Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
Disc brakes are reliable and fuss-free but sooner or later they will let you know that they need attention.
It might be a warning light glowing on the dashboard, a grinding noise when the brakes are applied, a pulsating brake pedal, an unnatural drop in brake fluid level or a the car pulling to one side when you brake.
Any of these symptoms mean it's time to get to grips with the brakes.
By far the most common job on disc brakes is pad replacement, but a general inspection of the brakes, especially of the discs, should always be carried out at the same time.
Let's see how it's done.
Start by jacking up the relevant end of the vehicle and supporting it on axle stands, placed in positions approved by the manufacturer.
Remove the wheels. The hubs, brake discs and calipers will be staring at you.
Before washing off the brake dust (use water and dishwashing liquid or a specialised brake cleaner, never petrol, paraffin or thinners). Scrutinise the brake hoses, unions and caliper by the light of an inspection lamp for any sign of fluid leakage that will show up as a dark stain.
Two different types of caliper are in common use - fixed caliper and sliding caliper.
To remove the old pads from a fixed caliper (which has pistons on both sides of the disc), remove the clips on the guide pins with a long-nosed pair of pliers, tap out the pins with a drift and hammer, remove the retaining springs. Now lift out the pads, wiggling them to free them and using pliers if they are tight.
A sliding caliper has pistons (often two) on one side of the disc only. The whole caliper slides across in its cradle to bring the pad on the opposite side in contact with the disc when the brakes are applied.
To replace the pads on a sliding caliper the piston housing must be swung out of its cradle after first unscrewing the guide pins on which it slides. You might need an Allen key or a special socket.
Now the worn pads can be removed, the outer one first. Take note of any retaining springs, anti-rattle hardware or anti-squeal shims so that you can replace them in the same position.
It's always good practice for a novice to complete the job on one wheel first, leaving the opposite wheel undisturbed to serve as a reference if there is any doubt about what goes where. - Motoring Reporter