The real answer to how long brake pads and shoes can last will vary from vehicle to vehicle and from driver to driver. For example, if you tend to drive the most often in urban areas or in heavy commuter traffic, you’ll be engaging your brakes a lot more frequently than someone who drives in rural locations or on highways. Some people also tend to “ride the brake,” meaning they press and depress their brakes more habitually than other drivers, causing the brake pads to wear away more quickly.
Brake pads and shoes are generally thought to be good between 30,000-35,000 miles in urban use. In less demanding situations like highway driving in light traffic, brakes may last 80,000 miles or more.
With a little attention and forethought, it can be easy to know when to replace brake pads and/or shoes on your vehicle.
If you hear a loud grinding sound when you push down the brake pedal, it’s most likely a result of contact between the rotor disc and part of the caliper, which occurs when your brake pads are wearing down or have already worn down completely.
The metal-on-metal grinding noise you hear is the steel part of the brake pad grinding against the brake rotor, and it’s not good.
You need to get a brake pad replacement immediate when they are shot before they also destroy your rotors or brake calipers, which can be a very expensive repair. In some cases, you may also need to replace your brake discs. As soon as you hear your brakes grinding, stop driving your car and have a mechanic take a look.