How Long Does It Take To Change Brake And Rotors?

Brake pads and rotors are essential components of the braking system of an automotive vehicle. They play a crucial role in slowing down the vehicle’s movement and bringing it down to a stop.

For this reason, they help the control of the vehicle making it more effective and safer to drive. However, these components need some periodic maintenance to be efficient in their operation and performance. They get subjected to tear and wear and need to be replaced frequently when used.

However, your brake pad’s time limit before being replaced may vary depending on how frequently you use the vehicle. This article focuses on some of the estimated time frames you can consider when managing your brakes and how you can easily change your brakes personally without hiring an expert mechanic.

How Long Does It Take To Do A Full Brake Job?

Doing a complete brake job for your vehicle is a type of repair that can be time-consuming, especially if you are not an expert mechanic. However, this does not mean that you will spend a whole day taking care of your brakes and rotors. It will all depend on your understanding of the simple brake changing procedures and your work speed.

For instance, when your work speed is much faster, it may take about 45 minutes to do the complete job. On the other hand, you may spend up to three hours doing the same job when you are pretty slow in your work speed.

Car braking system repair.

Remember, it’s essential to spend your time and money on your brakes and rotor repair services. This will make you have a safe drive free from accidents and increase your vehicle’s lifespan. Therefore, it remains one of the most recommended repair services for automatic vehicles worldwide and a significant concern for all the busy owners and drivers of automatic vehicles.

The braking system comprises many components, search as calipers, hoses, rotors, pads, drums, and discs. Of all these components, there are three that always require much attention compared to the rest; these parts include; brake pads, calipers, and brake rotors.

Brake Pads

This is one of the main components of the brake system of an automatic vehicle. Some common signs may guide you in knowing when your brake pad needs replacement. For instance, the main sign of tear and wear observed in many brake pads includes the production of some sharp noisy sound of metal rubbing on another metal at the wheel of the vehicle.

These squealing or grinding sounds are always produced when you engage the brakes. If the brake pads are severely worn out, these sounds can persist even after disengaging the brakes.

At this point, there will be a high risk of damage to other components of the brake system, such as the rotors and the calipers. Therefore, if the brakes are not replaced at this time, the vehicle will be highly unsafe to drive and will be much noise when it is under operation. You can avoid this condition by replacing your brake pads immediately when you start hearing the awkward sound from your vehicle.

The Calipers

This is the brake component that pushes pads towards the rotor wall in the wheel of an automatic vehicle. For this reason, the calipers are the brake system component that creates friction in the wheels to slow down the vehicle and eventually stop the motion.

Brake caliper and disc.

When the calipers are subjected to tear and wear, they will no longer create the friction required to stop the motion of the wheels. This is because they will be unable to exert the required pressure on the brake pads, which can bring the vehicle to stop.

Therefore, when replacing the brake pads, it s also essential to check on the condition of the calipers and if possible, change them together with the brake pads.

The Rotors

Rotors always have some minimum and specified thickness when it comes to rotors. Because of this, they may sometimes need you only to resurface them, especially when they are still in their minimum thickness at the time of service. Changing rotors is always considered the most straightforward brake repair that is relatively inexpensive compared to other repairs.

They will only need to be replaced if they are not within their minimum thickness. In most cases, when the rotors are not in their preferred thickness, they will tend to be beyond the measurement. This is always used as a clear sign of worn-out and therefore, a good indication of their replacement.

Expert Tip: You need to note concerning the brake system replacement that the components may not need to be replaced very often. Their worn-out rate depends majorly on most drivers driving habits. The best practice to carry out for your vehicle is inspecting the operations of your brakes regularly when using the vehicle. Most people prefer inspecting their brakes during the oil change time, which is good.

How Long Does It Take To Change All Four Brakes And Rotors?

The time you may take to change the four brake pads, and your vehicle’s rotors cannot specifically be determined for many reasons. Some of these reasons include your level of experience, which will significantly determine your skills when it comes to automotive vehicle repair.

Your work speed is also another factor determining the time you will take to conduct the repair service. Combing all these reasons, the estimated time that most people take for the braking system repair varies from thirty minutes to one hour. However, this time may be relatively longer than an hour for beginners and sometimes up to three hours or more.

In addition, you also need to take your time when changing the brakes to ensure they are correctly fixed. Remember that the brakes are the essential part of the vehicle that provides a safe driver if they are functioning correctly. When conducting the repair service to your vehicle, you can save time by considering the following tips;

1.   Only replace brake pads, excluding rotors

In most cases, the brake pads tend to wear out faster than the rotors. For this reason, it may not be necessary to replace both the pads and the rotors during the repair service. If the rotors are within their minimum thickness, you can consider replacing the brake pads alone, excluding the rotors.

You can also consider swapping out the rotors when they are worn out below their minimum thickness. This will also save you money as purchasing new rotors may be relatively more expensive than other brake system components. For this reason, it is recommended that you may consider swapping them rather than making a replacement, especially if they are still in good working conditions.

However, you need not overdo it; when the rotors are worn out, you will have to replace them. For instance, if you have swapped your rotors severally and they tend to be gouged, warped, or thinned out, they can affect your vehicle’s braking system. It will reduce the performance of the braking making it less effective and unsafe. Therefore, if you see these signs hire a mechanic.

