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I have always seen that the rear shoes on drum brakes consistently get over 100k before they need changing.
I don't think changing pads at 1/8 in, that were originally 3/4 in thick when new, is being overly safe. I guess if you want to wait until the rivets dig into the rotors then that is up to you.
I don't make a habit of relying on the metal tabs to squeal because they don't always work.Having to replace rotors in the past has shown me that.
And in case your now thinking that I must ride my brakes (2 foot driving), that is not the case and never has been.
After having driven for over 25 years and doing all my own repair work (except for re building transmissions) I kinda feel that I know a little about proper maintainance on a car.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by a Volvo service manager.
"Exceptional brake wear on a BMW or Volvo is 20,000 to 30,000 miles with 10,000 to 15,000 miles being very common."
Bottom line is that brake life depends on the driving conditions and pad material. The more stop and go and the softer the material the shorter the life of the pad. (these pads will also be quiter and have a lot of dust which is typical of original equipment brakes)
Go to the link below for a decent article on brake materials from MotorAge Magazine.
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