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Q: typical life span on front end brakes on 2004 Saturn Ion

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I've got a saturn ion with 61,000 miles on it. I bought it with 23,000. I'm being told that I need new calipers, brakes and rotars. Is this typical?
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The life of brakes depends a lot on the driver's braking habits and the weight and use of the vehicle. Some vehicles do tend to be "heavier" on brakes than others. Automatic transmission vehicles consume brakes quicker than manual transmission cars. Some customers get 12, 000 miles from front brakes others can get 30,000 to 60,000 or more miles from a set of brakes.
Brake pads are sacrificial and wear with braking, rotors may warp if the brakes are over heated. Rotors need to be machined or replaced if the brake pads friction material is allowed to wear down to the metal backing plate. This results in metal to metal contact with the brake rotor. If brake pad wear is uneven the brake calipers may be seizing internally or not sliding on there guide pins but I guess I would seek a second opinion from another repair shop.
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