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Use your brakes gently, linearly and smoothly. Brake early and try to maintain a constant speed by downshifting to use engine braking as well. Not only is this a much safer habit than accelerating toward each red and braking late, but I got almost 100K miles on my factory brakes by simply adhering to this simple rule.

- I recommend changing brake fluid at least every 60K miles or once every 5 years to keep air and moisture out of the system.

- If you Iive in a salt belt area, I highly recommend you disassemble your rear caliper to condition it by lubricating the sliding pin at around the same time. This will result in more life from your rear pads, rotors, calipers and result in a better feeling brake pedal.

- occasionally, you want to do a hard stop from roughly 60MPH, without locking the tires or using ABS. DO NOT come to a full stop or you WILL warp your rotors. This helps the pad and rotor wear more evenly which results in better pedal feel. Its recommended to do so occasionally for very reserved drivers.

While washing your car, use a pressure washer to give the insides of the wheels a good spray; get all the accumulated brake dust out of there. Again, it will help with brake feel, just be careful not to spray too much directly into the rotor.
 

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2 years on brake fluid, not 5. Multiple studies confirm that if you let it go any longer you are inviting corrosion of components and potentially, if you get the system good and hot, a risk of boiling (which will result in SEVERELY damaged braking performance.)
 

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Lol, I had my 2009 Genesis sedan from new and drove it 235,000 miles and never did a thing to my brakes. Worked out just fine for me.
 

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Lol, I had my 2009 Genesis sedan from new and drove it 235,000 miles and never did a thing to my brakes. Worked out just fine for me.
So you didn't have to change the brakes in 235,000 miles? That's remarkable; even with a stick and plenty of usage of engine braking 100k miles is pretty darn good on a set of brakes. With an automatic and a lot of city driving half that mileage is pretty good. (Then there are some vehicles, like VWs, that have a history of going through one axle far more rapidly than the other -- VWs tend to run through rears at about twice the rate of fronts.) I'm coming up on 200k and will need another set of brakes relatively soon (I'm on set #2 on my '15.)

The usual way they fail by the way if you don't change out the fluid is that when you go to reset the calipers back inward during a brake change one or more of them will leak, because the bore has corroded and when you retract the piston you risk a leak. Considering that a bottle of brake fluid is about $5 and the fluid can be flushed and swapped in about 30 minutes of your time while calipers are LOT more expensive than $5.... you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So you didn't have to change the brakes in 235,000 miles? That's remarkable; even with a stick and plenty of usage of engine braking 100k miles is pretty darn good on a set of brakes. With an automatic and a lot of city driving half that mileage is pretty good. (Then there are some vehicles, like VWs, that have a history of going through one axle far more rapidly than the other -- VWs tend to run through rears at about twice the rate of fronts.) I'm coming up on 200k and will need another set of brakes relatively soon (I'm on set #2 on my '15.)

The usual way they fail by the way if you don't change out the fluid is that when you go to reset the calipers back inward during a brake change one or more of them will leak, because the bore has corroded and when you retract the piston you risk a leak. Considering that a bottle of brake fluid is about $5 and the fluid can be flushed and swapped in about 30 minutes of your time while calipers are LOT more expensive than $5.... you choose.
Some people don't change their brake fluid at all. Go figure.

It's not possible to hit 200K miles on one set of brakes lmao. How big do you think the pads and rotors are going to be??
 

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Lol, I had my 2009 Genesis sedan from new and drove it 235,000 miles and never did a thing to my brakes. Worked out just fine for me.
I got 175,000 miles out of a set in my corolla wagon and they were still going when I sold it. Same for the clutch for that matter. But then again at only 130hp and 2400lbs there is not a lot to mass to protest.
 

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Some people don't change their brake fluid at all. Go figure.

It's not possible to hit 200K miles on one set of brakes lmao. How big do you think the pads and rotors are going to be??
Open mouth, insert foot. You have know idea what you're talking about.
 

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So you didn't have to change the brakes in 235,000 miles? That's remarkable; even with a stick and plenty of usage of engine braking 100k miles is pretty darn good on a set of brakes. With an automatic and a lot of city driving half that mileage is pretty good. (Then there are some vehicles, like VWs, that have a history of going through one axle far more rapidly than the other -- VWs tend to run through rears at about twice the rate of fronts.) I'm coming up on 200k and will need another set of brakes relatively soon (I'm on set #2 on my '15.)

The usual way they fail by the way if you don't change out the fluid is that when you go to reset the calipers back inward during a brake change one or more of them will leak, because the bore has corroded and when you retract the piston you risk a leak. Considering that a bottle of brake fluid is about $5 and the fluid can be flushed and swapped in about 30 minutes of your time while calipers are LOT more expensive than $5.... you choose.
Indeed, 235,000 miles and never did a thing to the brakes. The wear bars had just started screeching at me last month so I was planning on the first brake job when a deer decided it wanted to be a hood ornament on my car. So, new Mazda 6 and no more brake job necessary.

I will say that I have a 100 mile round trip commute to work that is almost all highway so I barely ever have to use my brakes. I also baby my cars because I have a bike to get my speed fix on...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Indeed, 235,000 miles and never did a thing to the brakes. The wear bars had just started screeching at me last month so I was planning on the first brake job when a deer decided it wanted to be a hood ornament on my car. So, new Mazda 6 and no more brake job necessary.

I will say that I have a 100 mile round trip commute to work that is almost all highway so I barely ever have to use my brakes. I also baby my cars because I have a bike to get my speed fix on...
Its impressive. To say the least.
 

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My pickup has nearly 105k miles on it and the pads and rotors have a ton of life left. I’ve flushed the fluid a couple times over the past 6 years.

The duration between brake fluid flushes is dependent upon the type of fluid used, IME. Honda recommends 3 years on the vehicles in which they specify DOT 3 fluid. The vehicles I have and have had which spec DOT 4 fluid recommend 2 years, mostly. Extremely few vehicles recommended a brake fluid exchange at all until relatively recently.
 

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@tickerguy I read somewhere that occaisonally you should do a hard stop from roughly 60mph, without locking the tires or engaging ABS or coming to a full stop, in order to evenly wear the pads onto the rotors or something like this. I mean, I never tried it going that fast, but I would sometimes press the brakes late and hard before a red light as well as pressure wash inside the wheels to remove brake dust which actually did somewhat improve pedal feel. What do you think?
 

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Interesting write up, I did a brake pad and fluid change in June so I reckon I'm rather far from needing brake maintenance.
 
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