Contaminated Brake Pads

What Is The Best Way To Clean A Contaminated Brake Pads?

Contaminated Brake PadsContaminated brake pads are making howling noises and have to squeeze extra hard. Two figure breaking and still not even getting the same stopping power as one figure breaking on good pads – so all the signs of contamination. Remove pads and spray with liberal amounts of brake cleaner and wipe clean with a lint free fresh cloth.

Contaminated brake pads, Place pads in the oven on max heat for about 20 minutes.Remove pads and using a pair of tongs hold them over a burning flame for 30 seconds each. Allow to cool and then sand gently to remove any glaze and Clean rotors with brake cleaner and clean lint-free cloth.The best way to decontaminate pads is by heating them, I place them on an electric hob, once they stop smoking they’re done, finish with (dry) wet n dry and re-bed them.

Brake Pad Contamination

Contamination always has negative connotations. And, for brake pads, it has dual meanings. First, it can mean a contaminated friction surface that alters friction levels and performance. Second, it can mean contamination to the environment from brake dust.

Friction and Dust

Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of elements sliding against each other. In the case of cars and trucks, it is the brake pads pushing against a rotor that changes kinetic energy into heat. If you could mount a microscope on a brake pad, you would see bits and pieces of the pad and rotor breaking away from their surfaces during braking. As this is happening, the heat is physically and chemically changing the exposed friction material, and bits and pieces are being torn or sheared from the rotor and pad.

The Secret Sauce of Friction

How the components in the friction material shear, break and interact during braking can determine a pad’s friction level, noise and wear characteristic. A brake pad may require up to 20 different raw materials. Some raw components are abrasive, while other components lubricate. Some`components, like structural fibers and resins, hold the pad together, while other components tune the friction levels through various temperature ranges. See more here.

Between pad changes, I’ve always cleaned the discs with disc brake cleaner rubbed over them with a cloth and the discs are new although strangely the problems seemed to start around then from memory.

Maintenance of the braking system

The braking system is one of the main safety elements active in any vehicle. Of its various components, the materials that cause friction – brake discs and brake pads – need to be periodically maintained and replaced, as they are subject to wear.

To ensure that the braking system is always in perfect working order, both brake pads and brake discs must be maintained in the best possible condition. Indeed, each time the vehicle brakes, the friction generated causes the material used in both the brake pads and the brake discs to become worn.

To avoid compromising the working order of the braking system, when a certain level of wear has been reached, the brake discs and brake pads must be replaced.

The minimum thickness of the braking band (Min TH) is indicated on the brake discs, while the brake pads usually feature a wear indicator that signals when the pads need to be replaced. Check full article here.

A Contaminated Brake Pads Is Annoying

Normally contamination means throwing the pads away. If you don’t have this option, you can either leave them as they are, with reduced braking capability, or you can try and clean them. Be aware that the cleaning process may not help, and may crack the pads, rendering them useless. Brakes are known to suffer from small leaks that can leave you with oil on the discs – using mineral oil (they’ll tell you) can cause this as it doesn’t play nicely with their seals.

If you want to clean the pads and rotors, you need to burn the contaminants off. Contamination can come from leaking hydraulic brake lines on the bike, from sloppy brake bleeding, poor maintenance procedures (over-spraying oil on your chain), or from outside sources such as riding through a puddle that has an oil film on it. Even handling the pads with greasy fingers can lead to contamination, call us here: (951) 245-8115.

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