How Long Do Tesla Brakes Last? The Truth Revealed!

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 09/19/22 •  7 min read

Elon Musk said that Tesla brake pads never need to be replaced; they’ll last forever.

How much truth is in his words? Is this the actual case?

We’ll be going into the depths of the matter to understand how long Tesla brakes really last!

After hours of research and fact-checking, here I am with this definitive guide that’ll make this case wide open.

Without further ado, let’s hop into it.

How Long Do the Brakes of High-Mileage Teslas Last?

Well, it varies from model to model, but to give you an idea, Tesla Model 3/Y brakes can last anywhere from 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles, while Tesla Model S/X brakes can last 100,000 to 150,000 miles depending on the nature of driving.

Just don’t take my word for it though. Let’s dive into some reviews from actual high-mileage Tesla owners who shared how many miles it took them to wear out their brakes.

Tesla Model S Case Studies

After carefully going through dozens of forum posts and evaluating the experiences of Model S owners, my hypothesis is that 30% of the owners had to replace their original brakes between 100,000 miles and 150,000 miles. The other 70% even went over 150,000 miles, and their brakes kept working quite well.

I can’t tell you yet how long the rear pads last on my Model S, but I just replaced the fronts at 303,000 km.


Another data point so you all won’t be disappointed in ~5 years…

I took my Model S for a provincial safety inspection as I have it up for sale. They say front and rear pads and rotors need replacing. Costs about $2000 CAD. I have 116,000 km on the car and it’s a hair over 6 years old.

I’m guessing it’s from lack of use, although I frequently slow down from ~20km/h using friction brakes and obviously use them here and there on the highway for sudden slowdowns. Definitely a bummer that the brakes don’t seem to last any longer than an ICE car.


My car is a Sept 2017 build S75. Pretty high mileage – I’m at 94,000 now. About 500mi ago the brake squealer indicators started making noise. I have an appointment to have brakes done at Tesla SC for 10 days from now.


Tesla Model X Case Studies

Bjorn Nyland, one of the best Tesla reviewers on YouTube, shared his experience with the Tesla Model X in one of his YouTube videos. Based on his brakes’ performance, he estimated that they should last for 320,000 kilometers or 200,000 miles. Watch the video below:

@ 2:31, he quotes more examples of various Tesla owners whose brakes lasted for more than 150,000 km.

Why Teslas’ Brakes Last So Much

Regenerative braking is how Tesla brakes work, which is why they last so long; when the driver releases the gas pedal, the electric motors transform into generators, turning the resistance of slowing the car into power that is sent back into the battery, leaving the brakes cold.

In the event that a conventional stop is required, there are conventional brakes as well.

So I anticipate that an EV’s brake pads will last at least twice as long as those of an ICE vehicle and that the majority of drivers won’t need to replace them.

It’s also simpler for brakes to endure that long since there’s no traditional anti-lock braking system (ABS) or electronic stability control (ESC).

How Tesla Brakes Stack Up With Other ICE Cars’ Brakes

Tesla Model S/X vs. Audi E-tron

Audi e-tron, being an electric car itself, uses regenerative braking like Tesla. Hence, its brakes can also last for well over 100,000 miles easily.

Tesla Model S/X vs. Mercedes Benz EQS

Mercedes Benz EQS is an ICE car and uses brake assist system (BAS) to stop the car. In best cases, its brakes can last up to 65,000 miles.

Tesla Model S/X vs. Porsche Taycan

Porche Taycan, another ICE car, uses high-performance braking systems with ceramic materials. In best cases, its brakes can last for up to 70,000 miles.

How Often Should I Check/Service My Tesla Brakes?

According to Tesla, you should clean and lubricate your brakes every year or 12,500 miles later, whichever comes first, especially if it’s winter and your area has salted roads.

On the other hand, the brake fluid must be checked or preferably replaced every two years.

As far as brake pads replacement is concerned, you’ll rarely need to do so as Tesla’s regenerative braking lets the brake pads live for long enough.

When Does Replacing the Tesla Brake Pads Become Necessary?

If your Tesla brakes start giving the following signs, it’s high time that you get your brake pads replaced as soon as possible:

  1. Burning odor while driving
  2. Brakes making screeching or grinding sound when applied
  3. If you hear squealing noise while braking

If any of the abovementioned signs start appearing, you should visit Tesla service center and get your brakes checked as soon as possible.

Tips for Brake Maintenance/Increasing Brake Longevity

If you want your Tesla brakes to last 200,000 miles and beyond, the following points will come in a lot handy to you. Live by these rules and your Tesla brakes will last even longer than the car itself:

Frequently Asked Questions 

What brakes does Tesla use?

Tesla’s electric power-assist braking system makes use of high-performance Brembo brakes. Tesla employs disc brakes on each of its wheels, much like any other automobile. 

How do Tesla brakes work?

When the brakes are electrically engaged on Tesla, calipers on the discs grip the brake pads on both sides, causing the car to slow down and eventually stop. 

Tesla uses a combination of mechanical brakes and regenerative braking. Regenerative braking causes the car to slow down when the driver lets go of the race pedal. 

Mostly, Tesla drivers use regenerative braking, but in case of emergencies, mechanical brakes can also be applied to stop the car more quickly.

Why is my Tesla regenerative braking not working?

Regenerative braking can occasionally fail or be only partially effective, especially in cold weather and when the battery is already fully charged. But it resumes when operating in cold weather once the powertrain heats up.

Does Tesla regenerative braking wear out brake pads?

No. On the contrary, Tesla’s regenerative braking enhances the brake pads’ life significantly. It returns the energy to the battery, minimizing the brake pad wear and tear.

How often do you need to change brakes on a Tesla?

According to Tesla, you should get your brakes serviced every year or 12,500 miles later. As far as replacing brake pads is concerned, you’ll have to do it quite rarely, thanks to Tesla’s regenerative braking system. 

From the experience of Tesla owners, you’ll need to change brakes on a Tesla every 100,000 to 150,000 miles.

Final Thoughts: How Long Do Tesla Brakes Last?

So Elon Musk’s claim doesn’t seem too far-fetched now, does it? 

About 150,000 or 200,000 miles easily mean seven to eight years of ownership. Where an average owner keeps the car for a maximum of four to five years, there’s a high chance he’ll never have to change the brakes of his Tesla throughout the course of his ownership.

Hence, if you are wondering how long do Tesla brakes last, your question has been answered. To summarize:

100,000 to 150,000 miles, my guarantee. Over 150,000 miles, your luck and of course driving habits. Keep your Tesla brakes maintained and they’ll last you a lifetime!

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

Keep Reading