How often does a Volvo need brake pads?
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If you are thinking about buying any current model Volvo or you already have one, no doubt you are well informed of the issues surrounding the rate of which these vehicles go through brakes. If not, read on and we shall enlighten you.
Basically in city driving the Volvos chews through a set of front brakes in around 20,000kms we have seen some variations on this however not much. This is made worse in vehicles that are used for towing, lots of off road work or those that frequently carry heavy loads. We have had some customers go through them as quickly as ten thousand kilometers.
A variety of brake pad and rotor options have been experimented with and our research has found they are all pretty much one and the same. As with all European vehicles the brake rotors are a soft metal which offers premium stopping performance but at a cost, the disc wears out quickly and has to be replaced every time the pads are replaced.In short there is very little owners can do to stop this happening, the vehicle is heavy and goes through brakes quickly. The Volvo service Schedule is every 15,000kms (we don’t advise this, we think that you should stick to 10,000kms) If you are sticking to the schedule you need to be ready for a set of rear brakes every service and a set of both front and rear brakes every second service.
Thats right, the Volvo smashes through the rear brakes quicker than the fronts. Why is this? Modern Volvos have two factors the contribute to this unusual rate of pad wear. The first is the electronic stability control. This system keeps the vehicle straight, on the road and insures stability by applying and releasing the rear brakes when needed. In summery the car is using the rear brakes electronically even if you don’t have your foot on the brake.
The Second reason for this rapid wear is the electric hand brake.
This is obviously a major expense with the genuine Volvo parts setting you back a few thousand dollars every time.
As stated above this can’t be avoided, however you can reduce the cost of this.
The most obvious way to keep these costs down is to buy aftermarket brakes and avoid shelling out for the genuine Volvo parts. They wear out at the same rate so there is no mechanical advantage to buying the genuine Volvo parts.
Keep the costs as small as possible but aside from that this is just one of those costs associated with owning such a vehicle.
Finally it is worth noting that Volvo from factory only has one brake disc measurement, there is no minimum or maximum thickness measurement from factory. Because of this there is no safe option for disc rotor machining on the Volvos, if they need brake pads they will need disc rotors replaced as well.
Chris is the go to Volvo expert on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Now the North Shore.
You can read up on Chris and his experience by clicking here.
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