Brakes are one of the most important safety components of your vehicle. Over time, the brake pads wear down and need to be replaced to maintain proper braking function. With Costco’s reputation for affordable car maintenance services, you may be wondering – does Costco change brake pads?
Unfortunately, Costco does not offer brake pad replacement services in their stores or as part of their tire center services. However, there are still ways Costco members can save on this common maintenance task.
Read on to learn more about getting brake pads changed, where you can get it done, and how to take advantage of Costco’s auto service discounts.
Why Do Brake Pads Need to Be Changed?
Brake pads are friction pads that press against the brake disc or drum to slow and stop your vehicle. They consist of a metal backing plate with friction material bonded to it.
Over time, the friction material wears down from pressing against the brake rotor. As it wears, it reduces braking power and performance.
Eventually, enough material wears away that the metal backing plate starts grinding against the brake rotor. This can cause damage and squeaking or grinding noises.
Most manufacturers recommend inspecting brake pads during oil changes or tire rotations. On average, brake pads need replacement every 25,000-60,000 miles depending on driving conditions and pad material.
Replacing them regularly is crucial for maintaining safe braking. Worn pads increase stopping distance which can lead to collisions or loss of control.
Does Costco Change Brake Pads?
Costco does not offer brake pad replacement as one of their auto services. Their tire centers focus mainly on tire sales, installation, rotations, and balancing.
The Costco website states they do not perform any major auto repairs like brake jobs. You also won’t find brake pads for sale in Costco warehouses or on their website.
However, there are still ways to save on brake jobs using your Costco membership.
Saving on Brake Pads with the Costco Auto Program
While Costco does not directly change brake pads, they offer an Auto Program with discounts on repairs and services at local participating providers.
This program offers Costco members 15% off parts and services including brake pad replacement. Discounts apply to any registered vehicles of Costco members.
The Auto Program has a nationwide network of over 3,000 auto repair facilities to provide discounts. Costco claims members can save up to $500 or more per service through this program.
To find participating shops in your area, you can use the store locator on Costco’s website.
When you visit a participating repair shop, show your Costco membership card to receive 15% off brake jobs and other services.
This discount can add up to significant savings, making it worth checking out Auto Program shops even if Costco does not do the work directly.
Third Party Stores That Change Brake Pads
In addition to the Auto Program, you can also get brake pad replacement done at most automotive service chains and some retail stores with auto centers.
Some options to check for brake pad replacement include:
- Pep Boys
- Walmart Auto Care Centers
- Jiffy Lube
- Independent repair shops
Prices and availability vary between locations. Expect to pay $100-$300 to get all brake pads replaced, with the average around $200.
You’ll get the lowest prices by shopping around between service centers. Be sure to ask if they offer any coupons or seasonal discounts on brakes.
DIY Brake Pad Replacement
Doing a brake job yourself is an advanced DIY project, but can save over 50% on parts and labor. Make sure you have proper tools and knowledge first.
You’ll need to:
- Jack up the vehicle safely and remove the tire
- Remove caliper bolts and slide off the caliper
- Remove old pads and retention clips
- Clean the caliper bracket and lubricate parts
- Install new pads, clips, caliper and tire
Watch in-depth video tutorials to learn the full process before attempting. Allow 2-3 hours and have a mechanic’s opinion on pad condition.
Costco does not sell brake pads in warehouses or online. You’ll need to purchase pads separately from auto parts stores. Quality ceramic pads cost $50-$150 per axle set.
Signs Your Brake Pads Need Replacement
Don’t wait until pads are fully worn to do a brake inspection. Catching them early improves safety and avoids rotor damage.
Watch for these signs:
- Brakes squealing or grinding when applied
- Increased stopping distance
- Brake pedal pulsating or dropping
- Visible damage or thinness on pad friction material
- Brake wear indicator light on (if equipped)
Have a mechanic inspect pads during oil changes. They can measure for wear and recommend how soon pads need replacement.
How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
Brake pad replacement intervals vary depending on:
- Your driving style – Aggressive driving wears pads faster
- Mileage – Usually 25,000-70,000 miles
- Vehicle type – Heavier vehicles wear faster
- Environment – Rain, salt, and dirt reduce pad life
Listen and watch for signs of wear before mileage intervals. Evaluate condition every 6 months or 6,000-12,000 miles.
Ceramic and semi-metallic pads last longer than cheaper organic pads. Premium pads can cost more but withstand up to 70,000 miles.
FAQ on Costco and Brake Pad Replacement
Does Costco do free brake inspections?
No, Costco does not offer free brake inspections. Their tire center services focus on tires and wheels.
Can I get brake pads replaced when getting new Costco tires?
You cannot get brake service done simultaneously when purchasing Costco tires. The tire center does not perform major repairs.
Does Costco sell ceramic brake pads?
Costco does not sell brake pads in stores or online. You’ll need to purchase them through auto parts retailers.
Can I use the Costco Auto Program and a coupon for brake pads?
Yes, the Auto Program discount can often be combined with repair coupons for added savings on brake jobs.
Does Costco give brake pad warranties?
No, but most major brands offer 1-3 year warranties when installed by a certified mechanic.
While Costco does not directly offer brake pad replacement, the Costco Auto Program provides a 15% discount on brake jobs and other services at participating repair shops.
Combining this with coupons, shopping around, and buying long-life pads can help maximize savings. Watch for wear signs and avoid waiting for pads to fully wear down before having them inspected and replaced.
Following manufacturers’ recommendations and replacing pads around every 50,000 miles is ideal for staying safe on the road. Utilize Costco’s discount program to save the most on this essential maintenance service.