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Old 05-14-2002, 01:37 PM   #1
RugDoc2003
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Unhappy how do i know when my pads need changing?

Background: 2.5 rs MY00, 26xxx miles on it. i'm a hard, last minute breaker.

it has the stock pads still and i started to hear a rubbing when my pads are used lightly/mod... the braking strength also seemed to dimminish...
i bought some pads and when i took off my wheels (to do a DIY project) i took a look at the pads while they were still on the calipers... they look like they still have a healthy amount of pad on them... even the little groves are still visible.

can anyone help me figure out a good way to know when i need new pads?
thanks
rug
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Old 05-14-2002, 01:48 PM   #2
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The way you did it sounds pretty good!

Besides the pads have a wear tab that will sound like a cat being tortured when it's time for new pads.

However, that's for wear. If you've burnt your pads due to high heat at extended time intervals that's a different story. But it doesn't sound like that's you problem.

As time passes and the pads go through more heat cycles they will change characteristics a little. Much in the same way a tire's performance does.

You also may have some slight residue build up on the rotor, you can use store bought "Brake Cleaner" to make sure.
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Old 05-14-2002, 04:19 PM   #3
RugDoc2003
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thanks...

so i am assuming you mean that my pads are ok for now and i don't need to get new ones...

what does a used pad look like? when do i know when i need new ones...

thanks again
rug
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Old 05-14-2002, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by RugDoc2003
thanks...

so i am assuming you mean that my pads are ok for now and i don't need to get new ones...

what does a used pad look like? when do i know when i need new ones...

thanks again
rug
3/16 of an inch thickness is min for most street pads.

As long as the pad surface is uniform then the the pad is fine. If the surface is very shiny or black (like ash) then you can sand it down a little. Just keep the surface even.

26,000+ miles? Have you flushed the system yet? If not I would do it this may account for the poor pedal feel.

You should change the fluid every 2 years or 20,000 miles, which ever comes first.
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Old 05-14-2002, 04:32 PM   #5
RugDoc2003
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what do you mean flush the system?

the whole braking system with new fluids?
i don't think i have done that... (used car) but i didn't know it was so soon.
i'll look into it... i know that the fluid level is ok though
thanks
rug
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Old 05-14-2002, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by RugDoc2003
what do you mean flush the system?

the whole braking system with new fluids?
i don't think i have done that... (used car) but i didn't know it was so soon.
i'll look into it... i know that the fluid level is ok though
thanks
rug
Yeah do a full bleed (flush: replacing the old fluid with new) by 20,000 miles you will have enough water and air in the system to degrade feel and performance.

Level has nothing to do with it. The air and water come from the fluid itself, caused by heat and time, and some from the atmosphere as no system is perfectly sealed.
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:24 PM   #7
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i have never bled a system before. i was thinking abou doing my brakes myself because my friend does his and he said he can help me. so is bleeding just going aroudn to each calp and turning a screw so the air can come out when someone else presses the brake pedal? what is that screw called? is there a special tool that you put on that sectoin so fluid does not go everywhere?
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:11 AM   #8
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Sounds like your pads are fine, and like it was mentioned, you'll hear the metal wear indicator way before they are dangerously low.

To flush the system yourself, get a couple of feet of fuel line and a small container....like a brake fluid small bottle. The nipple is a simple metric fitting, so get the appropriate box wrench that'll fit. Spray the nipple area with brake cleaner and brush off any junk and spray again to make it clean. Put the box wrench on the nipple. Put the fuel line on the fitting and route it up above the nipple into a bottle. This will insure that air won't enter the system between pushes. With someone in the car pushing on the pedal, loosen the nipple and fluid will flow into the container. Close it and have the other person pump the pedal to get it up again. Do this about 10 times. Now go to the brake resevoir and fill with new fluid. Repeat this on the first caliper. This will get the old fluid out. Go to the next caliper and just do the 10 times thing. Do all 4 calipers this way. On your last caliper, start the car and push down once on the pedal and open the nipple. Shut off and add fluid again. Do a couple more cycles. Be sure the resevoir is at the "max" level.

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Old 05-14-2003, 08:00 PM   #9
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sorry to hijack the thread here, but on the topic of flushing brake fluid, is there an "recommended" order to flush out the fluid? I mean, I was told by a mechanic friend that when flushing out the brake system, one should start with the wheel that is furthest from the brake fluid reservoir which is usually the rear right, then rear left, then front right, then front left. Is there any truth in that? Any logic in doing that order?
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:26 PM   #10
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Hi,
I have a question on brake wear as well. Not being a brake expert either, I'm wondering about the brake wear. At 35k, some garage claimed my brakes would shortly be in need of replacement. I think they may have even mentioned the rotors not being able to be turned. I took their advise with a grain of salt, since the brakes were working fine at the time with no brake wear sounds or pulsing.

Now at 45k, I'm hearing the same story from a different garage. They say that the pads are "getting thin". I am a very conservative braker . Coasting often, using the gears and almost never "jamming the brakes".

