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Old 11-16-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
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Question A Question of Brake Pad Replacement/Frequency & Cost

I'm curious.

Even with two and three stage compression brakes, most high end class A's super heavy - 40 ~ almost 60,000 lbs!

I know they aren't driven like race cars, and in fact they aren't driven that many miles each year (typically). But if the coach has disk brakes all the way around, how often would brake pads be expected to be replaced?
(I ask because our heavy SUV needed front pads at 20k, and it's not dealing with anywhere near this amount of weight.)

Also, is there typically any sort of sensor that alerts you to the need to replace? Or is that determined only by the chassis manufacturer?

What does an average brake job cost? I'm hoping it isn't proportional to what I spend on my SUV !

Any insights would be appreciated!

Mark
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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I suspect the totally different driving habits as well as driving conditions will cause the different wear between the two.
City driving with stops and go's make a huge difference as well as the construction of the pads.
I know using an exhaust brake on a diesel will perhaps negate ever having to change the brake pads.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Don't know about disks all the way around as our Bus has disks front and drums in the rear. I do all my own maintenance, heavy and light. We've got 70,000 on the Bus and I'm now just beginning to find noticeable wear on the linings. Unless something changes, I'd say I won't even become to be concerned until at least 120,000 and really don't expect to need to replace them until much later. Our Bus is on a Freightliner chassis.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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The local Honda dealer checked our Civic's brakes and told us they were worn out. I asked how long do they last, the Civic only has 65,000 miles. They answered "That's as long as they last". I checked the lining myself and the fronts still have over half the lining left. So much for them "checking" the wear!! The Odysseys brakes went almost 90,000 miles with the almost 100% freeway driving my wife does before I rebuilt them and they didn't really need it.
Our MH has drums all the way around. I expect the pads to go 100,000 miles before they need replacing.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
The local Honda dealer checked our Civic's brakes and told us they were worn out. I asked how long do they last, the Civic only has 65,000 miles. They answered "That's as long as they last". I checked the lining myself and the fronts still have over half the lining left. So much for them "checking" the wear!! The Odysseys brakes went almost 90,000 miles with the almost 100% freeway driving my wife does before I rebuilt them and they didn't really need it.
Our MH has drums all the way around. I expect the pads to go 100,000 miles before they need replacing.
I don't understand why you'd be replacing the fronts if they still have over half the lining left and nothing is broken, scored or leaking. Sounds like your maintenance guy is looking for $$.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSJC View Post
I'm curious.

Even with two and three stage compression brakes, most high end class A's super heavy - 40 ~ almost 60,000 lbs!

I know they aren't driven like race cars, and in fact they aren't driven that many miles each year (typically). But if the coach has disk brakes all the way around, how often would brake pads be expected to be replaced?
(I ask because our heavy SUV needed front pads at 20k, and it's not dealing with anywhere near this amount of weight.)

Also, is there typically any sort of sensor that alerts you to the need to replace? Or is that determined only by the chassis manufacturer?

What does an average brake job cost? I'm hoping it isn't proportional to what I spend on my SUV !

Any insights would be appreciated!

Mark
If you only getting 20 thou on a set of brakes, that aint right. Never ever heard of that before
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSJC View Post
I know they aren't driven like race cars, and in fact they aren't driven that many miles each year (typically). But if the coach has disk brakes all the way around, how often would brake pads be expected to be replaced?
We currently own two new to us tag axle Signatures, an 00 & 02. Each coach has a little over 85k miles. I've recently been thru the disc brakes on the drive & steer axles of both. The front pads and rotors were fine on both coaches, but the caliper slide pins needed cleaning and lubing. The drive axle on both coaches needed new pads and the rotors turned. The caliper slide pins needed lubing and cleaning, and a couple of pins were worn so bad they had to be replaced.

IMO, If the exhaust/Jake brake is used whenever possible, and if the brakes components are properly maintained, I think 150,000 miles is a conservative estimate of how long they could last.

Quote:
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Also, is there typically any sort of sensor that alerts you to the need to replace?
No sensor on our coaches, but there are wear pins that are easy to see if you know what to look for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSJC View Post
What does an average brake job cost?
My cost: pads are $250/axle. Turning rotors cost $60/axle. If I needed new rotors my cost would be $500/axle. Caliper slide pins cost $300/axle. I'm a DIYer, so labor is free. Plus misc pats and supplies, it cost me about $500/coach to go thru the drive and steer axle brakes of each.

