Oct 27

Identifying and Replacing a Brake Component


The workshop decision process in identifying and replacing a brake component

Daily wear and tear of a vehicle’s brake system components cause specific symptoms. Understanding these symptoms allows you to more effectively identify the problem and recommend the correct component solution. In most cases it is just an obvious replacement of a specific component, such as a brake pad or disc brake rotor. Other cases can be a lot more complex.

Motorists generally only worry about their brakes when alerted by squeaks, squeals, grinding or pulsations and, at that point, many are interested only in the lowest cost solution. If they found out more about the importance of their car’s braking system however, and how the parts interact, they are more likely to be interested in doing the job properly and maximizing their vehicle’s braking capabilities.

It is important to ask a few questions before you recommend a solution that suits the driver’s style and vehicle type. But even clear‐cut pad and rotor replacements can lead to comebacks if you neglect the details or fail to consider the bigger picture. So whether you’re replacing a standard disc rotor or recommending a performance option, some simple rules can help prevent comebacks.

Determine the customer’s driving habits or needs

In order to deliver the best possible brake parts service; you must obtain as much information as possible from the customer. Ask each customer for specifics regarding the braking problems they may be experiencing, and take the time to find out what type of driving they do.

Information about driving habits can help determine what type of disc rotors will maximise brake life and the vehicle’s stopping power. For example, a customer who tows or drives aggressively may require DBA slotted disc rotors, while performance vehicle owners who occasionally take the vehicle on a racetrack should seriously consider a 4000 series performance rotor. Asking these types of questions up front will give you the edge in brake service.

Partial replacement of needed parts

A vehicle brake system is designed so that all components in the system work together to achieve the most effective performance. Brake service procedures based solely on cost and not on performance or longevity can lead to problems. For example, a customer asks you for a set of disc brake pads, at this point you should ask them if they have recently checked the condition of their disc brake rotors? Are the disc rotors worn on or below minimum thickness, is the owner experiencing any brake pedal pulsations and/or steering wheel vibration? These symptoms in most cases point to a problem with the disc brake rotors and a replacement may be required.

When a customer needs a disc rotor replacement, you can then discuss the type of driving they do to ensure that a suitable disc rotor is fitted to suit their driving habits. This approach also applies to brake pads. A premium brake pad is a better match to a performance slotted disc rotor. Use of the right parts. Brake service is highly competitive, and we all want to get the sale and be profitable. There are a lot of other dirt‐cheap brake parts in the market. But be aware of the quality of some of these parts, and make it known to your customers that specifying them is a lottery.

A bargain‐priced rotor or set of pads may not provide the service and performance that your customer is looking for, and you, as a parts professional, should remind the customer of the critical safety aspect of brake components, and that a failure in one of more components can affect the entire braking system. It really can be a life and death decision.

Benefits of DBA Rotors

* Large range in stock now
* All DBA rotors are direct replacement. No modifications to the brake system are required
* Award‐winning quality
* Classy and informative support literature – in print and on‐line
* Enhanced rotors offer a high‐quality, visually exciting product, covering a broad range of price points.


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Disc Brakes Australia