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#494400 - 03/01/10 09:18 AM How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra?
Chris Smith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 8
I recently took my 2005 Xterra to the local dealer for an oil change. Along with the service they performed their usual inspection of the car. The indicated there was about 20% lining left on my front brakes. The service rep indicated based on that I should consider replacing the front disc brakes in the near future.

What got me scratching my head was looking over the recods of the previous visit which was six months prior to that (I only change oil when the mileage elapses, not when three months goes by like the manual says...), the documentation from the vehicle inspections states there was actually 70% which I assume means left over (the documenation doesn't state either way).

Why did it go from 70% to 20% in just 6 months? I'm smelling a bit of a rat here. Either:

- The previous visit which listed 70% meant to indicate 70% of the brake had been used while the new visit indicated 20% is left over meaning someone got their metrics screwed up.
- The dealership is trying to screw me over. No way I went from 70% to 20% brake lining left over in 6 months.
- Someone made a mistake.

I know what I'm about to ask is a tough question as no one here knows how I drive much less the type of driving I have to do. However, on an X with about 65,000 miles or so on it, would you expect the brakes to need to be replaced? How long did everyone else have to go before they got their brakes replaced? If there is indeed 20% life left in my front brakes, any thoughts on how much longer I can ride around with them on? I was thinking of waiting until the next oil change which will be at least 5-6 months away.

Thanks!

Chris Smith


Edited by Chris Smith (03/01/10 09:24 AM)

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#494401 - 03/01/10 10:26 AM Re: How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra? [Re: Chris Smith]
Saturday Morning Offline
Member

Registered: 27/12/01
Posts: 359
Loc: Shawnee, KS (Kansas City area)
Hmmm- OK, I see what you're getting at. First off, welcome. Second - Just based on the age and the mileage yes, it is very likely that you're going to need new front brakes soon on the truck. What we've all learned over the years is that the front brakes do most of the work when stopping and consequently they wear down long before the rear shoes.

On your question about why the indicated life left was so different between your most recent visit and your visit 6-mos prior - yes, either of those two answers could be correct, but it could also be several additional things as well.

1. They may have checked the right front 6-mos ago and the left front on your last visit. In a perfect world the brakes would wear roughly the same amount on the inner and outer pad of each wheel and roughly same on both sides of the vehicle. Unfortunately the world isn't perfect and neither is the Xterra.

2. You may have a stuck brake caliper. That is a caliper that isn't releasing fully whenever you let off the brakes. The constant application of pressure will wear down a brake pad in no time at all. You may also notice sluggish acceleration and/or poor fuel economy along with wheel that feels considerably hotter than normal - If you're not experiencing any of those other symptoms then I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about that.

I've been working on vehicles for a long time and one thing I've seen many times is that as brake pads wear thin and the calipers extend out to furthest limits of their reach they'll often bind a little creating a 'sticky caliper'. I usually attribute this to the fact that the pistons and sleeves don't have a lot of overlap at that point so it's easy for a piston to get a little crooked (picture an extension ladder at it's lowest height where both sections overlap fully vs. a ladder extended all the way out with only a few feet in the middle overlapping - which is more sturdy?) anyways point being that last 20% can wear down much faster than the first 20% because the caliper can stick a little so you may want to keep a close eye on it or just plan to go ahead and have the work done.


Also, here's a little tip: if you have drums on the rear you probably don't need to have them changed. Just have the shop check them when they do the front brakes. What we've all found is that the rear shoes tend wear very slowly compared to the front. I'm at 115k and still on the original shoes - as are many others.

-Saturday.


Edited by Saturday Morning (03/01/10 10:29 AM)

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#494404 - 03/01/10 12:11 PM Re: How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra? [Re: Saturday Morning]
Chris Smith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 8
Thanks for the response and the welcome to the board, Saturday. I thought about taking it into the local Midas shop and getting a second opinion. It wouldn't hurt to compare prices as well.

Again, thanks for the response.

Addendum: That's an interesting thought about #1 where you mention they may have just measured one tire then turned around and did the other next time. The list the percentages on a per tire basis. But, you never truly know what they did.

Looking at your caliber discussion in #2, I don't believe I have any sort of problem in that regard. I chatted it up with some friends a bit ago on the phone. They seemed to think with the mileage on my car a disc change is in order.

Thanks for the info. You certainly gave me some things to ponder.


Edited by Chris Smith (03/01/10 12:21 PM)
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Chris Smith

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#494409 - 03/01/10 06:03 PM Re: How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra? [Re: Chris Smith]
granitex Offline
Member
*****

Registered: 22/06/09
Posts: 418
Loc: Columbus. Oh
This might be a good time to learn how to do your own. Changing the pads are an easy thing to do. I can do mine in about 1/2 an hour with looking around t all of the other stuff like ball joints, tie rod ends act.
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Still rollin with the South Side Ninja

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#494418 - 04/01/10 12:41 PM Re: How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra? [Re: granitex]
Chris Smith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 8
Good point Grantex. At one time I was comfortable with doing this type of thing and wouldn't have thought twice about it. However, I have since moved and my parents currently have most of my tools. They are far enough away it makes it difficult to get my tools (although I could probably drive it there and perform the work at their house...). Add in the fact I would [probably] end up doing this outside where it is currently cold as @#$%, I will probably take this one on to the dealer.
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Chris Smith

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#494419 - 04/01/10 01:14 PM Re: How long should disc brakes last in '05 Xterra? [Re: Chris Smith]
_Craic_ Offline
Member
***

Registered: 22/06/09
Posts: 150
Originally Posted By: Chris Smith
I will probably take this one on to the dealer.


Get estimates before bending over.

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