If your not a DIYer it cost a lot more. Example: We use to have a 98 tag axle Signature. It came with mx receipts. The previous owner had a truck shop do a brake job done on both the steer & drive axles. Their total cost was $3100(parts $2100, labor $1000). The reason for premature brake job, improper mx. The calipers were over greased, and the slide pins were dry, dirty, rusty, and as a result, worn beyond limits.

Here's a related thread I began last January.
Drive Axle Hub/Disc Brakes w/Pics

Both of our daily drivers, 07 Toyota FJ Cruiser & 08 GMC Acadia, have about 85k miles on them and will easily go past 100k miles before they need front brake jobs.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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Most auto brake pads have wear sensors that make a squeeking sound when the pads are worn enough to need replacing. 25,000 sound early. But it does depend on your driving habits. If you brake with your left foot you can expect your brakes to wear out sooner because most people tend to ride the brake or not release them completly. If you have driven behind someone who has the brake lights on while driving down the road it can mean they have their left foot on the brake and are lightly applying them. The pads normally touch the rotors lightly all the time. I replace my work truck, Chevy 3/4 ton with a weight of 6800#s, at about 35000 miles. I do a lot of stop and go even on the freeways (California).
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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I have a 2001 Jeep Wrangler that is used as the Toad with just over 60,000 miles on it and I'm currently on the 3rd set of front pads but still running on the same rear drum shoes. I usually change the front pads when there is less than 1/16th inches left on them. Most of the miles on this Jeep are in the mountains of Colorado since that's where we spend our Spring and Fall vacations so maybe that accounts for the extreme fast wear, and I do use the best pads I can buy here in town.
My 1991 Honda has 78,000 miles and still on the original pads.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I have a 2001 Jeep Wrangler that is used as the Toad with just over 60,000 miles on it and I'm currently on the 3rd set of front pads but still running on the same rear drum shoes. I usually change the front pads when there is less than 1/16th inches left on them. Most of the miles on this Jeep are in the mountains of Colorado since that's where we spend our Spring and Fall vacations so maybe that accounts for the extreme fast wear, and I do use the best pads I can buy here in town.
I don't know about your Jeep, but my Wrangler doesn't rack up miles on the odometer while it's being towed. The brakes, however, are being used by the supplemental braking system. That might factor into the apparently "extreme fast wear" you are experiencing.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:52 AM   #11
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Well here we go, I guess a good time to replace your break shoes is when smoke comes up from your right front wheel and your break pedal gose all the way to the floor and the only way you can stop is to grab the parking break handle and use you foot to slow down to stop.
I had 81,000 miles on it at that time.
Now when I had it towed to a shop it cost $3,600 to do the front wheels I told them go through the the who front end.
I put about 1000 more miles on it and it went out again my foot went to the floor but the break pedal came back up so I drove it to the shop again this time I told them I do not feel safe driving it so they went through the who thing to the tune of $6,200 it included all the parts and hoses on the
front and back duels, you name it they did it. It was in the shop for a month and a half. It was an expensive lesson for me and I do not want to repeat it.
Just a thought.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #12
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Few, if any, class A diesel motorhomes with exhaust or engine brakes should ever need brake pads in the first 100k miles. Maybe cleaning & lube of the mechanism, but chassis builders like Freightliner and Spartan agree that brake pad wear is practically non-existent on class A motorhomes. In fact, they say the brakes are mostly underutilized and more likely to be suffering from glazing rather than wear.

I am equally surprised your "heavy SUV" needed pads at 20k miles. My 5000 lb suv has 74k on the clock and another 45k towed and the original pads are still good. Is it possible that one of the drivers rides the brake pedal a lot, probably without even being aware of it? Or perhaps the mileage is all city driving, where stop & go driving can accelerate brake wear?
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:53 PM   #13
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The only brake pads I ever had to replace was on a 2000 Gulfstream Voyager 36 gasser that the previous owner had been pretty rough on. It had 26,000 miles on it and new brakes and calipers cost me right at $2,200.00 at a local shop.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I don't understand why you'd be replacing the fronts if they still have over half the lining left and nothing is broken, scored or leaking. Sounds like your maintenance guy is looking for $$.
I haven't done the3 Civic's brakes, I did do the Ody's.
I did the work myself so no pay!!
I had the parts bought and couldn't return them so I went ahead anyway. I did all the brakes for way less than $200 so it wasn't expensive either.
Now I have all the parts to do the Civic's brakes in a box, maybe next year I'll do them.
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