Why A Brake Service Is Important in Canada
By Benjamin Jerew
You don’t need a luxury or sport car to have monoblock brake calipers. In fact, no matter what vehicle you drive, your brakes will eventually turn into monoblocks of immovable rust if you don’t get a regular brake service in Canada. What’s up with brakes rusting and why is regular brake maintenance so important?
The problem is a simple one: oxygen corrodes metal. Steel and cast iron oxidize to brown-red rust and aluminum calipers oxidize to white dust, and this simply on exposure to the atmosphere. Even rubber oxidizes, turning brittle. Heat generally speeds up chemical reactions, brakes regularly reaching temperatures over 200 °C. Aggressive driving or heavy braking drives those temperatures up to 1,000 °C. Winter road salt speeds up the process even further. To maintain safe braking, a regular brake service is a must!
What’s Involved in a Brake Service?
Many people assume a brake service, brake replacement, really, is only necessary when the brake pads or brake shoes have worn to one or two millimeters, but that’s only half the story. It might take two years for brakes to wear out, while the rest of the system rusts away or seizes permanently. Brake service, or brake maintenance, is typically a five-step process.
Clean – The brakes are first disassembled to be cleaned. This includes removing built-up brake dust, road grime, rust scale, and flaking paint. Specialized solvents are used because they don’t leave any residue that could reduce braking efficiency.
Renew – At this point, it’s easy to see if there are any parts that have broken, such as rubber caliper slider boots, bleeder screw caps, brake shims, or brake clips or springs. Brake cylinders might simply be replaced. New parts will restore safety, prevent noise, and prolong the life of the brake.
Bleed – Whether the brake caliper or bleeder screw has been removed or not, bleeding the brakes is a good idea. Bleeding brakes flushes out worked fluid, bubbles, and contaminants. Seal conditioners are renewed where they’re needed most.
Grease – Finally, before assembling the brakes, new grease is used on caliper sliders, brake show adjusters, and other brake parts. This allows for proper sliding motion and prevents rust and seizing.
Interestingly, such brake maintenance isn’t really found on any automaker’s recommended maintenance list, not even under the severe service conditions we experience here in Canada. Still, it’s no stretch to imagine the benefits of a regular brake service. It is certainly safer, more convenient, and more cost-effective than waiting for your brakes to fail completely, requiring full replacement, on some vehicles as often as yearly.
Check out all the brake services available at any of our 600 NAPA AUTOPRO locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on brake service, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTOPRO Service Centre.