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I love one pedal driving. The regenerative deceleration profile is so much more efficient than me lightly pulsing the brake to come to a stop. I never owned a vehicle with regenerative braking, but I have to wonder if a standard service event for brake pads is 70,000 miles, how many more miles could I get out of my brake pads just driving in L mode. I know the answer is that it depends, but I'm curious if there are stories where people can run their brake pads to 150,000 miles+.
 

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I never had an EV but I drive my gas cars as if they were EVs! I try to glide before braking, then at a traffic stop, I shift into "N". That takes the gas engine load away from the transmission, and I can take my foot off the brake pedal. This reduces engine and transmission wear because they are not coupled and applying torque to "creep". And my brakes are not holding the car still against that "creep". My past vehicle was a 1995 Buick Regal Limited sedan with a NA 231 CI (3.8 L) V6 and four disk brakes. In 21 years of ownership, the pads were replaced only three times: once by my dealer, and twice by me (they are quite easy to swap) where the most work was lifting the car and taking off the tires. My present 2009 Equinox still has the factory installed pads after eight years.

So if I can make my brake pads last over seven years each time, an EV such as the Bolt EV can have even longer lasting pads. Just drive carefully, try to glide as much as possible, and use regerative braking as soon as possible so the hydraulic brakes will have little work. I predict that the first Bolt EV brake pad replacement will be after 2020.
 

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I expect the pads to last nearly as long as the car! :laugh: Seriously I expect well over 100,000 miles on a set. In my last two cars I got way over 90,000. My 2006 Solstice still has it's original pads and it's at 92,000 and counting. I checked them this month because I put new suspension struts in and on inspection, they look to be about 50% left to the wear stops. The Bolt should go forever!

Of course brake pad wear depends greatly on where you normally drive and how you normally drive. Some people live in hilly areas, some do a lot of stop and go and some people just plain have terrible driving habits. People living in San Francisco have all three working against them! ;)
 

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I don't expect to replace the pads during my ownership of the car. That said, anyone else having the same issue as I am with Low mode not slowing the car as expected at times? Doesn't happen often, but it catches me by surprise when I expect the car to be slowing and it's not!
 

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I had a 2006 Prius. When I sold it, at ~90,000 miles, the brake pads looked like they were only about half worn. The Prius uses brake "regeneration" all the time, but not to the same degree as the Bolt. It won't bring the car to a stop. The Mechanical pads typically activate at about 6 MPH under normal stopping conditions.
 

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You should probably use the brakes occasionally, to prevent corrosion and dirt accumulating on them. Not good things when you need them to work well.
 

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There are Tesla owners with documented 100,000+++ miles on original factory brakes - you can make them last a long long long time. Use them when you need to but yeah regen braking can be amazing.
 

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I also expect the pads to live essentially for the life of the car. I pretty quickly moved to running in Low all of the time.

Funny thing about that is today I drove the wife's car as she needed a primitive energy source. First time I came off the gas pedal (gas? what's that?) the car surprised me by not slowing down. Didn't take long for that to become second nature to me. :)

I try to never use the brake if I can avoid it.
 

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I was told by a Chevy salesman that the "normal" hydraulic braking system is only used for panic or aggressive braking. All other times the regen system applies the force to slow the car. I can't find any language in the owners manual to support that......but I also can't say he's wrong either. If this is true, then brake pads ought to last f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

Anyone have insight to his claim?

Dayle
 

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Volt Experience

You should probably use the brakes occasionally, to prevent corrosion and dirt accumulating on them. Not good things when you need them to work well.
I second this. I have driven a volt for the past 4 years (240,000km) in L almost exclusively, and I'm still on the original pads. I have been told at the dealership to make sure I use the brakes enough to keep them clean. I think I'm about at the end of their life now though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I second this. I have driven a volt for the past 4 years (240,000km) in L almost exclusively, and I'm still on the original pads. I have been told at the dealership to make sure I use the brakes enough to keep them clean. I think I'm about at the end of their life now though.
150000 miles. That's the answer I was looking for. Amazing to think it's likely I won't replace brake pads for a decade with this car.
 

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I can see the Bolt's brake pads lasting at least 150K miles if not longer. This is based on the fact that my 2005 Prius didn't need a brake job until 141K miles. I think I estimated that my Plug-in Prius wouldn't need a brake job until 180K miles.

However, pad thickness and size should be factored into these predictions. More than likely the Bolt uses a smaller brake caliper with a smaller pad surface area for the brakes than in a more conventional car. Smaller pads means less friction surface, and a smaller area to disapate heat during braking.
 

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150000 miles. That's the answer I was looking for. Amazing to think it's likely I won't replace brake pads for a decade with this car.
Eh, not exactly amazing. The rear brakes on my Lexus LS lasted 18 years, and very close to 150k miles. Front pads did wear out sooner, as front pads usually do. I gather they use less durable materials on brake pads nowadays, and the regeneration should help Bolt brakes last longer.

I can't believe anyone needs to go out of his way to use the brakes for maintenance purposes. It's unrealistic to think you can drive very long without using the friction brakes no matter how inveterate a hypermiler you may be. There will always be unexpected slowdowns, red lights and idiot drivers cutting you off.
 

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I should clarify...

My Volt actually has 276,000+km on it now, but I can't vouch for the first 36,000 km when I bought the car. I would assume that the pads on the car were the originals at the time, which would put the total miles to a bit above 170,000.
 

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You're not weird, I've replaced quite a few brake pads in my time and they're generally replaced after around 5-6- years depending on how they feel. You'll know they need to be changed when you're depressing on the brake peddle a lot harder or earlier than usual.
 

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Now I feel like a weirdo.. my front brake pads on my last car lasted all of 45,000km ..... :|
Did you insect them yourself and decide to change them, or did some mechanic recommend it? Was it part of some other job and "While we're in there..."? Changing brake pads is ridiculously easy on modern cars and doing "brake jobs" is pretty profitable. They like to throw in turning the rotor, or replacing the rotor just to pad it some more.
 

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Now I feel like a weirdo.. my front brake pads on my last car lasted all of 45,000km ..... :|
On our non-hybrid/electric cars, the front brakes would only last anywhere from 25K miles (Dodge Grand Caravan) to upwards of 45K miles (Toyota Sienna). I think the RAV4 was around 35K miles.
 
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