At what percentage of wear should I replace my brakes? on 2005 Toyota Echo

Just got a diagnostic from a muffler shop and in addition to a few items, suggested I replace my front brakes and rotors because I'm down to 20%. I'm not hearing any noise or noticing and decreased braking power. At what percentage of wear should I replace my brakes? Or should I just listen for the warning strips as my guide?

Asked by for the 2005 Toyota Echo
Hi Nicolita,
We generally recommend brake pad (or shoes in the case of drum brakes) replacement at 20-25%. We make that decision on whether the brake material will be sufficient to reach the next service interval. On cars we service at the suggested service intervals of 7,500 or 10,000 miles, we can estimate the remaining mileage quite well.
As far as replacing the brake discs, there is a 'wear limit' for brake disc thickness particular to the particular vehicle. If your discs are worn to that point, they must be replaced. IF they are not worn to that limit, we would resurface the discs, IF they will still be above the service limit after resurfacing.
I would guess that you require a standard front brake job of new pads, resurfacing the discs, and cleaning and lubing the sliding mechanisms / hardware.
You will not experience a degradation in braking peformance as the pads reach 0%, HOWEVER, if the brake friction material is worn away and the steel backing plate contacts the discs, you will escalate your expenses to include new discs.
Hope that answers your questions.
Feel free to call us for more specific advice and / or quotes.
2 more answers
a lot of cars have no warning strips. you should not notice in braking power because the pads ar worn.
20% is about the lowest I allow before I tell people, it is time

be careful of a muffler shop doing brakes. and are they really at 20 percent left or is the tech on commission. get a second opinion. we will inspect them for you at no charge, we are open on saturday if that is more convenient for you. ask for Dick. 343 4235.