Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
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It's not brake quality, it's how they are designed. Some pads wear faster, some slower. Some that wear faster have superior braking characteristics, but it's really not something any of us can test ourselves.
If you get 125K out of pads, you're doing a lot of highway driving. It means you're not using the brakes nearly as much as the average driver, so good for you. It may also be that the OEM pads were a much harder compound, which would extend brake life, although it may also mean that you don't stop quite as fast.
Brakes are consumable. They are designed to wear out. If you know much about car maintenance, they are one of the easier and less expensive repairs to do yourself. They are also not understood well by those who don't work on cars. On my BMW 3-series, I buy brake kits from Bavauto and pay about $200 an axle for brakes and rotors. Changing them in the driveway is about a 3 hour job if I'm not in a hurry, so I can do the whole car for $400, although front and rear normally wear out at different rates.
In the Murano, the rear pads and rotors typically wear out first. This is different from most cars, since weight transfers forward during braking and therefore front brakes normally do more of the work - therefore, they wear out faster.
It's not that hard to check the pad thickness on most cars (I do it while rotating tires so I have a clear view) by getting it up in the air, removing the wheel and sighting along the edge of the rotor. I have a small MM pocket rule that I can hold up and sight down toward the pads. New pads on many cars are 8-10 MM thick, so if you see about 4 MM thickness (check inner and outer pads, they may be wearing at different rates) you know that you're at about 50% pad thickness. You want to change around 2 MM (25% thickness) because as pads get thinner, they have less mass and therefore become more susceptible to heat fade under heavy braking.
It's not unusual for people to give you bad info about pad thickness. I've been told 2MM left and checked it at home, finding 4MM. I think some shops figure that you may not be in there again before the pads go too thin, so they try to get you to change a bit early in the interest of safety. Still, tell me the truth!
2008 BMW E91 328xi Sportwagon
2009 BMW E92 328ix Coupe
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, 75th Anniv. Edition
1983 280ZX Turbo