Brake Pad Replacement

Saab 9-3 Brake Pad Replacement Cost

The average cost for a Saab 9-3 Brake Pad Replacement is between $177 and $257. Labor costs are estimated between $88 and $111 while parts are priced between $89 and $146. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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How Much Does a Brake Pad Replacement Cost?

Brake Pad Replacement Service and Cost

Brake Pad Replacement
What is a brake pad?

Most modern passenger vehicle's use disc brake systems on all four wheels. This system uses brake pads to squeeze the brake rotor to create friction, and stopping power.

How does the brake pad work?

As the term “disc brake” implies, the brake rotor is shaped like a disc. This disc rotates with the vehicle's wheel until the brake caliper squeezes the brake pads onto both sides of the brake rotor to create braking force. The brake rotor transmits this braking force directly to the wheels, and causes the vehicle to slow down.

What are the symptoms related to a bad brake pad?

Brake pad failure is evident when there is an audible squeal from the vehicle that goes away when the brakes are pressed. In more advanced vehicle's, the brake pad thickness warning light is illuminated on the dashboard. The squeal is from a built-in component known as a brake wear indicator that contacts the rotor when the pad is too low, and causes audible vibrations. If the brake pad wear indicator is not installed, or is not heeded, the next step is a strong grinding noise when the brakes are applied. This is because friction material has been depleted, and the rivets that hold the pad together are grinding into the brake rotors.

Can I drive with a brake pad problem?

It is not safe to operate any vehicle with any braking problem. If there is any sign that the brakes are not performing as originally intended, the vehicle should immediately be placed out of service, and repaired. If the brake pads are being replaced as part of routine maintenance, with no symptoms noticed, the vehicle can safely be driven to a repair shop. Also, if the brake wear indicator has begun making noise, the vehicle can be driven to a repair facility, but postponing will result in unsafe driving conditions.

How often do brake pads need to be replaced?

Brake pads are typically replaced as part of a standard brake service, so the average serviceable lifespan depends on driving style, and operating conditions. The manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule for each vehicle may be different, and the owner's manual will contain this information. To prevent the need for early replacement, frequent hard braking should be avoided.

Brake Pad Replacement Repair Information

How are brake pad issues diagnosed?

Trained technicians have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of brake pads through their careers and training. If the brake pad is below allowable thickness, broken, cracked, missing, or oil soaked, replacement will be recommended. If any of these conditions are present, the vehicle will not be considered safe until repaired.

How is a brake pad replaced?

To replace the brake pads, the wheel and brake caliper must be removed from the vehicle. The replacement pads are installed into the caliper, and the new or refinished brake rotor is installed by sliding onto the hub and bearing assembly. Once all contaminants are cleaned from the brake rotor, the brake caliper can be installed. As the brake pads and rotors wear down, the brake caliper adjusts automatically, so removing brake fluid is necessary to widen the opening on the brake caliper to accept the new, thicker pads and rotor. Wheel nuts, also called lug nuts, must be tightened to manufacturer's’ specification.

RepairPal Recommendations for brake pad issues

When replacing brake pads, it is important to replace the corresponding pads on the other side of the vehicle. This will ensure the braking power is even and predictable. Brake rotors show wear patterns after many times of grinding into the old brake pads, and must be replaced to avoid brake noise, uneven braking pressure, and unpredictable braking performance.

What to look out for when dealing with brake pad issues

Some brake rotors are mounted onto the wheel bearings, and those bearings should be repacked with grease or replaced when the rotor is removed. Any grease or automotive fluid, besides water, on the brake rotor will instantly contaminate the brake pad, necessitating replacement of the pads. Technicians understand that anti-lock braking systems can be damaged by pressing the brake fluid back into the master cylinder, and will drain fluid from the caliper to avoid this.

Can I replace the brake pad myself?

The braking system can be maintained by a DIYer with a complete knowledge of hydraulically actuated systems. This is important as testing brake operation, and safe installation of braking components rely on this knowledge. If the complete braking system is not understood, damage to the expensive braking components, or injury is likely. Trusting a professional technician with the replacement of any braking component is normally the best course of action.

Most Common Saab 9-3 Repairs

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