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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2010 Outback 2.5 - 4cyl.
I read the shop manual specifies replacing the pads at 1.5mm remaining thickness.
Is 1.5mm generally followed by most, or do more people suggest replacing at 3mm?

Background: I purchased pads and rotors to do front and rear brakes this weekend.
I'm at 3 years, 56k miles on the current set of pads and rotors, thought they were getting close for due.
I measured the thickness on the front pads, they were between 3.3 to 5+mm
I'm tempted to save $$, return the pads and push them out to 1.5mm
I calculate at my current rate of driving, the additional 1.5mm will take me about 10 months, into August 2020.

TLDR: should I change pads at 3.3mm pad life remaining or push out to 1.5mm service manual recommendation?

Thanks!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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weather may be most amenable for many DIYers in Spring or Fall so, no harm in doing it early.

While at each corner, good time to inspect stuff, maybe rotate tires too.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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The thinner the pad gets, the quicker heat builds up. This results in faster wear rates. Same with the rotors, as they wear down heat resistance is reduced and pads and rotors get hot quicker. If you are in a lot of stop and go, check them next spring going in to summer.

1.5-2 mm I generally the thickness to change to reduce the chance if getting to the metal plate and grinding. Check the inner and outer pads. Make sure the guide pins allow the caliper to slide back and forth. And it's not in common for the inner pad to wear faster than the outer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Cardoc - I didn't know that the pads wear quicker as they get thinner, but makes sense. I started to wonder if the wear rate was constant or not after I calculated the rate of ware and used that to estimate the remaining life. I ended up changing out the pads with 3mm remaining, figuring I had the car up already.
 

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Lets not forget that not all the pads wear equally. The INNER pads often wear out long before the outer ones.

Also, part of your decision lies in If you are doing the work yourself...or taking to a shop. Also, if you are replacing rotors too.

For example: If you will be replacing rotors too.... then go ahead and burn thru the pads till the 'squeelers' start to make themselves known.

Here in Vermont, the ROTORS get rusty after about 2 winters then the rust wears thru the pads quickly. Hence, I replace BOTH pads and rotors at same time. I realize that in some locales, the rotors can last for over 10 years with just pad replacements once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Brucep - Thanks for the additional information. I live in New England area as well, and usually replace both pads and rotors at the same time as well - they might be able to be turned and resurfaced but the logistics isn't worth it for me (needing to have my wife's car accessible & having the rotors off while a shop is still open - I work on the car at night mostly).
I was considering pushing these to the squeal point - but decided to change them so I'm not stuck doing them in the dead of winter.
 
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