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Put a stop to brake pad issues

By autotech-nath on August 24, 2017

Brake friction supplier Lumag looks at different types of pad wear and how to remedy the problem.

Issue: Even Wear – The pads have approximately the same amount of friction material on both.

Cause: Proper brake function.

Solution: Replacement of the brake pads and hardware such as abutment and anti-rattle clips, as well as servicing the caliper guide pins and slides.

Issue: Outer Pad Wear – The outer pad continues to ride on the rotor after the caliper releases, resulting in the outboard pad having markedly less friction material than the inboard pad.

Cause: Seizing guide pins, bushings and slides are usually the cause.

Solution: Correcting this is usually fairly straightforward and is normally rectified by servicing or replacing the guide pins, bushings, or the entire caliper, and replacing the brake pads.

Issue: Inner Pad Wear – The inboard brake shows more wear than the outboard pad.

Cause: The caliper piston doesn’t return to the rest position due to a worn seal, damage, or corrosion; it can also be caused by a problem with the master cylinder.

Solution: Take the same steps as fixing the outer pad wear as well as inspecting the hydraulic brake system and the caliper for residual pressure and guide pin hole or piston boot damage, respectively. If the pin holes or piston boot are corroded or damaged, then replacement is necessary.

Issue: Tapered Pad Wear The friction material is worn in a horizontal or vertical wedge pattern.

Cause: Improper pad installation as well as guide pin wear, or having a single guide pin or slide seizing.

Solution: The procedure for rectifying this kind of wear is the same as correcting outer pad wear.

Issue: Cracking, Glazing, or Lifted Edges on the Pads – The friction material is physically damaged and shows signs of thermal distress.

Cause: Overuse, improper break-in procedure, hydraulic system problems, seized caliper components, defective pads and the parking brake not fully retracting are some common problems.

Solution: Replacing and breaking-in the new pads properly. The parking brake may also need adjusting.

Issue: Overlapping Friction Material – The top edge of the pad overlaps the top of the rotor.

Cause: Wear on the guide pins, caliper or caliper bracket or having the wrong rotor or pad on the vehicle.

Solution: Replace the pads and fit the vehicle with OE specification diameter rotors.

Phone: 0121 520 1160



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Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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