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IF THEY SAY YOU NEED NEW BRAKE PADS DO YOU BELIEVE THEM


isetta
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Had my Fiesta serviced (2 yr 25k mile service) by a Ford main dealer.  Bear in mind that this service includes checking brakes with the wheels OFF. They phoned me and said that front brake pads are more than 80% worn and quoting me to replace them (£140). I said No because a) I can do this perfectly well myself   and b) i was doubtful if this was true because on my last fiesta the original pads lasted 77k miles  and c) I had the wheels off a few weeks earlier and I thought I had checked them at that time.

So since then I have taken a wheel off to have a look and the photos below show how much is left on the pads - quite a bit.  Also I have shown the service report saying pads need urgent attention. 

 

pad4.jpg

pad1.jpg

pad2.jpg

pad3.jpg

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Hi,

It's not that easy to tell from the photos as you need to inspect all four of the pads and they may be worn unevenly. The pad that I can see in one picture looks reasonably worn but I'd certainly not say it looks in need of "urgent" attention yet. If you can change pads yourself then you can save yourself £100. I tend to allow the main dealers to service my car whilst under warranty and then once the warranty expires I do all the servicing myself and sign the service booklet (attaching receipts for parts). If at a warranty service they tell me I need new brake parts I just say "thanks for telling me.....I'll do that myself". I certainly change my own brake pads and disks and have done that many times on many different cars that I've owned. It may be that the dealer is alerting you to the fact they think the pads won't last until you bring the car back for it's next service. I'd certainly not pay £140 to have them changed though. It's not really possible to comment on how long pads last as it depends where and how you drive. These days I tend to find myself changing the disks more often than I needed to years ago. I guess the pads are made of a harder material these days and the disks wear quicker than they used to.

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the pics show the 2 pads on one wheel. the pads on other side of car are the same. I did not take photos of all as it was quite hard to get the camera to focus on the pad and not the caliper part that was nearer to the camera.

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I don't know but does your fiesta have a brake pad wear indicator wire coming from one of the front pads? If so they're the guide to use.
If not then it looks like you've got lots of meat left on the pads. However I suggest you remove them and inspect them properly and go from there.

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As Matt said it is hard to tell from the photos exactly how much pad is left but if you are at all unsure then the best thing to do is take the wheel(s) off and measure them.

New pads are around 16.5mm (they can vary though) and the service limit is 1.5mm. 80% usage is therefore at around the 4.5mm mark which, notwithstanding my first point, does not seem to be what you have yet reached.

It is worth bearing in mind though that there could be other, legitimate, reasons for them being somewhat 'premature' with their diagnosis e.g. they may only have measured them by sight, they might be erring on the side of caution regarding distance to be covered before you next get the car services or they may have a different view on when pads should be replaced given that the thinner the pad the greater the risk of it breaking up are. On this last point, many take a similar view as with tyres and prefer to not let them get below 3mm (despite the minimum legal depth for tyres being 1.6mm).

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Personally, if in doubt - change 'em!!  Like you said, you're capable of DIY - so for the sake of a few a quid and a lazy afternoon, I'd say it's worth the peace of mind.

 

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there is no doubt in my mind whether they need changing or not. They do not. I believe they just tried to con me. I dropped the car off dresssed to work in an office (because I have an office job) and they probably just think I know nothing about cars and would not even know what a disc pad is. Most people will panic if they are told their brakes need urgent attention and won't want to drive home in it before they are replaced.

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10 hours ago, isetta said:

 They phoned me and said that front brake pads are more than 80% worn

It does sound like a con. 80% worn is fine, if it means you still have 20% to go to the minimum allowed thickness, which is what 80% worn should mean. That raises alarm bells, due to the non-technical woolly wording. So to go from that to a total lie is but a small step.

I can quite believe this of a garage, some are really bad. One thread on this site had a garage that tampered with an instrument cluster to hide (disable) the ABS warning light that was indicating an annoying ABS fault they had caused when changing a bearing, and could not trace or fix. So leaving the car in a potentially dangerous state.

Some garages are really good, but can be hard to find.

I am assuming you have checked all 4 pads. Last year when I serviced my front axle, I thought the pads were fine until I got to the last one I looked at, and it was much thinner, below the limit! Panic ensued to get new pads before the MoT!

 

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"IF THEY SAY YOU NEED NEW BRAKE PADS DO YOU BELIEVE THEM"

No!
In March 2016 my local main dealer advised pads to be changed but in reality they lasted until the 2017 service!.

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I'm always a bit wary about such advice from a main dealer.   I used to have a Granada Scorpio 4x4 and when the brake pads were worn a light came on on the dash.

After one main dealer service I was told that the pads needed changing.   I pointed out that the light wasn't on and they argued the toss.

The light came on two years later.

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the vehical health check reports that the ford dealers like to churn out are little more than income generators for the service dept.

usually based on  what they think they can get away with rather than any solid engineering judgement.......

i just throw them in the bin as a matter of course

;-)

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  • 1 year later...

An update on my August 2017 post about the brake pads. When the Ford dealer said my front brake pads needed urgently replacing the car had done 22k miles (it was 25k service being done early as the first service was done early when I bought the car). It is now on 44.5k, which is  twice the mileage at that time. Brake pads not yet worn out.  Proof they did not need doing.

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probably two thirds of my mileage is constant 70ish mph without needing to touch brakes. on my previous fiesta they lasted 77k, when I bought that car it only had 1,600 miles on it so I know 77k was first replacement.  second set lastest 69k.

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