Questions to ask a customer when trying to determine a brake problem…
Taking a methodical approach to the customer’s problem is imperative in making an accurate diagnosis and fixing the problem on the first attempt. There is some fact gathering that should be undertaken. This approach will make for a better brake repair and minimize returns due to an inaccurate diagnosis.
1.) What is the mileage since the last brake job?
2.) How long has it been since the hydraulic system was flushed and filled with new fluid?
3.) Is there uneven wear when comparing the inner and outer pads?
4.) Did the friction material encounter premature wear?
5.) Is there any noise‐related symptoms present?
6.) Any complaints concerning pedal feel, such as sponginess, long pedal stroke, etc.?
7.) Is there any symptoms of pedal pulsation or brake roughness?
8.) How long has the condition been present?
9.) How many kilometers has the vehicle traveled since new?
Having these extra bits of information can make a difference in making an accurate diagnosis on the first attempt, and in making the best parts recommendation to the customer. A technician who does not understand basic brake fundamentals cannot be an effective service provider. A technician/fitter needs to be more than a parts changer.
Diagnosing brake system performance problems requires knowledge of how the components in the entire brake system work together. Brake service is often looked at as a low skill‐level service, but in reality, the brake system is the most important safety feature on the car. It is worth every cent to invest in brake service training for your technicians. If your car does not start it is unfortunate; if your car does not stop it is a disaster. There is no reason not to have all of the information available at the technicians’ fingertips.
The DBA website, for example, is a powerful resource and its online catalogue (also available in hard‐copy) lists part numbers, minimum thickness specifications and other important technical information for over 800 rotors, covering about 96 per cent of all makes and models on the road.
Understanding brake problems avoiding common pitfalls is certain to reduce your comeback rate, increase your productivity and boost your customer satisfaction ratings.
In addition, arming yourself with thorough, solid brake service procedures is bound to prove even more valuable when you encounter those elusive pulsations and brake noises – sometimes masquerading as suspension or body noises – that defy even the most experienced technicians.
Disc Brakes Australia