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Last time I put my 2016 Forester to a regular service, I was told I need to replace the rear pads and rotors, and to revisit the front pads as they have some 5mm left on them.

When do you replace the front and rear pads? That is, how many mm's would be considered minimum?

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According to this website, you should consider changing your pads between 3.2-6.4mm of thickness. If the pad is below 3.2mm, it's pretty much a must.

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NYS Inspection minimum requirements are 1/16 of an inch (1.6mm), and 1/32 (0.8mm) over a rivet head.

Keep in mind those are minimums. For typical use, a 12mm pad lasts about 50k miles. So if the pad is at 2mm, expect that it will be out of inspection in 4k miles.

Personally, if I am in working, and find the pads less than 4mm, I will replace them. It's not worth the overhead to get back in within a fairly short time to replace them, and I generally have extra pads on hand. However there is a personal choice trading time versus probability of near-term repair requiring re-disassembly.

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