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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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Discussion Starter #1
I’d like to see how much brake pad life I have left. Trying to see if I can make it until next Spring for trade in.

My tires have about 6/32” left. I think they’ll be okay. But no idea on brakes. What’s the best way to do this?

Thinking loosen all hub bolts, scissor jack front driver’s side at point, put jack stand under (where does it go, next to scissor jack?) and then remove wheel. Then what, remove caliper?

What type of depth should I be looking for? I believe I had the OEM pads changed somewhere around 40-50 the same time I did my tires at a local shop but there are few if any records, just and email saying “come get car, it’s ready” so I don’t have a set mileage. I’ll probably be around 95k next spring so that warrants the question.

I believe they used some CarQuest variant for the car. Not sure if they also replaced the rotors or just did pads.

If I need pads I would like to just slap a cheap pair on to make it the next year or so. No drivability issues so think the rotors are fine but I suppose I could go buy a digital caliper.

Please excuse my ignorance. Much smarter today.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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2,499 Posts
BY "next" spring, do you mean 2018, or 2019?
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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1,712 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
2019. I am planning to get the “last” of the 3.6’s before expected phase out with the MY2020 refresh.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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181 Posts
Just go on youtube and search for a brake pad change. You're on the right track though:

-loosen lugs
-jack up and jack stand
-remove wheel
-remove the 2 caliper bolts
-gently hang the caliper from the strut spring without kinking the brake hose
-pull out pads and inspect
-look for a metal "feeler" that will touch and squeal on the caliper when your pads are worn. If you have them you'll hear when they are worn. If you don't have these, you'll have to research how much pad depth is allowable.
-I wouldn't replace the rotor if they are working fine

I would guess the pads and rotors are both fine. If you're just looking for 1 more year, I'd assume worst case is 2 or 4 corners worth of pads.

Check out rockauto.com if you are going cheap (they have great quality too if you want to spend more) or if you want the ability to replace anytime for any reason, buy some premium pads at NAPA.
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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1,224 Posts
3mm is the recommended replacement remaining thickness
 

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2016 2.5i Outback, 2002 Audi S4 Avant, 1980 CB750F Supersport, 1985 Carrera 3.2
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568 Posts
I'm not sure about your 2011, but the Gen5 pads have wear indicators that are small metal tabs that will scrap against the rotor to notify you that the pads are getting very close to low and need to be serviced. Generally the wear indicators on pads (unless it has a groove) will be the chamfered edges of the pads, if you don't see it anymore then you are low. FYI, I had to change my 2016 at 65k and the rears were noticeably more worn than the fronts (but depends on your driving conditions, I have a lot of high speed braking where I live).
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,619 Posts
if calipers are free to slide and assuming all positive function in the rest of the system; I'd go with mike's number from above and if the outer pad has over 3mm, keep driving .

exceptions would be - if the squealer on the inside pad is active or if I were doing other overlapping work(wheel bearings or struts or ???) - I might consider new pads at lower wear-level.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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1,553 Posts
There's also a small "window" on top of the caliper. This is used for inspecting pad liner thickness and general rotor condition. Simple wheel removal is all you really need to get a decent read on remaining pad life.

It really depends on your driving. My wife will get 15k miles out of a set of pads due to her driving style and stop-and-go. My father gets 60-70k miles on his, mostly due to 90% highway cruising.
 

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I decided since my elderly Mum's Outback(2011) had it 50k on it, and the brakes felt lacking, it was worth inspection. The fronts were fairly worn(less then width of backing plate) and rotors all round had ridges that you could catch a finger nail (IE worn, also corroded). Brakes are cheap, accidents are not. I did factory rotors, pads, and fluid flush for under $400 in parts. Cleaned and lubricated the associated parts upon assembly. Glad I flushed the fluid, as one of the front calipers was starting to stick. In fact, I'm about to flush the fluid again when the weather gets better. It really brings back pedal feel and performance. A little bit of service makes all the difference, especially in how the car ages down the line.
Regards
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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953 Posts
You really ought to learn how to replace the pads yourself. If you know how to jack the car and remove the tires, you're 90% there. A new set of Autozone pads with wear indicators are about $26 and you'll never have to pay for replacements again. Just pull the old ones out, take it in and they exchange them for new ones so long as they aren't worn down to the lining (they often don't even check).

Other stores may have the same policy so check around. My pads last 2-3 years but even if they lasted less, how can you beat free? It's easier than rotating the tires. I've also never needed to replace the rotors nor have them turned.

Replacing the pads consist of removing the wheel, removing one caliper bolt and loosening the other and swinging the caliper out of the way to get the pads out. You then compress the piston back in with a tool or C-Clamp and put the new pads in. The worst part is getting your hands dirty with brake dust but that can be mitigated with gloves.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all. I’ll check it out today after work.
 
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