Note that if you replace the brake pads and put them into a worn-out rotor, the rotor surface and the brake pad will not correctly contact each other. For this reason, the stopping ability of your car will be significantly affected as the braking system will become less efficient. Therefore, replacing the pads, excluding the rotors when worn out, will make your repair service less significant.

2.   Change all the rotors at the same time

When the rotors of your brake system are worn out, it is advisable to replace all of them at once. This is a critical practice that will bring a good uniformity during the operation of the brakes. However, you can also follow the recommendations from your expert mechanic.

Some automatic vehicle mechanics may recommend turning or rotating the rotors after replacement. For instance, they may choose the front brake, which is acceptable for your vehicle. You can also consider changing the rotors when swapping out the rear brakes.

Because the rotors and brake pads are vital in bringing the vehicle to a stop, listening carefully to your expert mechanics’ recommendations is essential. This will enable you to understand how to maintain your braking system perfectly in good condition to have a safe drive.

In addition, it will also help you reduces your expenditure on repair activities, especially if you follow the recommended driving instructions and habits as advised by a mechanic.

How Much Does A Brake Job Cost?

The cost of a brake job varies depending on the materials of the brake pad. On average, replacing the brake pad is always around $150 for every axel. However, when the materials of the brake pads are expensive, the cost of replacing them may rise to about $300 per axle. The expensive brake pads majorly use organic material in their design.

On the other hand, the labor cost of changing the brake system may also vary depending on the desired price of your expert mechanic. Most mechanics set their prices ranging from $80 to $120 depending on the condition of your job and the material of the braking system.

How Much Should Front Brakes Cost?

When it comes to the front brakes, they are the type of brake that does most of the braking job. Their braking ability contributes to up to 70% of the total braking job that will bring the vehicle to a stop, especially in cars.

For this reason, the front brakes, in most cases, tend to be subjected to tear and wear faster than the other brakes. The pads get overheated faster and can eventually grind or groan, making them less efficient. Therefore, replacing the front brakes for your car may cost you between $115 to $300 to purchase new ones.

Can I Replace Brake Pads Myself?

If you feel more comfortable doing the maintenance activities of your cart personally, you are free to replace your brake pads yourself. However, you will have to make adequate consultation of the manuals with the owner of the brake pads effectively. These manuals will provide you with guidance and steps you will require when replacing the pads.

In addition, they will also provide you with the specific information and instruction you need to follow when replacing the pads. Note that these brake pads are vital in your vehicle’s braking system, which will enable you to have a safe drive.

Therefore, when you decide to change them yourself, ensure you fix them properly and spend adequate time checking on effectiveness before finishing the repair.

Should you replace all four brake pads at once?

Because the front wheel brake pads are continuously subjected to tear and wear faster than the rear wheel brake pads, it may not be advisable to change all these four brake pads together. When you practice this, you will find that the front brake pads will always be worn out more than the corresponding rear wheel brake pads.

For this reason, you consider changing the two front wheel brake pads together as separate pairs. When it comes to the rear brake parts, it may take you a little more time to replace them as then they always tend to wear slowly compared to the front wheel brake pads. You can also replace them as a separate pair to bring uniformity during their operation.

Brake system repair done at the garage.

Can You Drive With Grinding Breaks?

Can you drive if your brakes are grinding? Having your breaks grind is one of the many issues that can occur while driving, Although it’s not immediately dangerous, driving with grinding breaks can cause a whole litany of damages.

This problem is caused when there’s a lack of padding between the breaks, which lets metal grind against metal with very little in between it, or if there’s a pebble caught between the breaks.

Each time you use your breaks while they’re grinding it causes damage to the calipers, rotors, and what remains of the pads. These damages can add up over time and become incredibly costly. So can you drive if your brakes are grinding? Yes, but it’s not recommended.

If you hear your breaks start grinding, how do you tell if it’s actual damage or just a pebble? The best way is to park the car in a safe place and press down on the breaks. If it grinds even when you aren’t driving, it’s probably just a pebble. The real concern is when the brakes grind while you’re slowing or stopping the car, which indicates that there’s actual damage and that you should get it fixed as soon as possible.

Is It Hard To Change Brakes?

Brake pads tend to wear down over the years. The pads need to be changed after about 50,000 miles. That represents a challenge to the car owner as well. They ought to know that the brake pads can be changed.

Find the brake pads around the wheel well of the car. Changing the brake pads is a lot like putting on new shoes for the car. But the task can be a challenge to owners. They ought to think about what to do next. The first option could be calling a service team. A repair shop will be glad to manage the work order. Is it hard to change brakes?

Expert Tip: Get the opinion of experts and benefit in the long run as well. The brake pads are well worth it to the people too. They can invest in the performance of the vehicle. Always change the brake pads on time.


Changing the brakes of any automotive vehicle is one of the common repairs that have no specific period to be carried out in any vehicle. However, it is a necessary repair service to be done at the right time.

Unlike other parts of the vehicle, brakes are constantly subjected to tear and wear faster and need to be checked frequently for a replacement. This article has provided you with the most essential to help you repair and maintain your brake pads and rotors effectively to enjoy your safe and secured drive.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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