How Long Should Factory Brake Rotors Last?

by Moss Strohem

Driving Environment

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Driving in a stop-and-go environment naturally requires more frequent brake use than driving for extended distances on an open highway. Hilly, winding roads may also cause a driver to use brakes more often. In cases like these, brake pads will wear out earlier. Brake rotors are often resurfaced during a brake service.

Driving Style

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Some people drive more aggressively—waiting until the last moment to apply brakes when approaching a stop light or a turn. Doing so requires heavier application of braking pressure, which in turn can both heat the rotors and accelerate brake-pad wear. Other drivers—particularly conservative drivers—may reduce their speed earlier and coast to a turn or a stop, using brakes much less forcefully.

Bottom Line

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Most brake pads can last 20,000 to 30,000 miles or more. Factory brake rotors can last through two or three brake maintenance services—sometimes more. Resurfacing the rotors during this service will shorten their lifespan--rotors can only be machined so far. Also, if brakes are not serviced regularly, a worn pad can gouge the rotor and require a replacement.

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