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I recently bought a pre-owned certified 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. It had 23,000 miles when it was purchased and now has 25,000 miles and the dealer said the car needs front brakes (which I declined at this time) and I will need rear brakes at my next visit in 6 months. The Chevy dealer includes a free oil change and tire rotation for 2 years with my purchase of this car. I really do not think the car needs brakes at this mileage. I have owned cars for over 50 years and do not recall having brakes replaced so early. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Virginia, I would have a second opinion, many places will look at your front brake pad wear and give you a guesstimate of percentage. The previous owner may have been a heavy braker as well.

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Greetings Virginia, Brakes can wear out quickly if driver drives with a heavy foot on the brakes and if they drive up and down hills on a regular basis. Since you have only had the vehicle for 2,000 miles, the previous owner could have worn out the brakes. I recommend you take it to an independent shop and have them do a brake inspection and give you a report on the condition of your brakes. You can ask them if they will take you back into the shop and show you the brakes on your vehicle while it is up on the lift and the brakes are taken apart so you can see for yourself. We do this all the time at my shop.

Barb Petrey, President - DBK Enterprises Inc at Jiffy Lube A lot depends on how the previous owner drove the car. It would be wise to get a brake inspection done to see how the brakes are, to find out how thick the brake pads are. Anything less than 3mm should be replaced. Also the pads should be inspected for uneven ware cracks or any other damage.

Gelina Aquilina, Service Advisor / Mechanic at Have them tell you what the remaining percentage/millimeters is on the pads. Once pads get down to about 4mm, the sensor is exposed which is what creates that brake squeak sound. Anything under 4mm should be replaced, anything above that you can wait on.

Helaine Kurot, Owner/Technician at 360 Automotive Unless you do a lot of city driving/stop and go traffic, 25,000 is a very low mileage to need brakes on a new car. If you are in an area with a lot of stop and go traffic, 25-30,000 miles is close to average. I would recommend either having the tech show you the brakes on the vehicle or take the vehicle elsewhere for a second opinion. Make sure they document the measurements for the brakes on the invoice. In order for a car to be sold as certified pre-owned, there is a minimum amount of pad life that is required (usually at least 50% life left), among other standards the vehicle must meet. If it does need brakes 2,000 miles after you purchased it, talk to the used car sales manager. He should be very willing to get that taken care of for you. Check the paperwork when you purchased the vehicle. Certified pre-owned usually have a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty.

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