot longer.
People who live in large cities, such as NYC, Chicago, or Boston may find that they require new brake pads about every 15,000 miles. However, if you live in a more rural area or often travel the highway, your brake pads could last up to four times longer.
Rotors, on the other hand, generally last much longer than the pads; you may find that you can get them resurfaced instead of having to replace them.
Drivers who tend to apply the brakes unnecessarily or drive with their foot on the brake may find that the rotors and pads both wear out sooner.
If you own an electric/hybrid vehicle, the brakes are likely to last longer because the system is regenerative and provides most of the stopping power, ensuring that the wear and tear on the rotors and brakes are minimal.
Do They Need to be Replaced?
For the most part, brakes wear out gradually, so it’s possible you don’t notice until something happens, such as the pedal going down farther when you press on the brakes or a slight change in your stopping ability.
You can also use your ears to help you decide when to replace the brake pads/rotors. Turn off your radio and listen as you press down on the brakes. If you hear squeaking, squeals, or rattling, these are indications that something could be amiss, though it doesn’t necessarily mean that you require new pads and rotors. The best thing you can do is be aware at all times and notice when something doesn’t feel right. You may also want to visually inspect them or have a trusted mechanic do so for you.