How Much Does It Cost to Replace Brake Pads?

If your brakes have been making a squeaking or “metal on metal” sound, or if you have a newer car and your service brake light is on, you know it’s time to replace your brake pads and maybe you’re wondering what it’s going to cost.

When replacing brake pads, the cost can vary as much as brake pads do. A brake pad replacement price tag depends on a number of factors.

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What affects the cost of replacing brake pads?

Vehicle type

The type of brake pads you’ll need depends on the kind of vehicle you’re driving. Larger vehicles, for example, require larger brake pads than smaller vehicles. Typically, larger brake pads cost more to replace.

Different vehicle brands can also require different kinds of brake pads. One of our product experts provided an example: A rear set of brake pads for a 2016 Ford Flex could cost around $20, while a comparable front pair for an Audi A8 is likely four times that amount.

Driving style

Driving style can also impact how much a brake pad replacement will cost. If you brake a lot or want to upgrade your vehicle’s brake pads from the factory, expect to pay more when you need to replace your brake pads.

Brake pad material

The kind of material used for brake pads will also affect their replacement cost. For example, a material considered to be more durable, such as ceramic, is typically more expensive than materials that wear faster.

Paying a mechanic

Although having a mechanic replace the brake pads can save time, it probably won’t save money. The biggest savings from doing your own repair come from buying your own parts. And brake pads should always be replaced at the same time rotors are replaced or resurfaced.

In addition to paying more for parts and labor by having brake pads replaced by a shop, prices will also vary among shops. Our mechanic gave an example of how much you could pay to have the repair done: For an average car, it could cost $350. In this example, the shop is charging $75 per hour for labor, which means the cost is around $230 for parts alone. That is a 1.87 percent markup from 1A Auto’s price tag of $78.95 for two front rotors and a set of brake pads.

To complete this replacement yourself, the only other items you’d need in addition to the necessary tools include brake cleaner, caliper grease, and the brake fluid required for your vehicle, which is likely listed in the driver’s manual.

Is there an average cost for brake pads?

According to one of our product experts, on average, a set of quality brake pads could range from around $30-$50, but based on each of the factors that can contribute to their cost, that price tag will more than likely vary.

Need to replace your brakes?

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For help replacing your own brake pads and rotors, visit our how-to video library for instructional repair videos with our expert mechanics. Search for videos specific to your vehicle’s year, make and model.

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