From the Cheap Bastard files

This chap signs his name as “Greedy,” and I can’t say I’m surprised: What should I do with some brakes left on old pads after [I] replaced new one?

This is his rationale:

It kinda make me mad to throw away something that still have life left on it.

Earlier this week, I heard noise from driver side brakes. I went to pepper boys to get new brakes on. They put on new brakes on both side not just one side. After I looked at brake pad they throw away, my driver side have 10 percent left, the passenger side have 20 percent left.

So it make me mad for throwing away brakes that have 20 percent left.

So question is there way to fix? So won’t throw away the left of life you got? Like tell store put in new brakes only on one side then do other side couple of months later?

Well, if it gets down to 0 percent, you die. Is that a fair trade-off, so you don’t lose ten bucks worth of pad material?

I have my own idea what he can do with those pads, and yes, it does involve friction, kinda sorta.


  1. McGehee »

    25 August 2019 · 1:09 pm

    I rather suspect the chain’s legal department probably required replacing both sides when they’re that bad, if nothing else. Civil-liability juries, and the class-action lawyers that love them, could replace at least half of all the existing laws and regulations without breaking a sweat.

  2. fillyjonk »

    25 August 2019 · 1:17 pm

    I call myself a cheap wench but stuff like that (and also: hiring someone to work on gas appliances in my house when they need work) seems like a good investment of money. I mean, “not dying” is worth an AWFUL lot.

  3. CGHill »

    25 August 2019 · 1:21 pm

    Most shops I’ve seen would have replaced them even earlier, simply because one side was wearing out faster than the other, which is a problem requiring attention.

  4. Scooby214 »

    25 August 2019 · 9:12 pm

    I have never, ever considered only replacing the driver’s side brake pads. The new pads, before breaking in, would not have the same braking efficiency as the long since broken in passenger side pads. This would likely still hold true if you turned the rotor or installed a new rotor with the pads (which would cost more than a set of brake pads for both sides anyway!) Sounds like braking fun, especially in an emergency stop situation!

    I don’t think I’ve ever even seen brake pads for sale for just one wheel!

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