brakelight-oct-2013When the customer drove the vehicle in, he stated that the brake pedal was low and there was a wet spot under the truck. It was a busy day at the shop and I didn’t have time to get it in the shop to see what it needed. Given the description, I decided to go out to the parking lot to see where it was leaking figuring it was a leaking brake line. I stepped on the brake pedal
only to find the pedal going straight to the floor. I could hear the brake fluid spraying under the truck so I proceeded to look where it was coming from. I expected to see a rear brake line leaking because that is what we usually see on these S10 trucks. I was surprised to find the fluid leak coming from the left front wheel. I couldn’t really get under the truck to see just how bad it was, but I could see the fluid was coming out of the brake caliper. Looking through the front of the wheel, I could see the brake pads were fairly thin and would need to be replaced soon. I priced out replacing front pads, rotors and calipers. I told the customer that I hadn’t had time to get the vehicle in yet, but I knew for sure that we would need to do at least this as a minimum. We went to bring the truck in, but couldn’t get it to stop so we decided to just push it in. We got the wheels off and found both pistons on the left front caliper had popped out. There was no inboard pad, and the inside of the rotor was half way through the fins. We showed the customer his rotor when he came to pick the truck up. He was surprised to see how bad it was.

— Matt Kammel, Matt’s Auto Repair, Lacrosse, WI

You May Also Like

Adjusting Parking Brakes

You should never estimate when it comes to parking brake adjustments.

The parking or emergency brake has to perform two distinct jobs. First, it must be able to hold the vehicle on an incline. Second, it must be able to stop a vehicle under a specific distance if the hydraulic brakes have failed. These standards are set by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the kicker is these standards must be met with the force applied by a little old lady. But, over time, the cables can stretch and the friction materials change their length and thickness, which is why adjustments to the system are required.

Charging More for Brake Jobs

Here’s why charging more for brake jobs keeps customers coming back.

Servicing Multi-Piston Brake Calipers

Caliper replacement may be necessary in high-mileage vehicles because of fluid leaks or because the calipers are sticking.

Wheel Bearings

Higher quality wheel bearings use higher quality steel that is properly heat treated.

EV Brake Jobs

With these vehicles, the major aggravation for shops is brake noise and uneven brake pad wear.

Other Posts

Brake Fluid 101: What Does Brake Fluid Do? What is the Difference Between DOT 3 vs. DOT 4?

When you think about the braking system of a vehicle, you probably think about the major parts you see when removing the wheel: brake pads, rotors, calipers and maybe hydraulics. However, one of the most important parts of the system isn’t visible: brake fluid. Brake fluid comes in several formulations for different applications and plays

Brake Pad Diagnostics

Worn brake pads can tell you a lot about the entire brake system and keep new components from suffering the same fate.

Understanding Passive Wheel Speed Sensor Operation

Passive types of wheel speed sensors are still used in many applications so understanding their operation is important.

Gen 1 Wheel Bearings

Removing and installing these bearings requires the correct tools and patience.