CARspec offers a no charge brake inspections, but many guest are left wondering what a proper brake inspection includes. Often there are two types of brake inspection – visual and complete. A visual inspection is performed with the wheels still on the car – the technician will use a flashlight and a mirror to inspect brake pad life and for obvious leaks from the lines. A complete brake inspection includes removal of the wheels, checking of the calipers for correct movement, rotor inspection, pad inspection and an operational road check. If you’re not up to speed on the terminology of disc brakes, we’ve got that covered.
A visual inspection usually misses things like seized calipers, sticking slide pins, or excessively rusty rotors. Because of this CARspec only performs complete brake inspections – they take more time but are more thorough.
Here’s an example brake inspection of the front brakes of a 2011 Toyota Prius. To start, here’s the brakes with the wheels off:
On the surface the brakes appear relatively healthy – the pad depth is well above the minimum – but the caliper requires a lot of effort to move when checked. The technician also noted the rotors had a decent inner rust line as well as corrosion buildup on the fitment kit, all things a simple visual inspection may have missed (leading to more expensive repairs down the road). All of these warrant minor maintenance now vs. major repair later.
The cause is slide pins in need of lubrication:
Above the caliper bracket/pads has been removed and the slides pulled out (with lots of effort) to show the fix for sticking slide pins: silicone grease. The technician applies a dab on each and rotates them into the bore to evenly distribute the silicone. Often caliper replacement is required but in this case only a greasing was needed.
The rust ridge was minor enough that it hadn’t put any excessive grooves into the pads. The technician cleaned the fitment kits while the brakes were apart as part of the service (circled before cleaning):
Inspecting the rust ridge on the rotors showed nothing that needed to be immediately addressed, but the owner was alerted to the potential for a brake pulsation in the future (circled):
CARspec offers a complete brake inspection for any Toyota, Lexus or Scion owner at no charge and offers minor brake service like that above at an affordable rate. As Minneapolis’s independent Toyota and Lexus specialist we also stock most late model Toyota and Lexus genuine disc brake replacement pads, shims, fitment kits and rotors to quickly service any issues that may be discovered. If you’d like a courtesy brake inspection on your Toyota, Lexus or Scion give us a call at (952)426-4798 today!