should i get the rear brake pads replaced

Asked by May 09, 2008 at 11:47 AM about the 1986 Volvo 240

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i have a 1986 volvo 240 with about 220k miles on it that i'm about to drive across the country (mass. to california). i took it into the mechanics' and they said that the left rear out board brake pad is worn down to the clip and that i should replace everything on both rear brakes (pads, calipers, etc.) which will come to about $700. i really can't afford that so my question is: is it a huge problem to drive cross-country with the left rear brake pad worn down? the brakes are working fine as far as i can tell just driving around town. i don't want to risk my life, but i also don't want to do work i can't afford if it's not actually going to be a huge deal.


5 Answers


With a car of that age, I WOULD recommend getting it done. Think about it this way, the car is 22 years old. If you get them replaced, you'll never have to replace them again unless you break the 400,000 mile mark on it (it's possible!). Do you know the history of the vehicle regarding the brakes? I just got a rear brake job done yesterday (on my 2000 Dodge Intrepid), but I don't think the entire assemblies were replaces (it was about $137). But in terms of safety, you're going to have to bite the bullet. Pay $700 now, or pay thousands of dollars later (from further damage done or getting in an accident because of defective brakes). Think of it this way, you are most likely not paying any car notes so getting this done would certainly be cheaper than getting a new car. I used to have a 1988 Mazda 929 that I would have loved to keep. I we had to replace a few things, but it was overall cheaper than getting a brand new car, Especially when all the major components are still working correctly. I would still be driving that car if a deer didn't jump out in front of me one night :( I was proud of that thing. That's awesome that you have an older car. Take care of IT and it takes care of YOU!


GOOD LORD YES if your going through the mountains and hit the brakes and lose pressure in that wheel ( I doubt you have ABS) you will go into a spin and DIE!!! Brakes are the most important safety item on your vehicle plus don't forget especially with long distance driving that the other brakes will have to do extra work. They may be fine now but they will need to be replace about halfway to the mississippi and it will cost you more on the road. I say get them done now so your not worrying about them later.


Agreed... With above post, but if you want to drive it cross-country... maybe you should borrow someone else car... All respect to your car but... it does have 220k on it and that's alot more miles to put on it, and alot of miles with nothing on them. If $700 is too much then the cost of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere might kill you.


With ANY car having that many miles it is a risk not only with brakes but with every part since they all have 220,000 miles. Some things that come to mind....fuel pump, radiator, belts, hoses you get the idea. I have a 300 M with 225,000 miles in excellent condition, but across country not sure if I would "chance" it.


unless the rear caliper is seized i really dont see a reason why it has to be replaced, but rotors and pads shouldnt cost much.

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