Cost of Brake Replacement vs Maintenance: Which Is Cheaper in The Long Term?

Cost of Brake Replacement vs Maintenance: Which Is Cheaper in The Long Term?

Brakes are one of – if not arguably THE most important aspect to safe driving (barring things like good driving habits, keeping a safe following distance and exercising good practices on the road) – so it makes sense that your brakes should always be in pristine condition.

But what works out to be more cost-effective. Is it carrying out routine maintenance?  Or is it replacing your brakes when they become faulty or unsafe?

What is the Cost of Replacing Brakes?

This is a very broad spectrum; LDV (Light Duty Vehicles) such as regular sedans and hatchbacks are the cheapest types of cars to have brakes replaced on. Next is SUV’s and bakkie’s, and lastly Sports Cars, or cars which require specific braking systems.

The price of replacement is also dependent on just how much work needs to be done; a brake pad replacement will cost far less than the replacement of brake pads and discs.

An average price range includes fitment of new brake pads, and skimming of bake discs or rotors. This can set you back anywhere in the region of R 1 500.00 for basic work, all the way through to R 5 000.00 for more intensive labour and more parts. This is based off the rest of the braking system being in-tact and functional, and is priced for two brake sets to be done (either front brake sets or rear brake sets) – and is limited to LDV and smaller cars.

Pricing increases drastically for bakkie’s and SUV’s –with specialised brake systems costing anything from R 1000.00 per brake set – up to R 5000.00 per set.

What Is Included in Brake Replacements?

Most brake replacements usually involve three major components:

  • Brake system check and analysis
  • Brake pad replacement and “bleeding” of excess materials that could coat to and bond with your brake discs
  • Brake disc analysis and skimming (if the warping is not severe) or replacement if the disc is too thin after skimming.

All processes mentioned above involve “disc” brake types; brake systems that are “drum type” usually involve brake bonding – a process which price is determined by how much work needs to be carried out, so we cannot accurately quote on the price range you can expect.

What is the Cost of Maintaining Brakes?

Brake maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your brakes, as well as prevent them from placing you in the unfortunate circumstance of brake failure. Brake maintenance will include things like:

  • Checking your brake fluid levels
  • Testing (at a testing station) your stopping range (i.e. – how long it takes you to come to a complete stop)
  • Mechanical inspection of all brake elements (pads, discs, callipers, bolts etc.)
  • Testing the thickness of your brake disc / rotor.

Various fitment centres carry out different tests to determine the road worthiness of your braking systems; an appointment to have these checks done is sometimes free of charge – while other suppliers may request a nominal fee for the labour carried out.

If they are made aware of any latent faults, new faults or faults which are pre-empted to arise, they will advise you and you can then budget to have the specific work carried out.

In short, maintaining your car’s brakes will work out cheaper on a day-to-day basis, as well as in the long run. It will also help prevent easily avoidable accidents and assist in keeping you safe on roads of any condition.

Related Tags: Brake Repair Brake Specialist

If you would like to have an RMI-accredited brake fitment centre check out the state of your brakes, click here to get in touch today!


Please note the prices reflected in this article are “ball park figures.” Astro Brake – nor any other brake fitment centre – will be held liable to cost any of their items according to the prices reflected in this article. Any errors or omissions are accidental.


Cover Image Credit: Scholar Painting


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