Sunday, March 27, 2011

Car Tip #1 Brakes


Brakes, brakes, brakes.
Everyone has had brake problems at one time or another. From pads and rotors to an ABS issue, any of these problems can be a big expense. I have been working on vehicles for 26 years, and the best money spent is a brake service. It will extend the life of your brakes 2 or 3 times longer.
For an example, I bought a 2008 Jeep Liberty (new) and I have 98,000 km on it. Despite the increasing mileage, it still has the original brakes – front and rear. Now not all automotive techs service brakes the same way that I do. The first thing to do is have all rust removed from the pads, rotors, pad/caliper mounts, caliper slides and hubs.

Let's start with the pads first.
Buff all mounting points and edges with a wire wheel. Then take a piece of course sand paper laying on a flat surface and sand the pad till the glaze is removed. When this is done, lube the mounting points with anti-seize, just enough to cover the mount points only.

Next take the rotor and sand all the rust from the mounting surfaces, sand any ridges from the braking surfaces and rough it up. Tap the edges with a hammer to remove any rust flakes.

Next take the pad/caliper mount and use a wire wheel to clean all mounting points. Pay close attention to the pad mounts. They must be clean down to the bare metal; if not the rust will cause the pads to stick. Now apply a small amount of anti-seize on the pad and caliper mount areas.

Next inspect the caliper slides. Some pins are in the calipers some in the caliper mount. You should be able to move the pins with your fingers. If not, remove the pins and the rubber boots. Hone out the caliper and buff the pins, all free of rust. Now apply small amount of anti-seize to all parts than re-install boots and pins.

Last the wheel hub. Use a wire wheel on a drill and buff in and around the wheel studs to remove all rust. Now cover the hub with a thin layer of anti-seize.

When should you have your brakes inspected. You should have them inspected and serviced twice a year, in the spring to remove all the road salt/sand. Than in the fall to get then ready for all the salt/sand of winter.

If you feel anything abnormal with the brakes have them looked at. Also if you are having brake work done, ask to see them yourself. If there is any doubt, ask questions and take pictures, or get a second opinion. My best advice is to find someone you trust and have them go over it with you.

Any questions send me an e-mail.