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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not checked my pads for @ 5000 miles but how long have your front disc pads lasted in mainly city driving. I am interested in cars with the disc drum set up. It is better after I adjust the rear drums I am at 32K and thinking about replacing pads? I have been feeling that my braking power has been lacking and my brake fluid level is OK.
 

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You should be able to get to 40K no problem. I just changed mine at 35K but they did have some life left. The OE brake fluid on the hand looked horrible and I think that was root cause for me thinking that I needed to change my brakes.
 

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A tough question, brake life.
Wholly controlled by your driving habits and type of usage.
Highway haulers...obviously last forever it seems.....around towners, not so much.
Add to the confusion, some drivers brake late, some coast if possible.

Add to this, on drum brake cars, front brake life is extended by keeping the rear shoes correctly adjusted.
Otherwise, the fronts end up doing more than their share of work.

On a side note, rear disc cars will wear their fronts rapidly if the rear caliper slides start to bind with corrosion for the same reason.....rears not doing their job.

A good indicator on any car is brake fluid level. As the pads (not shoes) wear the caliper pistons operate in a more extended condition.
The fluid that would normally be up in the master is now down in the caliper to take up the space the piston has vacated.....this is why you should never 'top off' brake fluid levels....you are inadvertently taking away a method of checking pad wear.

Anyways, for the knowledge base, the new pad thickness (just the pad, not the backing plate) is approximatly ten millimeters.
There is a inexpensive measuring tool that reads the distance from the pad at its backing plate to the rotor on a assembled system, but, rule of thumb is when the pad thickness is the same as the backing plate it is adhered to it is time to replace.
This is just a hair away from the squealers hitting the rotor face.

Obviously, the best time to check is during a tire rotation.....you can look into the inspection ports on top of each caliper.
Myself, I clean and adjust (if needed) the rears with every rotation and inspect the fronts.
I'm only at 17k miles, but when I measured at 15k I was at 9mm.......a loooong way to go yet.....If I keep the car (no problem BTW, I get bored) it looks like the fronts will exceed 60k no problem......I think the rears will easily go beyond 100k.

Again, to the rear disc gang, I'm inclined to suggest removing, cleaning, re-lubing the caliper slide pins with each rotation for maximum pad life at all four corners.

Patman, I wouldn't be surprised if you find you have a long way to go before needing pads.

Rob
 

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I just turned 60,000 and am still at just under 3/16". All pads are wearing very evenly so I'm planning to replace them this fall.
 

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Patman, I wouldn't be surprised if you find you have a long way to go before needing pads.
I agree, I can't see these cars needing pads before 40K even with 100% city driving & constant hard braking. At times I can be pretty hard on my brakes, My last dealer visit inspection indicated my pads were 8/32 or greater with 50K on the car.
 

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On the subject of brakes, I just did a trip of 2,400km in a little over a week and the brakes lost the bite that they usually have when cruising. Even when driving slowly through towns they just didn't bite like they usually do. When I got home and drove the car the next day the bite had returned. I have a diesel and drum rear brakes aren't on any Cruze in Australia anyway, also the diesel has bigger brakes. Could this just be because everything is hotter when going a long distance? When the pads need replacing I will get better quality ones anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You should be able to get to 40K no problem. I just changed mine at 35K but they did have some life left. The OE brake fluid on the hand looked horrible and I think that was root cause for me thinking that I needed to change my brakes.
I agree probably let go for a while longer. Sometimes I feel like replacing things on my car just because I miss working on my cars the way I used to. Very little seems to wear out anymore and I have had the dealer do a couple of changes and rotations. so.... Probably ought to look at my wife's car, but she is never home till later at night and works on Saturday. Unless I go "borrow" her car for some maintenance.
 

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80k for the front and 96k on the rears "still good just resurfaced the drums and adjusted" mixed driving
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I'm in need of rotors as my drums weren't adjusted earlier in life after a few dealership visits.


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The drums being poorly adjusted is the reason I am thinking about the pads. I did not let that go for too long before I adjusted after buying last year as experience from my 2011 LS. Last night I checked my brake fluid and it appeared to be down a little so I added some. Should it fill up the top "area" to where the cap screws on? There was plenty of fluid below the top resivoir and above the add line.
 

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I've got 70,000 miles and my front brake pads still have about half life left. Didn't get a chance to check the rear but I would imagine they should have as much if not more. My brakes also don't feel they "bite" as well as they used to in warm weather or when there is extra load such as braking down hill. I was going to have the rotors turned and replace brake fluid to see if this helps.

Is there a specific pad thickness listed somewhere in the Cruze FSM of what they should be before needing replacing?
 

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I've got 70,000 miles and my front brake pads still have about half life left. Didn't get a chance to check the rear but I would imagine they should have as much if not more. My brakes also don't feel they "bite" as well as they used to in warm weather or when there is extra load such as braking down hill. I was going to have the rotors turned and replace brake fluid to see if this helps.

Is there a specific pad thickness listed somewhere in the Cruze FSM of what they should be before needing replacing?
Check your pads for glazing. Basically they get too hot and then a hard, extremely smooth surface forms. When this happens your best bet is to replace the pads.
 

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The drums being poorly adjusted is the reason I am thinking about the pads. I did not let that go for too long before I adjusted after buying last year as experience from my 2011 LS. Last night I checked my brake fluid and it appeared to be down a little so I added some. Should it fill up the top "area" to where the cap screws on? There was plenty of fluid below the top resivoir and above the add line.
My fluid level is fine. If I brake at more than 55% pedal travel the front end wobbles. 30-40% it's normal feel so I haven't done it yet. Still chasing down front end noises.


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Check your pads for glazing. Basically they get too hot and then a hard, extremely smooth surface forms. When this happens your best bet is to replace the pads.
Thanks. Wow I never realized that the pads could get glazed. And now that I think of it, they may have had a glossy finish when I inspected them (will have to double check though).
 

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Thanks. Wow I never realized that the pads could get glazed. And now that I think of it, they may have had a glossy finish when I inspected them (will have to double check though).
I don't know if this will work on pads, we used to sandpaper the lining surface in the all drum brake era, with a good result.
 

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45k miles on my pads front and rear and still running good according to the GM dealership I service at :)
 

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I don't know if this will work on pads, we used to sandpaper the lining surface in the all drum brake era, with a good result.
My experience is that glazed front discs need to be replaced. Roughing them up doesn't last very long.
 

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'12 Eco manual with 74,000 and the pads look to slightly less than half left. The car spent three years commuting into Chicago while averaging 36-38mpg. The drums have never been adjusted. I've never had that kind of life out of brake pads. The pads are so dust free and have lasted so long, that I've bought a set of OE pads to replace these when the time comes.
 
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