The Commander has a 50/50 weight distribution, plus the rear pads are much smaller than the fronts.
Its NOT uncommon to have to change the rear pads before the front in a Commander, while in most vehicles you have to change the fronts twice as often as the rear.
I just changed the pads in my Commander at 93k miles. That was my experience, the rear were squealing with every brake application. Got a new set of pads for front and rear. The rear pads were NOT down to the back plates yet, so they weren't to the point of doing damage to the rotors, but the squeal made it obvious the pad material was so thin and close to the back plate that it wasn't functioning properly and making the noise. The fronts still had some good life left in them, maybe 10% or more.
The replacement pads, OMG, they are massive, we are talking twice as thick as most car pads.
So, that could be why your mechanic was saying they look new, the Commander's front pads could be worn half-way down and still look the same thickness as most car's pads new.
And I've seen posts where folks get close or more than a 100k miles on their OEM pads, that was my experience. The fronts looked like they could have easily could have gone past 100k miles, the rear another 2k-3k miles easy as well, if I was willing to put up with the constant squealing, and why I was at it, I knocked out the front pads as well.
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Last edited by Mongo; 10-06-2013 at 11:26 PM.