PDA

View Full Version : General Maintainance Issues.. Brakes


Paul Steinberg
10-30-2015, 01:06 AM
I penned this about 6 years ago, and it is as true today as it was then, although the parts prices have changed dramatically.

Generally speaking, if you maintain your vehicle in good condition, and do routine inspection and service, you shouldn't have any break downs on the highways. If you check and service your brakes on a annual basis, and completely change all brake fluid every 2 years, your braking system should be in fine shape. Most brake system failures are a result of not changing brake fluid. I have tried to stress this many times in the past, and I know from talking to members of this forum, that this information is falling on deaf ears. The generally accepted method of maintaining the vehicles, is if the component is out of sight, it is out of mind. The standard answer is "my mechanic takes care of these things". I know of very few people on these forums that have a complete record of maintenance items that have been serviced in the past, showing the date and mileage, when these services were last performed. How many people even know when the last time the coolant was changed, or the differential gear lube was checked and / or changed? It isn't all the spare parts that you carry under the seat that are going to resolve these issue. Everyone needs to start a comprehensive maintenance schedule and record keeping, so you will know before you take that next trip that all important functioning parts of your vehicle are up to par. I have said to many people that a mechanical breakdown will leave you stranded on the side of the highway, but a brake failure will leave you with a wrecked car, and possibly worse. If you need to replace the front calipers, then I can say with good authority, that the entire braking system needs to be overhauled completely, or at least do a complete comprehensive inspection. Calipers fail for primarily one reason... failure to change the brake fluid on a regular schedule. The secondary one would be leakage as a result of worn seals because of age. Frozen calipers is a issue of moisture in the braking system. This also means that there is a high probability that master cylinder and the rear wheel cylinders are also going to fail in the near future. All of these components are all interrelated, and when one fails, the others are not far behind. If you want to see what happens when you don't change brake fluid on a scheduled basis, look at this thread (thread deleted) .. Almost all brake line failures are a result of rusting of the inside of the lines, not the outside. One test that you can do in the safety of your driveway, is to push on the brake pedal as hard as you can, with both feet, and hold the pressure for at least 1 minute. Usually, if a steel line is going to fail, then this test will cause it to happen. This is assuming that your master cylinder is up to par. If the master cylinder is old, then it doesn't have the ability to develop full pressure, and braking performance will suffer. Replacement preformed / factory bent steel brake lines are available from www.inlinetube.com (http://www.inlinetube.com/) . If you don't remember when the last time the rubber brake hoses were replaced, then do them also. Rubber brake hoses deteriorate on the inside, and when this happens, they keep the brake fluid from returning to the master cylinder, causing brake lining drag, and premature wear. A healthy braking system on your vehicle is the most important component to safety, and often the most neglected.

Richard Vyse
11-02-2015, 01:40 PM
Speaking of brakes. Corvette needed a right rear caliper so replaced it. Turns out I let the master cylinder get too low so now needed a new master cylinder. Got that but couldn't get the brakes to firm up. Turns out my front calipers leaked as well but just enough to soak the pads so now getting those replaced and might as well replace the left rear while we're at it.
4 new calipers, all new shoes, and a new master cylinder. Always something. Funny thing is I never even suspected the front caliper issue.

Paul Steinberg
11-02-2015, 11:11 PM
That is what happens when you don't do brake fluid changes on a regular basis. Moisture enters the system, and then you get moisture settling to the lowest point, where it starts rust forming.
While they have it apart, make sure to change the 3 rubber hoses also. They deteriorate from the inside, and can cause you a lot of grief. It is a lot less expensive to do it now, then to have to do it later.

Kurt Arends
11-02-2015, 11:22 PM
Moisture?.......... in Florida????

Richard Vyse
11-03-2015, 08:30 AM
That is what happens when you don't do brake fluid changes on a regular basis. Moisture enters the system, and then you get moisture settling to the lowest point, where it starts rust forming.
While they have it apart, make sure to change the 3 rubber hoses also. They deteriorate from the inside, and can cause you a lot of grief. It is a lot less expensive to do it now, then to have to do it later.

Funny you mention hoses and decided to replace them as well.

Richard

John ED Renstrom
11-03-2015, 01:45 PM
more impotent then one thinks, those hoses. after we got the jeep back together we kept having a issue with the brake light coming on and draining the battery. i had changed the rubber up front when we did the brakes but not the jumper in the rear. the jeep stopped fine but the brake light kept coming on some time after I parked it. it's a presser switch in them why later was it coming on? discover that the rear hose was swelled inside to were it was holding fluid. then when it bleed back into the reservoir it would cause enough presser to close the switch. changed it the peddle went down a lot farther when you stepped on it the jeep rolled free and the light stayed off.

Paul Steinberg
05-17-2018, 09:03 AM
Just bringing back some old advise that is still applicable today. Please drive safely with good working brakes and steering.