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Discussion Starter #1
How can I tell if the brake pads are in mediocre condition? Additionally - if I were to upgrade brakes what would I look at?

2006 Forester XT
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R ..... 98 Forester S - Atl, GA
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@Adam Ad Did you bed them in with the pad manufactures recommenced procedure? Then give them a few hundred miles?

What pads and rotors?
 

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2012 SH Manual
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You could only look at whether the Pads are worn evenly, or if they have scoring or gauge marks on them. I don’t think it would be easy or maybe even possible to tell if they are contaminated (endless you see them dripping in grease).

If old pads with uneven wear, probably best replacing them otherwise they may cause premature wear on your new discs. If gauged by old discs, you’re not getting maximum pad to rotor contact (reduced braking); and if uneven, you’ve likely either got sticking or seized pistons, caliper pins/slides, or gunked up Brake hardwear.

For upgrade:
-Pad with higher friction coefficient (but appropriate for your driving style, purpose, noise and dust tolerance).
-Braided brake lines (certified for your State/Country),
-higher temp rated Brake fluid (e.g. RBF 600). Although, they are more hydroscopic, so you have to flush fluid more frequently.
-Brake rebuild, with new seals (especially using proper brake assembly lube. e.g. not a grease, oil, or brake fluid), rubbers, hardware, and a thorough clean (especially bleed nipple, slide pin recess, and pad mounting surfaces).

Still want more braking performance? Get some properly set up Coilovers (e.g. Ohlins Road and Track), and a set of good Tyres (e.g. Michelin PS4s).
 
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