So my questions with all this are:
1. Can I rely on the brake wear indicators to let me know when I truely need to replace the pads?
2. Can 02 WRX rotors be turned at least once?
3. When it is time to replace the front OEM pads, would it be okay to replace them with ceramics. i.e. it will likely be a good while longer before the rears need replacing so they would stay with OEM until they need replacing .

Thanks!

--Greg
02 WRX Wagon
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:35 PM   #11
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bump because I'd like to also know the answer to the above 3 questions.

also, if I post a pic of my brakes (but not taken apart... i'm talking like they way they normally would be when my car is ready to roll) could anyone tell me approx how much life they have left?

and do I have to replace the rotors too or just pads?
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #12
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anybody? come on guys this is linked to the brakes FAQ
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:06 PM   #13
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please
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyspikester View Post
Hi,
I have a question on brake wear as well. Not being a brake expert either, I'm wondering about the brake wear. At 35k, some garage claimed my brakes would shortly be in need of replacement. I think they may have even mentioned the rotors not being able to be turned. I took their advise with a grain of salt, since the brakes were working fine at the time with no brake wear sounds or pulsing.

Now at 45k, I'm hearing the same story from a different garage. They say that the pads are "getting thin". I am a very conservative braker . Coasting often, using the gears and almost never "jamming the brakes".

So my questions with all this are:
1. Can I rely on the brake wear indicators to let me know when I truely need to replace the pads?
2. Can 02 WRX rotors be turned at least once?
3. When it is time to replace the front OEM pads, would it be okay to replace them with ceramics. i.e. it will likely be a good while longer before the rears need replacing so they would stay with OEM until they need replacing .

Thanks!

--Greg
02 WRX Wagon
Answers:
1) Absolutely NOT!!!! Those little clips can fall off or get bent. The only way to know for sure is to look at the pads. Make it a regular habit to look at them when you rotate tires every 2nd or 3rd oil change. Once you get a feeling of how they wear you'll be able to tell how quickly you'll go through what's left.

2) If the grooving is light then yes you can with a very very light pass. Personally, I don't like taking out the material from the heat sink (the rotor). If I can't get deposits off with a bed-in process then I just get new rotors.

3) You will screw up your bias with different compounds. Do the fronts and rears with the same compound the first time, and then replace the fronts with like as you need to.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
3) You will screw up your bias with different compounds. Do the fronts and rears with the same compound the first time, and then replace the fronts with like as you need to.
Any suggestions for Ceramic pads? I'm coming up on 50K miles and want to do a 4-wheel pad change. However I am clueless when it comes to brakes.

Is a pad change something that an average person can do (I installed my turboback exhaust, Samco hoses, and Eibach springs)? I'd like to do my brakes as well if it's a realistic goal. Since they are brakes, I can't really drive to the shop if I screw it up.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:03 AM   #16
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I was a mechanic at a honda dealer years ago before becoming a diesel mechanic. Even back then, there wasn't much metal that could be removed on most brake rotors. Older american made cars had alot more metal on the rotors to allow them to be turned. Auto makers stopped this as one of the collective tricks to improve fuel economy. Cars where we turned the rotors safely and put OEM pads back on had brakes that didn't last as long as the first set of pads on the car. Thinner rotors = more heat = wear at a faster rate.

Ceramic pads are good for wearing out rotors faster. They tend to overheat them and cause the pulsing brake pedal. They dont leave as much brake dust on your wheels however. The performance friction carbon metallic pads at autozone for around $40.00 are excellent and ignored by the import crowd. They dust alot, but are better then most OEM pads.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spool_up View Post
Any suggestions for Ceramic pads? I'm coming up on 50K miles and want to do a 4-wheel pad change. However I am clueless when it comes to brakes.

Is a pad change something that an average person can do (I installed my turboback exhaust, Samco hoses, and Eibach springs)? I'd like to do my brakes as well if it's a realistic goal. Since they are brakes, I can't really drive to the shop if I screw it up.
I've been happy with the hawk products, but keep in mind I go for stopping performance vs noise or dust.

If you have never done brakes before then do NOT attempt it without some guidance from someone who knows what they are doing. Period. Remember, these are the number one "Oh crap" system on your car.

An "Oh crap" system is one where if it doesn't work you say "Oh crap" pretty darn quick.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:39 AM   #18
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Bringing this thread back from the dead with new information.
The title of this thread is "how do I know when my pads need changing?"

Well, along with inspecting the pads and wear indicators, your brake light may come on, and stay on. When the pads wear down so much that the brake fluid goes down so low, you'll know it's time to change your pads. I've been bad when it comes to my brakes. I am the original owner of my WRX. It has only 35K miles on it. But, a couple months ago my brake light would come on, and eventually go off. Eventually, it would stay on. I didn't hear any wear indicators. Recently, I bought some pads and was going to change them out regardless. Sure enough, the pads were just about gone. Changing the pads brought the brake fluid back up to normal.

[off topic] I haven't bled the brakes... yet. That's on the menu for tomorrow, along w/ changing out brake lines to stainless steel.[/off topic]
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