F250 Brakes

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garyb1st

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Ford dealer says my brakes are at 30% and are recommending replacement.  Truck has 88,000+ miles on original brakes.  Seems like I'm throwing away money if I do it now.  I drive conservatively and use tow haul frequently when towing.  I'm think I should get another 10 to 15,000 miles before replacing the pads but will do it now if that makes sense.  Opinions please. 
 
The dealer figures at 1/2 pad they are worn out, and if they were on a race car I might agree. I got over 100K on my first set of brakes. My truck is my daily driver and I average 500 miles a week back and forth to work. with about 10 miles of it each day in heavy traffic.
 
I had the front brakes done on my 2003 F-250 at about 60,000 miles, but only because they had an annoying squeak.  The pads were still over 50 percent.  The rear were still good.  I sold the truck at 125,000 miles and the brakes were still over 50 percent front and back.  If nothing else is wrong, I see no reason to stick it out for a few more miles.
 
Thanks for the replys.  I've never had a heavy truck before and since I'm towing wasn't sure.  On my SUV, the dealer would always suggest braking early.  Sometimes I would go another 10,000 and still have 20% on the pads.     
 
I'd just suggest inspecting them frequently.  Even though you can probably get another 10K out of them (especially with highway driving) they're getting near the end of their service life and need to be watched.  If it were my truck, I would go ahead and replace them.  Fresh brakes = cheap insurance to me.  I'm not a big believer in turning rotors either....it just makes them thinner and more prone to warping.  Fresh rotors and pads means solid reliable brakes.  Ensure that you get good quality stuff too....this isn't the place to scrimp. 
 
I'll add to this since I'm on a computer now and not my phone and can actually type.

DOT has specifications for commercial vehicles requiring "when" brakes are no longer road worthy and it is LONG before the linings actually wear through for a reason.  Please take a page from the commercial regs and replace your brakes when your mechanic suggests it, if you were to have an accident and the plaintiffs attorney were to find out that your brakes were worn you would be hearing the term "contributory negligence" even if the accident were not your fault.
 
Just plane false information.  The brake material as long as there is at least 10% should still perform as if there were 90%.  Based on the logic of replacing them at 30%  then as a cost savings measure manufacturers should only install 70% brake linings?  Slly.  As long as there is lining material, you are not towing commercially, and your lining material is in good shape I see no logical reason to change them at 30%. Other than to line the pockets of some "technician" who needs extra Christmas money for his kids.  I do agree that pads are cheap.  At 30-50 dollars a set and maybe an hour of your time at home it's not a big deal.  The problem is if you pay some one to do the job it will wind up costing you three hundred dollars.  They will insist on packing the wheel bearings and turning the rotors, all new brake fluid and bleeding the system all adds up to a lot more unecessary expense.
 
I agree that 10% and 30% provide the same braking action on disk brakes. The problem is that if that 10% you "think" is there really isn't "there" when you need it you could have a lot more expensive problem than replacing brake pads.  I'm as cheap as the next person when it comes to not spending money when it doesn't need to be spent. On the other hand I've seen first hand the "contributory negligence" arguement in court and I'd rather not spend half my life savings defending myself against some ambulance chaser who decides that if my brakes were 30% instead of 10% then when his client decided to pull out in front of my RV toting truck I might have been able to stop before I smeared him across my grill.

 
donn said:
Just plane false information.  The brake material as long as there is at least 10% should still perform as if there were 90%.  Based on the logic of replacing them at 30%  then as a cost savings measure manufacturers should only install 70% brake linings?  Slly.  As long as there is lining material, you are not towing commercially, and your lining material is in good shape I see no logical reason to change them at 30%. Other than to line the pockets of some "technician" who needs extra Christmas money for his kids.  I do agree that pads are cheap.  At 30-50 dollars a set and maybe an hour of your time at home it's not a big deal.  The problem is if you pay some one to do the job it will wind up costing you three hundred dollars.  They will insist on packing the wheel bearings and turning the rotors, all new brake fluid and bleeding the system all adds up to a lot more unecessary expense.
X2.......I would just keep an eye on them. Check them every time you rotate your tires, every 3K TO 5K miles. When they get close then change them. 30% is a lot of use you are throwing away.
 
Dealer wants about $250 for the brakes.  Not sure but think only front.  I was a bit surprised when they told me I needed pads.  Last service, 5,000 miles ago, the brakes were over 5 mm.  Dealer indicated brakes OK.  There are three levels.  OK, may require service and require immediate attention.  It seems that the brakes wore rather quickly this past six months which is inconsistent with the first 7 years of usage. 

