This is a cool tool that allows you to measure how much material how much material is still on a brake pad. The OTC 6596 Brake Pad Gauge allows for a definitive measurement of brake pads to determine remaining life. The tool allows for measurement on the vehicle without the removal of any components in most cases (wheel assembly or brake caliper).
Every vehicle has a “minimum wear specification” for the brake pads. This number is typically between two and three millimeters. At this point, caliper piston travel maybe too excessive, or the friction material attachment method may lose its effectiveness and cause the friction material to shear away from the backing plate. This usually happens when the material is worn below 3-4mm and can result in edge lift and noise. Some brake pad sets use a mechanical retention system on the backing plate like NUCAP’s NRS to prevent this from happening.
Some pad manufacturers change the friction material formulation in the lower layers to enable the material to flow through the holes in the backing plate (this is typically not necessary with a mechanical retention system like NRS because the holes are not needed). This may cause the material to wear faster than the upper layers. This makes estimating the last 20 percent of the material’s life impossible.
The OTC 6596 Brake Pad Gauge is more than a measuring tool, it can be used to communicate to the customer the condition of the brake pads.