Expected Life of Brake Pads, Rotors etc... - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Expected Life of Brake Pads, Rotors etc...

Obviously I know this is a "driver dependant" category, but if someone can give me their best estimate of how long pads or rotors should last on the IS350.

On top of this, I've just spent some time on my computer checking various ceramic brake pads for this car, as well as slotted or vented rotors. Is there a lot of difference from one pad to the next and from one rotor to the next?

What should I be looking for?

I see the the Lexus "F" Sport stuff is about $3,000 and come with six piston fixed calipers, and drilled cast iron 355mm diameter rotors on anodized aluminum hubs. Braided stainless steel brake lines and low-dust performance brake pads are included and the upgrade can be used with stock or F-Sport upgraded rear brakes.

On the other hand, EBC offers a set of two slotted rotors for $325.00.

I don't know my ass from elbow where this is concerned, so what should I be looking for?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razal View Post
Obviously I know this is a "driver dependant" category, but if someone can give me their best estimate of how long pads or rotors should last on the IS350.
No, really, it depends on the driver.

I've seen folks reporting needing to change both at 15-20k (though it's possible they just were believing a lying dealer) and I've seen folks go well over 50k on both.

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Originally Posted by Razal View Post
On top of this, I've just spent some time on my computer checking various ceramic brake pads for this car, as well as slotted or vented rotors. Is there a lot of difference from one pad to the next and from one rotor to the next?

What should I be looking for?

I see the the Lexus "F" Sport stuff is about $3,000 and come with six piston fixed calipers, and drilled cast iron 355mm diameter rotors on anodized aluminum hubs. Braided stainless steel brake lines and low-dust performance brake pads are included and the upgrade can be used with stock or F-Sport upgraded rear brakes.

On the other hand, EBC offers a set of two slotted rotors for $325.00.

I don't know my ass from elbow where this is concerned, so what should I be looking for?
Do you race the car on a track?

If not then brake upgrades are a total waste of money for anything other than looks. The car still won't stop any shorter than it did with the OEM parts.

If you DO track the car then larger, slotted rotors (not drilled) can offer some benefit, but they'll eat through pads about 25% faster than blanks.

Likewise, other pads will offer no measurable benefits on the street compared to the OEM low-dust ones, but can offer some benefits on the track.

If you'd like a better understanding of what each major component in a brake system does, and what upgrading it can (and more importantly can not) do for you, I'd encourage you to read this article-

GRM Pulp Friction
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knightshade View Post
No, really, it depends on the driver.

I've seen folks reporting needing to change both at 15-20k (though it's possible they just were believing a lying dealer) and I've seen folks go well over 50k on both.



Do you race the car on a track?

If not then brake upgrades are a total waste of money for anything other than looks. The car still won't stop any shorter than it did with the OEM parts.

If you DO track the car then larger, slotted rotors (not drilled) can offer some benefit, but they'll eat through pads about 25% faster than blanks.

Likewise, other pads will offer no measurable benefits on the street compared to the OEM low-dust ones, but can offer some benefits on the track.

If you'd like a better understanding of what each major component in a brake system does, and what upgrading it can (and more importantly can not) do for you, I'd encourage you to read this article-

GRM Pulp Friction
I've actually read that article from you before (and I think I get it) and NO, I do not race (track or other), so I guess my question is, what is the best bang for my proverbial buck when it comes to pads and rotors?

The low dust ceramic pads are an absolute must. I did the TSB years ago and it was one of the best moves I made with this car.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 07:21 AM
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I'm at 115,000Km and switched over to the TSIB dustless pads when they first came out (90,000Km of use), the rear pads and rotors were swapped out on the rear brakes TSIB so harder to judge (50,000Km of use). Last year Bullockcity checked them and they had lots of life left. So it really depends on where and how you drive,...still on the original rear summer tires too.
Unless you're going to change the way you drive I'd stick with the oem dustless pads and rotors. See what they cost at Northtown Lexus in Buffalo, they're actually a very good dealership for parts,...haven't had any service done there.

Almost time for winter tires Razal,...hope to see you at the Wings Meet,...https://my.is/forums/f122/nov-6-7pm-g...-plaza-419755/

'06 Tungsten Pearl IS350,...with battle wounds and scars,...almost new.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 08:37 AM
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Yeah, I'd just stick to the OEM (low dust) pads if not racing on a track... for rotors, the OEMs are fine, but a bit pricey... some centric OEM-replacement blanks will likely work just as well when the time comes for a significantly lower cost.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubfoot View Post
I'm at 115,000Km and switched over to the TSIB dustless pads when they first came out (90,000Km of use), the rear pads and rotors were swapped out on the rear brakes TSIB so harder to judge (50,000Km of use). Last year Bullockcity checked them and they had lots of life left. So it really depends on where and how you drive,...still on the original rear summer tires too.
Unless you're going to change the way you drive I'd stick with the oem dustless pads and rotors. See what they cost at Northtown Lexus in Buffalo, they're actually a very good dealership for parts,...haven't had any service done there.

Almost time for winter tires Razal,...hope to see you at the Wings Meet,...https://my.is/forums/f122/nov-6-7pm-g...-plaza-419755/
Thanks for the response Clubfoot! Our meeting is long overdue, unfortunately I'm in Michigan that weekend.

I've got about 19,000 miles on my current TSIB ceramic pads. I had it done when the car had 5k miles and I'm at about 24k right now. I"m starting to get a lot of squeeking at very low speed braking, so I thought maybe my pads are worn down.

