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coolptnr

Front Brakes

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Just got back from my 120K service at the Toyota dealer(you guys give great advice--go to a toyota dealer INSTEAD of a lexus dealer) and they tell me I have 3mm left on my front brakes. I've gotten about 36K on the brakes so far.

When I looked through the forum for opinions on this, it sounds like brakes should last about 3 years...I put about 15K per year on the car, so in my mind, I still have about 10K left before needing a front brake job. Am I on the right track? Would I go through more than 3mm of brakes in say 6 months? I'm a moderate driver...and get primarily highway miles...

Thanks in advance for the advice!!

CP

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I'm surprised that you have only 3 mm left at only 36K miles on the pads unless they are softer aftermarket pads instead of OEM pads.

Our 1998 Camry V6 LE has exactly the same braking system and uses the same pads as your 1998 ES300 -- same part numbers. I just now checked the front pads on the Camry -- easy to see without removing a wheel since the wheels are the optional alloys -- and I can easily see that the original outer front pads have substantially more than 3 mm left on them at a whopping 111,300 miles.

I'm starting to wonder if my wife uses her brakes -- maybe she is dragging her feet to stop the car! At this rate, I'm guessing that the original factory installed front brake pads on the Camry will last to about 175,000 miles. And yes, she will probably keep the car that long unless it gets hit badly or she decides she would like a car with even more safety gizmos like VSC. (She's got a rare 98 Camry with options including ABS, Trac and side airbags.)

Personally, I don't trust repair shops when they tell me how long they think brake pads are going to last -- even shops with good intentions. It's better to check the pad thickness yourself. For example, I was told at the repair shop I use that the original rear pads on my LS were going to need changing by 75,000 miles. I checked them a few weeks ago when I installed my snow wheels/tires and the original rear pads were still fine at over 116,000 miles.

From what I've seen, needless brake jobs are the absolute #1 one repair shop scam going.

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From what I've seen, needless brake jobs are the absolute #1 one repair shop scam going.

Agreed 100%! :cheers:

Unless you're dragging your brakes while driving or they're not oem, the pads should definitely last more than 30k! As 1990 suggests, measure them yourself, then you have the option of going back to the shop to tear a strip off! :chairshot:

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Wow...that's interesting. I had these replaced in July 07 ..asked my mechanic to use Toyota parts. He listed part # 43512-0631 for 2 parts at 94.00 each(brakes and rotors) on my bill. So these may not be Toyota parts? Hmmm...if so I see I have a problem with my mechanic.

Can I perform a measurment without taking a wheel off? What would I use to measure it?

Thanks much for your help...I appreciate it!!

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Wow...that's interesting. I had these replaced in July 07 ..asked my mechanic to use Toyota parts. He listed part # 43512-0631 for 2 parts at 94.00 each(brakes and rotors) on my bill. So these may not be Toyota parts? Hmmm...if so I see I have a problem with my mechanic.

Can I perform a measurment without taking a wheel off? What would I use to measure it?

Thanks much for your help...I appreciate it!!

"43512" is the correct Toyota part number prefix for the brake rotor but I can't find "43512-0631" -- maybe it is for a kit that includes both the rotor and brake pads. Why were the rotors replaced?

I often "eyeball" the outer pad thickness without removing the wheels -- I've been living in "Metric World" most of my life so I know what a millimeter looks like. The inner and outer pads usually wear at the same rate. For exact measurement, I use small brass calipers that I bought probably 30 years ago and almost always carry in my pocket. (Always good for laughs from people when I whip out my calipers and start measuring stuff.) I rotate our tires myself so I do a more exact check of pad thickness when the wheels are off.

Maybe your mechanic is using my "eyeball technique" of checking pad thickness but his eyeball is not so accurate. It's also possible that your pads really are wearing down quickly if you do an extreme amount of stop and go driving, ride the brake pedal or are a member of the Richard Petty driving club.

If you want, you could probably buy calipers at a hardware or tool store. As I said, I bought mine decades ago and had since never seen any like mine for sale -- until last week when we were buying a gift for the grand nephew in this science store and I saw calipers just like mine: http://www.hms-beagle.com/

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I am in the process of fixing up my dads 96 es300 after a minor fender bender. Got that fixed and I am waiting for hood struts to come in the mail from eBay ($22 for the pair). Will post how that works out in the hood support string for those that have been in that debacle. Had the few seams in the seats fixed and the bottoms replaced...looks new again. Anyway...

Dad got the car in 99 with 70k on it (salesmen driven) for 19k. Has 125k on it now. The front was done by my brother in law at Lexus when they got the car but dad doesn't think the back has ever been touched. I figure he just doesn't remember...(85yr old for those dealing with that...and it was my brother in law that remembered the front being done.)

But I posted a question a few days ago about a strange ooooOOOOOoooooo sound I hear when we take off from a dead stop. It is not very loud and can barley be heard inside the car. Was talking with my brother (a parts man) and he said that Lexus will "sing" when the pads get low...and sing is what it sounds like.