Service guys are on commissions.  This same dealer serviced my wifes saturn.  One time they replaced a belt when the car was only 3 years old.  When I enquired, the guy said it had cracks.  I asked to see the belt.  It was almost perfect.  If there were cracks, they were microscopic.  Anyway, they didn't charge for the belt.  Another time, the tow haul mode light on the F250 was flashing.  Not a good thing.  Turned out the second gear was gone.  Had it towed to the dealer.  When I asked about the tranny, the service guy, not the same man, said they'd check it out and let me know.  The truck had been left in an area that was blocking other vehicles and the service guy needed to move it.  Not a problem.  He started it up and floored it until it moved under it's own power for 5 feet.  If it didn't need a new tranny before, it did after he moved it.  I bet the RPMs were close to 3,000 when he moved it.     

So yes, I'm always hesitant when service guys tell me I need something.  The 6.0 is known for problems.  It's still under the extended warranty which is why I have the dealer service it.  But there was no indication that brakes were going. 

As to insurance and legal issues.  I'm retired from the insurance industry and have never seen, nor heard of an insurer even remotely suggesting they weren't going to pay because a vehicle was not properly maintained.  Those tales continue to be bandied about the forums but simply are not justified. 
 
I wasn't referring to an insurance company not paying.  I was referring to what an attorney can and will use in thier bag of tricks when it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim against someone.
 
Attorneys generally will represent an injured party for two reasons.  First the negligent party has a bundle of cash and if the injured party wins, he may be able to collect.  Second, the negligent party has insurance and if the insured is negligent, the insurer may pay.  I say "may be able to collect and may pay" because maybe they will and maybe they won't.  Insurance companies have been known to appeal cases that went the wrong way.  If you don't have any background regarding the appeals process, take my word for it, its a very long and expensive process.  Attorneys know this and they can't afford to chase insurance company's that have a truckload of attorneys at their beck and call.  I know, it sucks.  But it's a fact of life. 

There are two types of attorneys that are involved in serious automobile accidents.  Those that prosecute and those that defend.  The ones that prosecute usually work for free until the claim is settled and then hope it settles in their favor.  Before signing up for a case, they need to look at how much time and expense, they are willing to give up for that veritable pot of gold.  Usually not much.  The others work for insurance companies and get paid whether they win or lose.  So who's going to work harder?

Most attorneys, at least the smart ones, won't waste their time going after negligent parties who don't have any money or at least an insurance company at their back who does.   
 
I'll try to explain this a little more clearly.

Several years ago my neice was involved in a crash.  A driver made a U-turn in front of her on a city street and she T-boned the offending vehicle.  The other drivers insurance company resisted paying her medical bills on the premise of "contributory negligence".  They claimed upon examination of her car that her brakes were worn even though skid marks indicated that they had locked in an attempt to stop before impact.  It took almost two years to settle the case and it was not something that I would like to see anybody repeat.  Does stuff like this happen all the time??  Probably not but given the fact that I watched this poor girl get hammered by an insurance company for almost two years kind of made an impression on me.

Keep in mind also that if a lawsuit were to be brought for some reason, the service facility would be well armed if they had in fact recommended that a worn set of brakes be replaced.
 
Show me a federal standard for brake replacement on a not for hire private vehicle?  If there is none then as long as the brakes stop the vehicle within the standards established by the vehicle manufacturers there is no leg to stand on.  And as long as the brake material is not contaminated they will stop the vehicle within those established standards down to less than 5%.
 
While I will not disagree with others on this forum on this issue. I will say this.

If your pads are at 30 percent you should increase the frequency of inspection.  Here is why.

So long as the rivets that hold the pads to their backing plates are not making contact with the drum or Disc, your brakes are good,  BUT the instant you have hard metal grinding against hard metal the drum or disc needs to be re-surfaced and will very likely be BEYOND TOLERANCE for re-surfacing,  In short the cost of the brake job is somewhere between double and quadruple what it was the day before.

Thus if you do nothing else, increase the frequency of inspection.
 
Just picked up the truck.  The inspection indicated 4mm remaining on the rear.  That surprised me since I thought the front wore down first.  Don't know the thickness of new brakes.  Read on line they are about 11.5 to 12 mm.  If so, I have about 1/3 left of the original lining.  I'm thinking another 10,000 miles before new brakes.  I'll keep the $230 in my pocket for the time being. 

 

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