Brake Rotor protectant

Friend of mine, has a Buick station wagon, 1993.

Last time he did front brakes and rotors, he neglected to take the grease or wax or whatever off the rotors.

We aren't sure, but maybe that was part of why he needed brake pads and rotors again so soon. Does anyone know?

As he was about to put the rotor on, I handed him some spray solvent (carb cleaner; it's what I had). And paper towels, he didn't know about degreasing the rotors. I'd been told to degrease them, by several mechanics I know.

Does it make a big difference? Does leaving the grease on contaminate the pads, and make the pads wear faster?

Reply to
Stormin Mormon
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No. It just burns off the first few applications. No long-term effects.

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The lining inside the rubber brake hoses that run from the frame to the caliper deteriorate and prevent the brakes from releasing completely... so the pads "drag" on the rotor and wear out very fast. The lines look fine on the outside, but the inner lining separates from the casing and forms a "check valve" that holds a little bit of pressure on the pads.

Reply to
David Courtney

Rubbers seals on the caliper pistons can sieze and get stuck. Then the pads drag ALL the time. If you've got grease on the rotors, you just won't get good braking with the residue it leaves after it burns off. If anything, the pads won't wear as much. With a car that old, probably replacing hoses and calipers along with the pads and rotors would be a good thing. It'd be unusual if the hoses didn't have cracks in them if they're still OEM. First thing I change out on a used vehicle, after the engine oil. Pumping out all the sludge in the brake lines comes after. I've rebuilt calipers that have had stuck pistons, the rebuild kit ran about half the cost of a rebuilt caliper and I STILL had a piston that stuck. Rebuilts usually ran about $20-30 for the vehicles I've had. Pads make a difference, too. I've used them all, the best I've found has been a ceramic pad. Gives good braking and pretty decent life. It's about the most like the old asbestos-filled jobbies, more expensive, of course. I never got more than a year or two out of cheap pads.

Carb cleaner may be better than nothing, but most of those have some residue. If you've got to use something other than brake cleaner, acetone or VM&P naptha will do. There's ALWAYS some sort of preservative on the machined surfaces of drums and rotors or they'd rust up sitting on the shelf.


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I like the ones with the metal plating on them instead of the grease. The greased ones ALWAYS get a wash with brake-kleen just before final assembly - and a final clean-up after if I leave any greasy paw prints on them. Deteriorated caliper seals are much more common than collapsed lines. (which DO occur but I've seen relatively few over the years - particularly compared to caliper problems) ANY pitting on chromed pistons means throw them away - and phenolic or composite pistons are TROUBLE - virtually every time.

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