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Brake System Maintenance

Autosphere » Mechanical » Brake System Maintenance
Mark Potvin is a specialist in mechanical and electronic diagnostics. Photo Mark Potvin

The braking system is the cornerstone of the safety of the vehicles used by your customers.

A seized caliper seriously affects braking efficiency. Photo Marc Potvin

I’d like to talk to you about a subject that concerns us all, and which is important to raise after having had numerous discussions with several customers about brake checks and when to recommend replacing them.

At the same time, I’m going to show you how to check your brakes properly and the tests you need to carry out to diagnose problems now and in the future.

Let’s start with the road test. It’s always a good idea, when carrying out a seasonal inspection, to take the car for a test drive at both low and high speeds, if possible. A direct vibration in the brake pedal during braking tells us that the front brakes are jerky and could have heated up, which would have warped the disc.

The level of wear on this brake disc is alarming. Photo Marc Potvin

There are three possible situations: either the discs are worn to the maximum, requiring immediate replacement, or the caliper is at fault, as it can be seized, or the pads are jammed in the caliper supports and have caused premature wear of the discs.

In all three situations, replacement of the discs and pads is recommended. The same applies to the rear section, which has a disc mechanism. Rear drum brakes, which are of a different design, are fairly easy to diagnose. A squeaking noise will be heard when the drums are oval instead of perfectly round.

Don’t forget to carry out a test when replacing the brakes: check the level of moisture in the brake oil. A level of more than 2% is very harmful to the system and can cause a number of emergency braking problems.

Pads jammed in the caliper caused premature wear of the disc. Photo Marc Potvin

Personally, I always replace the brake oil when I replace parts that work in coalition with this hydraulic system. Avoid future problems and even suggest annual preventive maintenance of the braking system.

Also use good lubricants made specifically for brakes. Choosing another type of non-dedicated product can lead to premature seizure and odours that could worry your customer.

We wish you all a great season and a happy diagnosis!

 

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