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On a 2016 highlander at 55,000kms we replaced the front brakes and rotors and machined the back rotors and replaced the pads at the dealership. Seemed a little early but we live in a hilly area of Vancouver BC so I went with it.
Today at 70,000kms we are being told that we need to replace all rotors and pads again (after 14 months and 15,000km of driving). This makes no sense to me, we live in the same neighbourhood and our driving habits are similar. We used OEM parts is this an issue other highlander owners have faced?
 

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Don't trust what they tell you...look for yourself how much is left on the pads....that's your starting point.
 

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Yeah, I suspect the brake pads aren't as worn as they're telling you.
 

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Have they show you the caliper pin if it was sticky or moving freely? Also when they replace the brake pad, did they put some anti seize on the brake pad ear or replace / cleaned and lube the brake hardware ( retainer clip) prior to re-install, It might be the cause or culprit for early worn brake pad.
On my 05 Camry, I check and grease my caliper pin every summer with Permatex Silicone brake lube (Orange can) as is compatible with rubber and won't cause rubber boot on the caliper to swell. As I live in Quebec, with extreme cold winter with salt road and hot summer, brake disc and pads take a lots of stress and that's why I grease every summer as preventive maintenance.
 

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Distance is far from a reliable indicator of brake use (which is what causes wear). 300km on a highway may have less brake use than 0.3 km in city traffic. To me, the first brake job was within the broad range of "normal", given what you said of conditions. OTOH, unless the driver or types of trips changed (I remember riding with a cousin 50 years ago, who complained of short brake life. I noted that she rested her left foot on the brake pedal at all times.) you should have gotten comparable life out of set 2, but you didn't. Maybe.

You have (with good reason) lost confidence in the honesty/competence of the dealer service dept. So, get a second opinion. Take it to an independent repair shop and ask for an evaluation of your brakes. Or, you could try a chain.

Oh, I am curious: Did you bring it in with complaints about the brakes, or did they find it while doing an oil change or other service?

My own experience shows how factors other than actual use come into play. I have a '15 Avalon hybrid. Most braking force is applied by the hybrid system to charge the battery, not by normal caliper action rubbing pads on rotors. A formula for extra long brake life, right? Except my town keeps the roads safe to drive by using generous amounts of road salt. Instead of getting my usual 80-90,000 miles from the rears, they were shot at 60 from sticking calipers, binding pads, corroded rotors. I do my own work, so I know it's not a con job. I should have disassembled, cleaned and lubed each Spring. But I can do new pads, rotors and reman calipers for a little over $200 per axle, so I may do it alternate years..
 
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When pads are replaced the one thing many do-it-yourselfers AND MECHANICS neglect are the glide pins. They need to be either replaced or cleaned and then greased. This will help ensure long pad life.

I replaced all 4 pads on my 14 HL at about 80k miles. It's not a difficult job. I'll probably have to do it again this summer.
 

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When pads are replaced the one thing many do-it-yourselfers AND MECHANICS neglect are the glide pins. They need to be either replaced or cleaned and then greased. This will help ensure long pad life.

I replaced all 4 pads on my 14 HL at about 80k miles. It's not a difficult job. I'll probably have to do it again this summer.
All...four. Hmmmm. Which four pads didn't you change? 😉
 

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The pins are cheap to buy and easy to clean. Definitely a MUST that gets neglected far too often.
also different pad types will have different effects.

semi metallic - more "aggressive initial bite" but dont last long and produce brake dust.
ceramic - last longer and dont really produce dust but they are not as "grippy".
organic - inexpensive but dont last long, dont bite well, not good with heat, and make allot of dust.

most dealers and mechanics will replace the pads and rotors at the same time. Parts are "cheap enough" to do everything.

you can also take it to another mechanic...
 

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I hate cutting rotors. I know it gives you some life back but it also removes material that causes them to wear/warp faster. I agree about the glide pins, if they aren't cleaned and lubed properly they can cause uneven wear in a hurry. I would check the lugnut torque tightness as well. that will cause the rotors to go out of round and will give you a vibration when breaking. I have also seen the caliper mounting brackets rust where the slides/anti rattle clips attach and it will cause the pads to bind.
 
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