Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Interview with Michael: All About Brakes, Part I

by Colette Cooley, Cars for Keeps Office Manager

Michael Chan is our head mechanic at Cars For Keeps. It has been noted and commented on that Michael makes a few extra steps when he's doing a brake job, so I asked him what he does special when replacing the brakes on a car. His first reply was, “I do them fast”.

He also said, “These days when a cars brake pads need replacing, the rotors are usually down to their minimum specifications and the cost of replacing them versus the cost to have them turned is fairly close anyway, and it is good to put new to new together so both surfaces are correct." Michael went on to explain that when he's doing front brake pads and rotors, the hardware really should be changed out for new as well, but if the customer declines, "I will clean them up to get the corrosion off, then put a special lubricant on the slides and hardware to make sure it slides free and clear. "

When Michael takes the rotors off the hub, they are almost coated in corrosion, so he uses another special corrosion hub cleaner on it that gives it "a nice and true surface to mount the rotors, which cuts down on premature wear on the rotors." According to Michael, if the incorrect lubricant is used you may as well not bother cleaning the hub. "You must make sure all the caliper pins are lubricated correctly so as not to get uneven wear on the brake pads. We make sure the tire pressure is at spec on all brake jobs.”

I asked him what people can do to get the optimal performance life out of their brakes, and he came up with a surprising answer which will be covered in next week's blog - so stay tuned!


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