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TECHNICAL TIPS

DISC BRAKE TROUBLE
TRACER CHART

Do you notice your brakes grinding, brake noise or squeaking brake problemsSqueaky brakes can be an indicator of brake wear and indicate you may need a brake replacement. If you have questions about brake wear, use this handy brake pad replacement indicator to learn about worn or damaged pads. 

Take a look at the Wagner Trouble Chaser Chart to help identify disc brake problems and their causes, effects and solutions.

Normal Appearance

APPEARANCE

  • Normal use
  • Recommend periodic maintenance

Cracked Pads

APPEARANCE

  • Small cracks in center of pad

CAUSE

  • Stress cracks caused by pads flexing
  • Pads not free to slide in caliper

EFFECT

  • Piston bends in back plate

SOLUTION

  • Lubricate caliper slides and guide pins
  • Replace pads

Uneven Wear Within a Set


APPEARANCE

  • Uneven wear on pad surface

CAUSE

  • Irregularly worn brake disc (wear lip)

EFFECT

  • Squeal and brake pedal pulsation
  • Premature pad wear

SOLUTION

  • Replace rotors and pads

UNEVEN WEAR

 

APPEARANCE

  • Uneven wear on pad surface

CAUSE

  • Irregularly worn brake disc (wear lip)

EFFECT

  • Squeal and brake pedal pulsation
  • Premature pad wear

SOLUTION

  • Replace rotors and pads

METAL RESIDUE

 

APPEARANCE

  • Metal residue on friction surface

CAUSE

  • Water leakage, “quenching” of the rotor causes rotor fragments to break away, transferring them to the friction material
  • Particularly noticeable if heavy braking on poorly bedded rotors

EFFECT

  • Has no detrimental effect on braking performance
  • May cause rotor damage or brake squeal

SOLUTION

  • In extreme instances, replace rotors and pads

ASHING


APPEARANCE

  • Partially charred friction material (whitish outer edges)

CAUSE

  • Prolonged excessive pad temperature due to intensive use or dragging

EFFECT

  • Reduction in initial braking efficiency
  • Excessive material deterioration
  • Material becomes brittle, chips and cracks
  • Excessive abnormal wear

SOLUTION

  • Providing the damage is not excessive, pads can be used and will be effective under normal use

 


GLAZING

APPEARANCE

  • Pad friction surface “glazed”

CAUSE

  • High intermittent pad temperature for short durations

EFFECT

  • Temporary reduction in braking performance

SOLUTION

  • Can be remedied by “normal” use

BACKPLATE DAMAGE

APPEARANCE

  • Damaged backplate

CAUSE

  • Incorrect assembly
  • Excessive force used during installation

EFFECT

  • Reduced braking efficiency, irregular, wear, noise and judder
  • In extreme instances, products will not fit in the caliper

SOLUTION

  • Replace Pads

WORN OUT PADS

APPEARANCE

  • Friction material completely worn out

CAUSE

  • No periodic control of pad wear

EFFECT

  • Vehicle may pull to one side
  • Damage to rotor
  • High squeal and noise

SOLUTION

  • Replace pads
 

SURFACE CONTAMINATION

APPEARANCE

  • Friction material contaminated with oil, grease or brake fluid

CAUSE

  • Spillage during maintenance

EFFECT

  • Vehicle may pull to one side
  • Reduction in braking performance

SOLUTION

  • Replace pads

TAPERED PADS

APPEARANCE

  • Uneven wear, tapered pads

CAUSE

  • Distorted caliper
  • Caliper slides sticking
  • Piston sticking
  • Excessive caliper clearance

EFFECT

  • Premature pad wear
  • Uneven braking pressure
  • Noise and squeal

SOLUTION

  • Replace pads
  • Service or replace calipers
  • Replace with new loaded calipers

Think it may be time to replace your brakes? Be sure to see a professional to determine when to change brake pads and components.

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