I have heard other cars when the pads get low. There is a metal clip that starts to rub to warn you before the rivets or metal hits the rotors. But they make a scraping noise not a singing noise. The car went in today for the 4 wheel works...rotors calipers pads and brake fluid flush...doing a flush change on the transmission tomorrow.

But I am amazed to here that some of you are getting over 100k on you brakes!!! Astounding...will have to go and apologies to my Daddy! 125k on rear breaks? Amazing!

Well...off to the "how to replace the tail lights" string to post my experiences from yesterday on that! This room is great! Happy Holidays and thanks to all for your help pictures and info. Has been way way helpful and better than the books! You just can't beat personal experiences!

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Wow...that's interesting. I had these replaced in July 07 ..asked my mechanic to use Toyota parts. He listed part # 43512-0631 for 2 parts at 94.00 each(brakes and rotors) on my bill. So these may not be Toyota parts? Hmmm...if so I see I have a problem with my mechanic.

Can I perform a measurment without taking a wheel off? What would I use to measure it?

Thanks much for your help...I appreciate it!!

"43512" is the correct Toyota part number prefix for the brake rotor but I can't find "43512-0631" -- maybe it is for a kit that includes both the rotor and brake pads. Why were the rotors replaced?

I often "eyeball" the outer pad thickness without removing the wheels -- I've been living in "Metric World" most of my life so I know what a millimeter looks like. The inner and outer pads usually wear at the same rate. For exact measurement, I use small brass calipers that I bought probably 30 years ago and almost always carry in my pocket. (Always good for laughs from people when I whip out my calipers and start measuring stuff.) I rotate our tires myself so I do a more exact check of pad thickness when the wheels are off.

Maybe your mechanic is using my "eyeball technique" of checking pad thickness but his eyeball is not so accurate. It's also possible that your pads really are wearing down quickly if you do an extreme amount of stop and go driving, ride the brake pedal or are a member of the Richard Petty driving club.

If you want, you could probably buy calipers at a hardware or tool store. As I said, I bought mine decades ago and had since never seen any like mine for sale -- until last week when we were buying a gift for the grand nephew in this science store and I saw calipers just like mine: http://www.hms-beagle.com/

Are they outside or inside calipers? :P Man that store is a geek magnet! Well...back to triangulating the center of the Universe!

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Thanks for this...I'll see about getting the tool. I have to go to advance auto anyway today so maybe they'll have one there. If not, will try your website and have it sent.

I had to get the brakes looked at because the rotors were warped...was getting major vibration through the steering wheel when I applied the brakes so I had the rotors replaced.

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It just hit me: There's nothing on the receipt that indicates he changed the pads...just the rotors. Is that possible? 94 each for rotors and no pads?

BTW...as I am a bit of an astronomy buff, I'll be looking at that website of yours for more than just calipers!! Pluto lives!!

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Are they outside or inside calipers? :P Man that store is a geek magnet! Well...back to triangulating the center of the Universe!

Actually, my measuring calipers have both "inside" and "outside" measuring functions (thanks for asking ;) ) and are in both inches and millimeters -- truely one of the useful tools I've ever bought and hard to believe I've never lost it over the decades I've used it.

They are labeled "The Central Tool Co." and "W.-Germany". They are simple but effective. Maybe measuring calipers like these are more widely available than I've noticed.

post-2157-1260991674_thumb.jpg

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It just hit me: There's nothing on the receipt that indicates he changed the pads...just the rotors. Is that possible? 94 each for rotors and no pads?

I guess he could have reused the brake pads if they looked in decent shape. The rotors on a 98 ES and our 98 Camry are pretty robust -- maybe someone used an air wrench on your lug nuts and warped them that way.

The current retail prices for 1998 ES300 rotors shown on http://www.parts.com/ is $100.91 each and $52.99 for a front brake pad kit. So maybe that is an indication that only your rotors were replaced.

BTW...as I am a bit of an astronomy buff, I'll be looking at that website of yours for more than just calipers!! Pluto lives!!

And I don't even want to know how you pronounce "Uranus". :o

I'm a bit of an astonomy buff too, cursed with the same last name as "Uncle Edmond" and having to live with the nickname "Comet".

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LOL...and to think, we went thru grammar school pronouncing it that way!!

Well thanks so much for all your help good buddy!! And I'll keep that "parts.com" wabsite close at hand as well.

Enjoy the holidays!!

CP

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Here is an alternative for measuring brake pad thickness:

http://www.etoolcart.com/brakethicknessgaugekdt3962.aspx

It seems simple enough. Just line up the plastic tool above the backing plate next to the pad and see which one measures to about the same height as the pad.

It just hit me: There's nothing on the receipt that indicates he changed the pads...just the rotors. Is that possible? 94 each for rotors and no pads?

When replacing either just the pads or rotors it is always a good idea to "bed" the pads in.

In your case you want your old brake pads to maintain its full contact patch with the new rotor. Sometimes, pads will not wear uniformly therefore one area might be a bit higher than another. So when you put on your new rotor the "higher" part will only come in contact with the rotor.

Here is a better explanation on bedding brakes and a how-to:

http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_bedintheory.shtml

Ali

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