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1999 Cougar.

My brake pad indicator light has recently come on. The manual leads me to believe that this is a warning for the front pads (and not the back). However, upon examining the (outside) pads on all four wheels, it looks like the rear pads are slightly thinner than the front. In fact the front pads (outside) still look to be at least 1/4 in. thick.

Even though the rear pads are newer than the front pads, I'm assuming the front pads are not wearing as fast because I had new rotors put on the front along with the pads the last time.

I would like to do the repair job myself, as I've done the rear pads (with a little help) once before. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh has been freezing lately, and I have no garage immediately close by to pull it in. Here are my questions.

First, I don't remember the rear pads I installed before having a wire indicator attatched. Could my memory be wrong... and the indicator light be referring to the rear pads and not the front?

Secondly, can the inner front pads wear un-evenly from the outer front pads? And if so wouldn't it be unlikely with new rotors in the front?

Thirdly, has anyone noticed the indicator light coming on with plenty of pad left? How many miles (roughly) can I go before running serious risk?

In Gratitude,

Chrisboke
 

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well the rear pads are thinner than the front pads because the front brakes are applied more when you stop. if you had new pads put on already, did you get the kind that has the brake wear sensor on them? I didn't, and my Brake Pad Wear Light came on a little after I got the car back. Also, I believe the sensor is on the inner pad.

Mike
 

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I was wondering the same thing too... my brake light came on about 3 mo. ago.. I checked my brakes, and there still seems to be plenty of meat left to 'em.... but within the week, I've been hearing my front pass. side start to grind when I apply the brakes at low speeds... but at higher speeds, I don't hear anything..

Either way, I'm getting new rotors/pads..
 

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Your inside pad is probably down to the metal... You can't judge your pad life by only looking at the outside pad. The inside one is usually the one that will go first. An easy way to check without taking off the tire is to just feel the inside of the rotor to see if there has been any grinding going on. If it is rough, your pad is gone.

Edit: Never touch the rotor after driving or you will burn the crap out of your hand.
 
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