All too often, we hear about vehicle accidents due to brake failure, where the driver ran into another vehicle or a person, or even off the side of the road. To help avoid such a situation, it's essential to know how often to change your rear brakes. Follow your particular manufacturer's guidelines to get them maintained regularly.
One of the keys to knowing when you should change the rear brakes on your vehicle is to determine if they are wearing out. Usually, the front brakes need to be replaced before the rear brakes, but there are exceptions to any situation. Listen for grinding or unusual noises in the rear brakes when you come to a stop. Notice if you feel any unusual vibrations. When you put your foot on the pedal to come to a stop, does it seem as if it is not working properly? Is it not as responsive or quick as usual? These are signs you should at least have your brakes checked
There is no set mileage to change rear brakes. Some cars will go for many more miles than others with the original set of rear brakes. The braking habits of the driver as well as the quality of the original brakes are far more indicative of when brakes should be replaced than the mileage on the vehicle’s odometer.
That said, for a Honda Civic, the general consensus seems to be around 60,000 to 90,000 miles or the life of three brake pads/drums. On the other hand, for a Ford Freestyle, users found they had to replace them sooner, some at only 30,000 miles.
A huge factor in when your vehicle’s rear brakes will need to be replaced is whether you are driving primarily highway miles or you are driving in the city. If you are driving in a city or a highly trafficked area, you will be braking a lot due to stop and go traffic, which will put much more wear on your brakes. The overall quality of the total braking system of a given vehicle also affects the wear on the brakes. Finally, remember that the front brakes take the higher braking load, so they will tend to need to be replaced first. When you get your vehicle inspected annually, they should inspect your front and rear brakes.