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Bad brake pad installation?


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Hi all,

I had a new set of front brakes put on 12 months/ 12,000 miles ago. Today I get the "brake wear" warning light, and checking the pads, they are indeed worn out.

My last set of pads - which were on the car when I bought it - lasted about 2 years, 30k+ miles. Car is never tracked, and if anything my driving style is gentler these days...

Pads were installed at the dealer, and I'm suspecting a bad installation... anybody have any idea what could have wrong?

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Hi all,

I had a new set of front brakes put on 12 months/ 12,000 miles ago. Today I get the "brake wear" warning light, and checking the pads, they are indeed worn out.

My last set of pads - which were on the car when I bought it - lasted about 2 years, 30k+ miles. Car is never tracked, and if anything my driving style is gentler these days...

Pads were installed at the dealer, and I'm suspecting a bad installation... anybody have any idea what could have wrong?

I can't come up with a theory on how improper installation would cause the pads to wear prematurely. You either get them in, or you don't.

I'd check a couple of items.

1. I know you said your driving style is gentler than before. Be sure you are not unconciously riding the brake.

2. Did the dealer install a brand of pad that should get more longevity than you experienced? Not all pads last as long as others.

3. Are all the brake components working properly, allowing the pistons to easily return to the cylinders and not "sticking" - meaning they ride against the rotor some even after you release the pedal. Sticking pads could be due to something wrong in the lines, pistons, cylinders, master cylinder, the fluid, etc.

Did both sets of fronts wear out fast, all four corners wear out fast, or just one wheel?

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  • 2 months later...
Turns out there's still about 50% left on them - I misread the wear - and the actual problem was a faulty brake sensor.

Thanks for the reply!

Well the brake wear sensor is either on or off, it is a pretty simple system that basically works by braking the connectivity of the wire. Perhaps the brake wear sensors were not installed properly. Sometimes, if the hole in the pad is bored too large, the sensor can come out and the line can be broken by something else.

These are really a no-brainer to install, and only consist of a few long pieces of wire jump by a few connectors that slip into your pads.

I personally think these are ridiculous expenses, especially since 9/10 times you have to buy new rotors when you change your brakes, unless you have slotted ones that can be turned without cracking. I snipped mine and jumped them, never to see that light come on again...I guess everyone is different though, I replace my pads after every track day...which is about 4-6 times a year for me, and change the rotors once a year (or so). Plus, I have the wheels off enough times a year that I can visually inspect them myself...I guess that's why I see the brake wear sensors as an unnecessary expense.

Edited by deanslist.us
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I agree that the brake pad sensors are a waste ot money, at $38 per for my C4S. The dealers and my Indy insist that I use new sensor cables even when I did not even break the connection with the old sensors by brake wearing into the connection. I guess it all comes down to liability, which beyond tires, is probably the only part of car repair that you can litigate. My indy replaced my front brakes (w/OEM) at 26K with still some left on the pad (I downshif regularly). Like it was said, you still need to replace the old rotors with each pad replacement, so what if you run the brakes into the rotors, all needs to be replaced anyway. However Porsche does not employ the chirp warning system. Anybody know how to bypass the brake sensor and not have the brake warning light stay on?

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I agree that the brake pad sensors are a waste ot money, at $38 per for my C4S. The dealers and my Indy insist that I use new sensor cables even when I did not even break the connection with the old sensors by brake wearing into the connection. I guess it all comes down to liability, which beyond tires, is probably the only part of car repair that you can litigate. My indy replaced my front brakes (w/OEM) at 26K with still some left on the pad (I downshif regularly). Like it was said, you still need to replace the old rotors with each pad replacement, so what if you run the brakes into the rotors, all needs to be replaced anyway. However Porsche does not employ the chirp warning system. Anybody know how to bypass the brake sensor and not have the brake warning light stay on?

It is easier than I thought. There are only two wires, and if they are looped into many sections for the purpose of being wedged into the pads. you can pull them out of the pads and trace it back to where it is only two wires, snip it and connect those two wires with heat shrink, wire nut, whatever. do all four and the brake wear light will turn off. I just did this last weekend.

Edited by deanslist.us
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