How Much Does a Brake Job Cost? (The Answer)

man changing brakes on car

What is a car without brakes? A death machine. Brake jobs become a priority every time you think of driving your vehicle.

Brake work is a necessary procedure. You will need to do it many times throughout your car’s life cycle. Brakes also succumb to wear and tear but not as much as other moving parts of your vehicle.

On average, a proper brake job plus replacement should last you 40,000 miles. That’s an equivalent of 4 years. That’s quite some good time to stop worrying about brakes. So this leads to this question.

How much should a brake job cost?

Well, there are reasonable prices, and there are rip-offs. It all depends on the auto shop you take your car for repairs. They all charge differently depending on the model of your vehicle. So there is no definite answer for a brake job cost.

However, knowing what happens during a brake job might help you evaluate the overall cost.

Steps to Evaluate Your Brake Job Costs

picture of car brakes


Take your car to an auto shop you trust and let them do a full evaluation of the state of your brakes. In reality, not all parts need replacing when doing a brake job.

A good mechanic will understand these parts and save you on costs by replacing worn-out parts only.

Also, brakes fail long before they wear out. So, regular servicing will help you know when your brake job is due.

Repair of the brake system

The inspection gives an insight on the repairs needed. Your mechanic will decide on the best approach to your brake job.

Perhaps a little tune-up is required or an overhaul of parts replaced.Your mechanic should explain these parts to you and their costs.

Different models have different brake systems and designs. Some brake systems are sensitive and need a computer diagnostics to show the errors and defective parts.

The Cost of Changing Your Brakes By Yourself

Brake job Cost

Assuming by now you know how the brake system works, changing your brakes on your own after a full evaluation should be easy. Right?

On the contrary, changing your brakes is not swapping new parts with old parts and changing the brake fluid. There is so much process involved, and it is not the same as changing your oil. A routine brake pad change can get complicated fast.

The positive thing about replacing your brakes is quality control. You get to buy the replacements yourself, meaning you will consider the best brake pads.

A standard brake job needs the following items:

  • Brake pads

They push into the rotors to create the friction necessary to stop the car.

  • Pistons

They are cylinders that move the brake pads towards the rotors when the brakes are applied.

  • Callipers

They house the rotor. They also hold both pistons and brake pads.

  • Sensors

Modern vehicles use sensors to alert drivers of worn-out brakes.

  • Brake rotors or brake discs

It is of steel and cast iron. They are circular, and they spin with the wheel.

  • Brake fluid 
  • Brake grease

A lot of work goes into a simple brake job. Some parts are hard to manoeuvre and require a skilful hand to get through.

But if you feel you have less knowledge, consider calling an expert to help in the process.

The Cost of Changing Your Brakes By a Professional

You will need to find a good shop rich in the history of customer satisfaction. A good shop has a long list of references from family and friends.

You can also try to find a good auto shop by yourself. Call in advance and book interviews for a quotation.

Finding professional services that are cost-friendly is essential, especially, if you are working on a budget.

After receiving different quotes, you can ask the mechanic to justify the prices. Of course, the auto shops will quote high on parts. It is because they are looking to make a profit on both sales of parts and labour.

If you are not satisfied, you can go and buy the parts yourself and call a trusted mechanic to install the parts for you.

An excellent way to know the prices of the parts to be replaced is by asking for the part numbers. After that, you should check the numbers online.

How Does Disc Brakes Work?

A brake should respond as soon as they are applied. A simple explanation is that the driver steps on the brake pedal. A piston inside the brake master cylinder then releases pressurized brake fluid into the brake lines.

It will move the pistons that push the pads into the rotors. The more the driver steps on the pedal, the more the pressure. The harder the squeeze, the harder the pads squeeze on the rotor. The pads move only a few millimetres, but the car comes to a sudden halt.

The pedal always retracts back when the driver removes their foot from the pedal.

How Long Does Brakes Last?

It is not easy to know how long brakes last. But on average most start to show complications after 25,000- 65,000 miles.

As a general principle, most car manufacturers have the brake life span to be at 40,000 miles. The things that determine how your brake pads wear out is use and maintenance.

Simple Brake Maintenance Tips

Check fluids

Remember to check your brake pads regularly. Ensure that the color of your brake fluid is not creamy. It is a bad sign that shows water has mixed with the fluid. You will have to change the brake fluid.

Stop at low speeds

Stopping at a higher speed overworks your brakes. Calculate the stopping distance and start reducing your speed. It will take the pressure off the brakes.

Check the weight in your car

The more weight you carry, the more effort is needed to stop the vehicle.


Brake maintenance and costs are necessary. Regular checks will ensure the safety of everybody in the car. A good brake repair and maintenance should be professional. You can cut on costs but never compromise on the quality of the replacement parts.

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