Is it worth machining the rotors the first time, rather than replacing them? I'm doing my service at Nihon in Mississauga, so I figured when the time came, I'd give them the job. I suppose I could buy the parts myself and just pay them for labor.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightshade View Post
Yeah, I'd just stick to the OEM (low dust) pads if not racing on a track... for rotors, the OEMs are fine, but a bit pricey... some centric OEM-replacement blanks will likely work just as well when the time comes for a significantly lower cost.
What (if anything) would be the downside to a non-OEM rotor, like the centric rotors?

Will they last as long? Perform as well?

How about brake pads? TSIB ceramic pads vs. any other aftermarket ceramic pad?

Is one ceramic better than any other? Will one brand last longer than another brand?

These might be some really stupid questions, but I just don't know the answer. It might be that there is really no difference (non racing environment) from pad "A" to pad "B", other than price, so why not save the money?

Same for rotors. If all things are equal, other than price, why not save the $$$$?

If however, "Pad A" and "Rotor B" give me the best combo of performance and durability, to me, it is worth paying more money.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Razal View Post
Is it worth machining the rotors the first time, rather than replacing them? I'm doing my service at Nihon in Mississauga, so I figured when the time came, I'd give them the job. I suppose I could buy the parts myself and just pay them for labor.
There's usually no good reason to machine rotors if they were properly broken in and properly used....doubly so if you're sticking with the same replacement pads.

Assuming there's nothing wrong with them (ie they're not below minimum spec, there's not significant amounts of uneven pad deposits from having never bedded them correctly, etc) just put the new pads on and go.

If they are below minimum spec then replace.

If they aren't below min spec, but have significant uneven pad deposits (ie you get vibrations/shaking when braking) then machining them might fix that for less than the cost of new rotors.... or might take them below min. spec and you'll have to replace em anyway depending what they need to shave off. Either way be sure to bed the new pads properly next time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Razal View Post
What (if anything) would be the downside to a non-OEM rotor, like the centric rotors?

Will they last as long? Perform as well?

How about brake pads? TSIB ceramic pads vs. any other aftermarket ceramic pad?

Is one ceramic better than any other? Will one brand last longer than another brand?
Unless tracking the car there will be no performance difference whatsoever between any two sets of rotors or any two sets of pads.

There might be differences in:

The feel
The amount of dust produced (pads specifically here)
The looks (rotors specifically here)
The service life

But performance will be the same.




The reason to get blank rotors rather than slotted or drilled is that slotted will eat your pads 25% faster for no non-track benefit... and drilled will do the same and also be more prone to cracking.

Centric rotors will be cheaper, and should be of similar quality and durability, to the OEM rotors. I've no doubt you can find other OEM replacement rotors from other companies that would likewise work just as well for more or less money (from Stoptech or Brembo, or any of the other usual suspects). You MIGHT get OEM quality and service life out of some no-name blanks from Ebay too, but you might not. Centric is just a brand that I've generally found to be good stuff for a low price, and easy to find.

With the pads, the OEM low-dust ones work quite well, and are relatively inexpensive, so I tend to recommend them. You could probably find pads that'll work just as well (though possibly with more or less dust, and probably a somewhat different "feel") from all the usual suspects (EBC, Akebono, Centric, etc) but again the OEM ones are affordable and I know they work well.


I'd be somewhat surprised if anyone found another brand of pads to offer significantly better service life while ALSO being comparable in all other ways (low dust, quiet, smooth linear feel, etc). I suspect any that were otherwise similar would also be similar in service life.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Knightshade,

Thanks. That was EXTREMELY useful and fully answered my question.

So, what I think I've resolved is the following...

1. Going with the OEM low-dust brake pads when the time comes.

2. Going with the least expensive (non-drilled, non-slotted) rotors, provided they come from a fairly reputable brand (read: not some company that just popped up yesterday and we have no data on) or the Lexus rotors (if competitively priced).

Do you have the part number for the low dust OEM pads? Does Sewell Lexus have them online or do different dealers charge different prices? Thinking I might buy some while I am in Michigan, in a few weeks.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 02:23 PM
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2008 IS350: Brakes: Front Brake Pads - Lexus OEM Front Brake Pads, designed to minimize brake squeal, are ventilated disc brakes that help to reduce brake fade and dissipate heat effectively. The generously sized front brakes (10.8in.) enhance driver

That's the pads on sewell... (cheaper if you log in with a forum username)

Part # 0446530400

Sometimes listed with a dash as 04465-30400

Probably won't hurt to check with Carson or the other dealer-vendors and see if one is a couple bucks cheaper than another.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

Do you think the noise I'm getting from the brakes during slow stops (with light pressure) is indicative of wear?

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 06:12 PM
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If it's only on slow stops, probably not the wear indicators on the pads...

Here's a way to check the pads with a light and a digital camera (or maybe just the camera with a flash or enough light)

Club Lexus Forums - View Single Post - Why (or why not) is it a bad idea to replace the pads and rotors at the same time?

If it's only happening on slow stops the caliper pins could need lubrication... or you can try rebedding the pads and see if it helps... do 8 stops in rapid succession from 60-5 (do NOT come to a stop at all during this)... then keep driving to let the brakes cool... then do 8 more stops and cool twice more... you want to be braking hard, just shy of kicking in ABS, and again not coming to a complete stop...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 06:00 PM
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A very helpful thread. Thanks for the oem pad link as well.
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