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Rock Bridge Automotive Repair

Disc Brake Repairs In Gallatin TN

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Quality Disc Brake Repairs with The Best Prices In Gallatin!
(We will install new brake rotors and high quality brake pads for $240.00)

Brembo disc brake assembly

     Disc brake repairs are a classic example of why people should have their vehicles repaired by trained, certified automotive technicians. People look at the disc brake assembly and say, "I can fix those, I don't have to pay a mechanic for that".

     This is far from the truth. Almost 90% of all disc brake services are done incorrectly. You hear clients say all the time, "The first set of brakes lasted many years, every set after that only lasted a year". Here are the actual numbers that you should see from a set of properly installed disc brakes: Front disc brakes should normally last about 60,000 miles. Rear disc brakes should give you about 90,000 miles of service. If you aren't getting that kind of mileage from your brakes and you don't drive like an idiot, your brakes probably were not installed correctly.

The Difference Between Good Disc Brake Repairs And Great Disc Brake Repairs Is In The Details

     disc brakes assembled correctlyThe single biggest problem with disc brake repairs is technicians not being properly trained, and as such, not doing the brake job correctly. I have seen hundreds technicians who learned from someone who was self taught. These technicians were just repeating the bad training that they had received. Many of them aren't bad technicians. They just don't take brake repairs nearly as seriously as they should.

     I have seen many students that paid to go to local auto repair schools and then were taught by someone with no formal training in automotive repair! This really makes me mad because these technicians came to me while still paying off their student loans!

     Here is a small list of common mistakes that technicians aren't trained to avoid:

  1. Use of brake cleaner on rubber items
  2. Use of the wrong lubricants
  3. Use of no lubricant at all
  4. Lack of cleaning
  5. Use of a large hammer during your brake job!
  6. Lack of understanding how the system works
  7. Use of the wrong equipment to depress the brake caliper piston
  8. Lack of understanding the proper orientation of the brake pads
  9. Failure to properly suspend the brake caliper during brake services (destroying the brake hose during the service),
  10. Not understanding the brake proportioning system,
  11. Many other small things that could be avoided with proper training.

      All of these mistakes could be avoided with proper training and quality control by the shop owner or Service Manager. The seriousness of brake system repairs should never be taken for granted no matter how many of them that we do. ALL of our clients are equally important. When you perform braking system repairs you have your clients lives in your hands.

Training, Training, More Training, and Certification

     I truly believe that all automotive technicians should be formerly trained for whatever automotive services that they are performing. Of course brake repair would be the most important of those. (I have seen some very scary suspension repairs as well). I can't, (or won't) comment on other repair shops in the area who perform brake repairs without having properly trained technicians to do the repairs. Any technician that works for me will be properly trained for proper brake repair and must seek and pass certification tests for automotive brake repair.

lubricated brake caliper bracket     Here are a few pictures of a proper brake job that I did myself recently. This brake job took about an hour even with me taking pictures. This is what is done on every disc brake repair in our shop. We take these exact same steps when we repair your car or truck.

     The first picture is the disc brake caliper bracket with the new anti-rattle clips installed. The clips have been lubricated with Permatex Ceramic high temperature grease. This stuff is great. You can heat it with a torch and it won't disappear. We always use the right grease for every brake repair. Different disc brake systems require different lubricants. The same mechanics that ell you that these extra steps are unnecessary are the same ones that blame the parts when the brakes fail prematurely.

High Quality Parts For High Quality Repairs

the brake pads installed in the caliper     The second picture is a set of high quality brake pads installed into the properly lubricated disc brake caliper bracket. Though we install only high quality disc brake pads, each brake pad is thoroughly inspected before we install it. Each brake pad must slide easily back and forth in the caliper bracket. If it doesn't slide correctly it is removed and filed carefully, or it is replaced.

The Student Is The Teacher!

     lubricated brake caliper bracket with brake pads installedThe third picture is sort of funny. My senior technician insisted that I put this picture in instead of the corrected one. If you look carefully you will see that I have installed the wrong inside pad for the driver's side of this vehicle. This pad belongs on the other side of the car! I agreed with him and put this picture in, (Even though I did correct the mistake before the brakes were assembled). This picture was actually put in as an example that I can make mistakes as well. My head mechanic immediately snapped this picture when he saw that the wrong brake pad is installed on the inside pad. (I was on the phone at the time). The little clip at the top of the pad is the squeal clip. it should always face the leading edge of the disc brake pad during forward rotation, (it belongs on the bottom of the brake pad in this case as the left side brake rotor travels counter-clockwise).

     properly lubricated disc brake caliper slide pinThe fourth picture is of the lubricated brake slide pins. The brake brake slide pins are lubricated with a different brake grease from Permatex. This grease has a much lower melting temperature than the purple grease.

     We want this grease to change form and become thinner during normal operation. This allows the brake caliper to slide easily and to back off the brake pads when they are not in use. If you look carefully at the caliper pin boots you will see that they look like small springs. The thinner grease applied to the thoroughly cleaned pins allows these spring bellows to back the pads off of the brake rotor when not in use. This greatly increases disc brake pad life and the life of the disc brake rotors as well.

dual piston caliper press     The next picture speaks towards having the correct tools to actually perform the brake repairs. This is a picture of a proper dual piston caliper press. I see technicians every day using c-clamps to depress brake caliper pistons. The automotive brake caliper uses very small o-rings inside of the brake caliper cylinder. You and anyone else that rides in your vehicle are trusting your lives to these small o-rings. By compressing the brake caliper pistons with the wrong tool you are easily able to distort the disc brake caliper piston o-ring.

     Proper disc brake repair tools have been sold for a very reasonable price since the invention of disc brakes. They are sold at almost every store that sells disc brakes. The proper tool to compress the disc brake caliper piston cost less than ten dollars. (For an economical version of the tool). Not having the correct tool while you charge a client for disc brake repairs is something that there is no excuse for.

     As I said before, this entire disc brake repair took less than an hour. The customer actually waited while we did the work. You don't have to know everything that I have shown on this page about disc brake repairs, but your mechanic damn well better know this stuff! If he or sh doesn't know what they are doing, you might be the one who suffers a brake failure. If you want good, straight-forward disc brake repairs at a great cost in the Gallatin, Tennessee area, you should bring your disc brake repair issues to Rock Bridge Automotive Service.

Assembled disc brakes