It's no secret brakes should be replaced when they are worn, but when to service them is more of a grey area.
Disc brakes could last from 30,000-70,000 miles and drum brakes can go be driven for up to 150,000 miles. Most passenger cars are using disc brakes on all wheels, while other cars and trucks us drum brakes on the back wheels.
To understand why you should service or replace your brakes you should understand what causes the need for the service:
Rear drum brakes
Mechanics will often check your brakes on a regular basis when you have your wheels removed to rotate them or for your motor vehicle inspection. Remember your brakes can't be inspected without removing the tires. It's recommended to inspect your brakes once a year.
An inspection includes the following:
If your brake pads or shoes still have sufficient material, but rust or brake dust buildup is not allowing the components to move freely your mechanic could recommend a brake service over a replacement. This can involve cleaning moving components, lubrication for certain parts and removal of rust build up on the rear drums or disc brakes.
Often if brake pads are more than 50 per cent worn it may make more sense to opt for service over replacement. When doing so that usually includes a brake service resulting in brake components receiving a cleaning, service and lubrication.
The brakes on each axle will often need to be serviced once or twice before replacing.
Service your brakes more often if: