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Brake inspection tips

First Line provides 10 Tech tips to promote best practice brake inspection:

  1. When inspecting brake discs for wear, or damage, look especially for heat cracks. More in-depth tests can follow with a dial indicator gauge.
  2. Witness marks on the disc can indicate issues with the pad. Technicians should use a brake pad thickness gauge to determine wear levels.
  3. An excessively-worn outboard brake pad tends to indicate issues with the guide pins, bushings and even the sliders. If the inner pad exhibits more wear, check for a seized piston, or master cylinder problems.
  4. Anti-noise brake pad components lose their tensile strength over time, causing not just increased noise but also unequal wear and uneven braking. Whenever pads, or shoes, are replaced, also renew ancillary parts. These include springs, clips and shims.
  5. Never use copper-based grease on modern pads. It can cause the pads to stick in the caliper. It can also attack rubber anti-noise coatings on the pad.
  6. Symptoms of worn brake shoes include an inconsistent brake pedal feel, or vibrations under braking. Alternatively, the park brake travel can be excessive.
  7. Brake shoe return springs are not everlasting and they weaken with age. If they do not return the shoes to their original rest positions, they can induce rapid lining wear.
  8. First Line emphasises the importance of keeping brake shoe self-adjusting mechanisms free and lubricated properly.
  9. Brake hoses are made from rubber, giving them a defined lifetime. First Line recommends that they be replaced as car sets every five years.
  10. In First Line’s experience, testers that heat brake fluid to evaluate its water content provide the best balance of performance and economy. Even so, careful handling and regular calibration are required for optimum reliability.
About Autotechnician
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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