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Old 02-20-2012, 09:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Brake pad replace thickness

I am curious, just how thin can the brake pad material thickness be before the brake pads need to be replaced? Three weeks ago I was installing new tires at a Firestone station, and they told me that my brake pads are badly worn and need to be replaced (75% worn). Today I took a look at the side my from brake pad without taking off the wheel. I still see a good amount of friction material on the metal plate, probably between 1/5 and 1/4 inches.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I change mine at about 75-80% worn,, for one major reason... I do not want the caliper piston to come out to far.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did a quick check on other forums. It seems like other manufacturers recommend replacing the pads when the friction material is at around 3mm thick, although some people go as thin as 1mm. To my eye my brake pads look about 4mm thick. I am itching to upgrade to larger brake pads and rotors as I have just upgraded to 16inch wheels. However, I bet I could drive maybe another 15,000 miles with the current brake setup (they're most likely the factory originals).
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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might last you another 30 thousand.. depends on usage
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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normally, the minimum recommended replacement measurement is 3mm. pretty much we recommend people to replace them at that time so the cost for brake service / replacement is low.... wait any longer and you can run the risk of the pads wearing completely gone, and the pad backing digging into the rotor and you end up needing rotors, which can get expensive depending on the vehicle you have.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The manual says 1/8 inch, which is 3mm. The inner pads always seem to wear faster so I would pull the wheel to get a better look at where you stand.
If you know you are going with new rotors then you don't care if you groove them beyond turning. I would not turn the front rotors because they usually end up warping. I highly recommend the 11.6 rotor upgrade. Since you already have the 16 inch wheels the extra cost it is not that much (about $50 for the new brackets). In theory they should last longer as well as be safer.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I usually dont give it much thought on a street car, as replace the rotors anyway. My wagons rears were grinding at only 30K mi, so picked everthing up at Autozone on the way home, and changed it all out that night. If heavy duty/high heat usage, you dont want to do what I did though. Actually wasn't on purpose, just wasn't thinking about toasted brakes at 30K mi.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borbet225 View Post
I usually dont give it much thought on a street car, as replace the rotors anyway. My wagons rears were grinding at only 30K mi, so picked everthing up at Autozone on the way home, and changed it all out that night. If heavy duty/high heat usage, you dont want to do what I did though. Actually wasn't on purpose, just wasn't thinking about toasted brakes at 30K mi.
If rears wear out early, really should look for what is wrong. I am on my second wagon, '95 and '01 and expect rears to outlast the fronts 2:1. In fact mine usually fail due to rust. Same for my Lin Cont's which use the exact same parts.

It takes a lot of gas to wear out brakes.

And then comes to mind, parking brake, and guide pins.

-chart-
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My experiece agrees with Chart. In 19 years of owning Taurus/Sable the rear disk brake pads should easily last 2x longer than the front. I went 90k miles on one car before changing the pads. I have also had decent luck turning the rear rotors. They are solid (not vented) and they do so much less work than the fronts.

The caveat to this statement being some other system failure like a caliper, wheel bearing or guide pin. The pads on the rear are not the weekest link.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually the caliper pins were hanging up on the RR, so got them apart, cleaned, and CRC brake grease. Story gets better though, as wasn't aware you needed to screw the caliper into retraction on these, and later found I ruined it trying to press it back in. Picked up a rebuild, and the seals on that one blew out right away. Of course the store didn't have another one in stock. Well you get the idea.
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