We bought a used 2005 Cobalt with 75,000 miles.
It appears that the front pads were changed at least once. The pads are pretty thick.
My concern is that I do not think the car stops that well. Sure seems like you have to push the pedal pretty hard to get it to stop. I have a Silverado truck and if I just lay my foot on the brake pedal you can feel it grab, the cobalt you definately have to push it a lot harder. Pedal seems solid. Might bleed the brakes just to flush new fluid through them. Cant hurt. I don't think its a fluid issue though.
I replaced the rear brake shoes. I have the pads adjusted up to where there was just light drag on the drums. It *almost* seems like the back brakes are doing all the stopping. If I remember correctly, it should be like 60% front and 40% back or something. I dont seem to have a whole lot of brake dust on the front wheels come to think of it.
I am wondering if it could just be the pads installed on the front. Maybe they are really hard to get a lot of mileage and just dont have the stopping power?
I suppose it could be the calipers. Any real good test for a caliper? I know if 1 caliper is bad, the car would most likely pull to one side when you hit the brakes. My car does not do that. Has no shaking or anything when you hit the brakes.
I'd hate to go out and spend the money on new calipers, rotors, pads if I dont need to.