While changing the pads for my rear breaks (disk), I saw that while the external pads were all gone, the internal ones were at 1/3 to 1/2 only.

Is this normal? Should I address this? What is the cause - for self educational purposes?


They are supposed to wear evenly. The most common cause that I've seen of uneven wear is the caliper slides sticking. Often, the slide bolt boots don't seal real well, allowing water to get in and wash the grease out. Once that happens, they start to stick, causing uneven brake wear. In my experience, it can also be a problem if the car spends a lot of time sitting (even if the boots appear to be OK).

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  • also-- if you use a regular grease or the wrong type of Anti-Sieze on the Slide-Pins either one of these lubricants can heat excessively and dry up and begin to stick your Slide-Pins creating an uneven pinch of the caliper allowing only one tip of the pads to close in and not the other. – Sam Rosario Jan 3 '16 at 6:42
  • I did a pair of caliper replacements this Summer which came with specific instructions to only use synthetic caliper grease on the bolts. First time I'd seen a type specified, but I always use synthetic anyways... – Brian Knoblauch Jan 4 '16 at 13:02

Check your alignment. If the car has ever been hit hard, the car might be driving down the road "sideways", that is that the back tires are not pointed straight. That will lead to uneven tire wear, uneven rear brake wear, handling issues, among others.

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  • If the bearings and calipers are all in good shape, you shouldn't see any brake wear from improper alignment. It should all show up in the tire. However, with worn bearings you may see some brake wear issues. – Brian Knoblauch Mar 22 '12 at 18:49
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    That is an interesting point. I would imagine that the torque of driving out of alignment could damage the bearing. That in turn may cause the uneven pad wear. – dotancohen Mar 22 '12 at 19:11

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