Are brake pads covered under warranty?

Most warranties don’t cover brake pads, but there are exceptions

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    All new cars (and many used cars) come with warranty coverage to protect owners against manufacturing defects, but your warranty probably won’t help you when it’s time to replace “wear-and-tear components,” including your brake pads.


    Key insights

    Brake pads are not covered by most car warranties.

    Jump to insight

    However, some extended warranty providers offer supplemental options with partial or complete coverage for brake pad replacements.

    Jump to insight

    Brake pads are not exceedingly expensive to replace on their own, but it’s often best to replace them along with other components, like your brake rotors. And that can drive up your costs.

    Jump to insight

    Brake pad warranty coverage

    Like your brake rotors, brake pads are typically not covered under warranty because they’re designed to eventually need replacing after normal use. This differs from components like your transmission and engine because those parts are designed to last the life of your vehicle, assuming they are properly maintained. (Even some other parts of your braking system are built to last and therefore covered under warranty.)

    Brake pads aren’t usually covered under your car’s warranty because they’re designed to wear out over time.

    Rather than regularly shelling out money for new brake pads and rotors on all their vehicles, automakers and extended warranty providers exclude these components from warranty coverage and leave them for the owner to maintain. (The same applies to other so-called wear-and-tear parts, like your air filter, windshield wipers, etc.)

    While excluding such items from warranty coverage might seem like bad customer service, it makes sense when you consider that warranties are intended to protect you from defects and errors — not expected maintenance.

    » LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

    What types of warranties cover brake pads?

    The vast majority of factory and extended warranties exclude brake pads, but the good news is that some companies offer add-on options that provide protection. Endurance Warranty, for example, sells an “Endurance Advantage” plan that pays up to $140 toward brake pad replacements.

    In other cases, your factory warranty may cover brake pad replacements if the excess wear is caused by the failure of a related component that is covered. (The important thing to remember is that if you think your pads are covered, it’s best to get confirmation from the manufacturer or extended warranty provider before relying on them for repairs.)

    » MORE: Car warranty guide: what you need to know

    Does your extended warranty cover brake pads?

    Like we said, almost no extended warranty providers offer coverage for brake pads, but some sell supplemental coverage that can pay for a portion, if not all, of the cost of a brake pad replacement.

    How much does it cost to fix your brake pads?

    Brake pad replacements aren’t that expensive if you have to pay out of pocket. Our estimates show that replacing your brake pads costs around $350 per axle, on average. Just be aware that performance brakes and some premium components can be significantly more expensive.

    Having new brake pads installed usually costs about $350 per axle, but expect to spend more if you need new rotors too.

    It’s also important to note that brake pad replacements often involve replacing other components, such as the brake rotors, at the same time — increasing your cost up to about $600 per axle.

    (In some cases, machining or “resurfacing” the rotors may be offered as an alternative to replacement, but many brake pad manufacturers and repair shops recommend against doing so, as it can weaken the rotor structure.)

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    FAQ

    Do brake pads have warranties?

    Some brake pad brands do offer their own warranties, with some promising that the pads will last a “lifetime.” That said, the definition of lifetime can vary, and there are often terms and conditions attached to that protection, so it’s a good idea to understand the coverage before relying on it.

    How long should brake pads last?

    Most brake pads last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, though some can last much longer. Keep in mind that your driving style, vehicle type and road conditions can have an impact on pad life, and your mileage may vary significantly.

    Are brake pads covered under an extended warranty?

    Most extended warranties do not cover brake pads, as they are considered wear-and-tear items. Some warranty providers offer supplemental coverage for brake pads and related components, though these sometimes only cover a portion of the replacement costs.


    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. Endurance Warranty, “How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced?” Accessed April 24, 2024.
    2. Omega Auto Care, “Omega Auto Care Maintenance Program.” Accessed April 24, 2024.
    3. Endurance Warranty, “Navigating Exclusions: Understanding What Isn’t Covered by Your Car Extended Warranty.” Accessed April 24, 2024.
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