06 Brake Pad Upgrade Advice - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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06 Brake Pad Upgrade Advice

My wife has a 2006 Colorado ext cab 4X4 (seen below in my sig line listed as my son's truck) and she's a USPS rural route carrier and that means a lot of miles and a helluvalotta stopping everyday, definitely heavy-duty usage. She's not a fast driver nor a hard/late braker, she takes care of the vehicle as much as possible.

Our problem is the basic OEM type pads aren't holding up well and it seems ceramic were worse. The last set were replaced at 3k miles with some meat left but we didn't want to risk the rotors. IIRC there's semi-metallics on it now. Our mechanic said the truck is great but GM's front brake setup leaves a lot to be desired, especially for heavy-duty usage.

What we need is to find the best deal for the buck, do we a) just use the cheapest front pads we can find and replace them often, b) use a more expensive pad and hopefully get some more life out of them (if there is such a creature), or c) do some expensive and extensive front brake system modifications?

She just uses the truck for work and since we just bought it off our son and it has only 75k miles on it she plans on using if for a long, long time. So now's the time to do something about it if we're going to do anything.

Ideas or recommendations sought and welcomed...

Take Care and Stay Safe,
Ken aka kilogulf59


(Left) My Son's 2006 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Extended Cab 3.5L 220 hp I5 and Buddy (Center) 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD 3-Door Extended Cab Long Box 5.3L V8 285 HP Vortec Engine 4 speed HD trans. (Right) 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LT1 Z71
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 06:59 PM
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Do you mean OEM, or OEM Type?

With normal operation being 80,000+ miles on pads, I would think they last quite a while on your wife's delivery vehicle.

And, the OEM material won't cause excessive wear on the rotors. and being a factory pad, they won't require heat to make them work quicker.

Something sounds fishy to only get 3,000 out of a set of pads. That is either the crappiest compound known to man for a brake or she drives her work vehicle harder than you seem to think.

I don't know if 06's were ceramic OEM pad's but in later years I'm pretty sure they were. I mean I believe my 2008 pads are factory ceramic (since replaced, however.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 11:18 PM
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I think you said it, you want to get the best bang for your buck. If you replaced them that early before, it makes me think that there is a lot more wear left on the pads. To be honest most normal driver brakes are about the same, it's the racing or performance brakes that operate differently. There is a YouTube video about this called engineering explained, he talks about all different types of brakes, calipers and pistons. It's worth watching them. If you want to improve braking, the best way to do it is to remove the rear drums and put on a quality caliper system. It's expensive, but you will get better performance.
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Keep on rolling baby!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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I am now keeping my own maintenance records on that truck. I used to keep a maintenance log on every vehicle I owned but I stopped due to part laziness and that the newer vehicles need so little work.

The wife is and always has been a very good driver. She now drives like an old grandma so I know she not hot-rodding it on the route.

I trust our mechanic emphatically and he's also a friend and every time I've double checked his work and/or advice it's been correct and cheaper than most, and this is over a period of many years.

I did my own wrenching for many, many years, some of those professionally (I quit for medical and time reasons), and I never experienced or heard of brake shoes or pads wearing out that fast either. I don't recall what was done on the last service so maybe his records were wrong.

With that said, my wife started asking the other rural carriers about the problem. The one fella, who had the same route before her said with all the hills and curves (that describes the terrain we live in) and all the **** stops, and depending upon the vehicle type, he'd replace front brake pads anywhere from 6K to 12K max and always kept a spare set in the garage. He said he started using "heavy duty pads like taxicabs use" so I guess I have to try and find out if there's any 2006 Chevy Colorado taxicabs out there and, if so, what brake pads they use .

I was told that the 1st generation Colorado's front brakes were "acceptable" for normal usage but that they didn't hold up well under any type of constant heavy usage. I know the rotors are a PIA to replace (nice job of designing there GMC) so...that's why I asked about better pads.

So with all that said...can anyone recommend a good, long(er) lasting pad to try?

Take Care and Stay Safe,
Ken aka kilogulf59


(Left) My Son's 2006 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Extended Cab 3.5L 220 hp I5 and Buddy (Center) 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD 3-Door Extended Cab Long Box 5.3L V8 285 HP Vortec Engine 4 speed HD trans. (Right) 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LT1 Z71
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 12:31 PM
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It sounds like it may be most feasible and economical to just replace with a low quality pad over and over.
Taking the truck into a shop to have the rotors turned annually (or whenever feels applicable) while ON the vehicle. To keep them true and remove any glazing.

A high metallic brake pad does an aggressive brake (which I'm sure you know) but at the expense of rotors. And we all know that rotor replacement on these trucks is not the simplest and most economical repair.

In my thinking, it's easy to change pads a couple of times a year with the cheap stuff. If you're going to have 'disposable pads' anyway, might as well just make them cheap from the beginning.

I (personally) haven't heard of any pads 'better' than OEM that last as long. It sounds like you are attempting to find a pad that last longer than OEM but also with a compound that works with the rotors and not destroy them. So with that said, and (me not knowing) going through pads quickly no matter what its probably just better to change them every few months with autoparts store cheapies. Also as you know, the more they wear the more heat is transferred into the fluid. And the fluid should be flushed out probably bi-annually as it is probably breaking down quickly from the excessive heat/wear too.

Unfortunately service vehicles take a lot of extra care. Braking and transmissions are the big things for sure.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 01:20 PM
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You might want to check these out. Extreme and Fleet Duty Pads | Heavy Duty Brake Pads towing It looks like it's might be worth looking into.
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Keep on rolling baby!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks and I'm just passin' through for now...I'll reply properly shortly...

Take Care and Stay Safe,
Ken aka kilogulf59


(Left) My Son's 2006 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Extended Cab 3.5L 220 hp I5 and Buddy (Center) 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD 3-Door Extended Cab Long Box 5.3L V8 285 HP Vortec Engine 4 speed HD trans. (Right) 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LT1 Z71
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 05:34 PM
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If it does work out for you or don't work let us all know. I'm interested in what you find out. Be safe!

Keep on rolling baby!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Are we talking about the Centric Fleet Performance brake pads or the EBC Yellow Stuff pads?

Take Care and Stay Safe,
Ken aka kilogulf59


(Left) My Son's 2006 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Extended Cab 3.5L 220 hp I5 and Buddy (Center) 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD 3-Door Extended Cab Long Box 5.3L V8 285 HP Vortec Engine 4 speed HD trans. (Right) 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LT1 Z71
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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To add a bit more info...the route runs over 100-miles with 400-stops. That's 400 times she has to stop plus whatever normal braking is involved in driving 100+ miles on hilly country roads, 6-days a week!

Take Care and Stay Safe,
Ken aka kilogulf59


(Left) My Son's 2006 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Extended Cab 3.5L 220 hp I5 and Buddy (Center) 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD 3-Door Extended Cab Long Box 5.3L V8 285 HP Vortec Engine 4 speed HD trans. (Right) 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LT1 Z71
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