What is included in a complete brake job
A complete brake job should restore the vehicle's brake
system and braking performance to good-as-new condition.
Anything less would be an incomplete brake job.
Brake components that should be replaced will obviously
depend upon the age, mileage and wear. There is no pat
answer as to which items need replacing and which ones
don't. It's a judgement call.
A complete brake job should begin with a thorough inspection
of the entire brake system; lining condition, rotors and
drums, calipers and wheel cylinders, brake hardware, hoses,
lines, and master cylinder.
Any hoses that are found to be age cracked, chaffed,
swollen, or leaking must be replaced. Make sure the
replacement hose has the same type of end fittings
(double-flared or ISO) as the original. Don't intermix
Steel lines that are leaking, kinked, badly corroded, or
damaged must also be replaced. For steel brake lines, use
only approved steel tubing with double-flared or ISO flare
A leaking caliper or wheel cylinder needs to be rebuilt or
replaced. The same applies to a caliper that is frozen (look
for uneven pad wear), damaged or badly corroded.
Leaks at the master cylinder or a brake pedal that gradually
sinks to the floor tells you that the master cylinder needs
The rotors and drums need to be inspected for wear, heat
cracks, warpage, or other damage. Unless they are in perfect
condition, they should always be resurfaced before new
linings are installed. If worn too thin, replace them.
Rust, heat, and age have a detrimental effect on many
hardware components. It's a good idea to replace some of
these parts when the brakes are relined. On disc brakes, new
mounting pins and bushings are recommended for
floating-style calipers. High temperature synthetic or
silicone brake grease (never ordinary chassis grease) should
be used to lubricate caliper pins and caliper contact
On drum brakes. shoe retaining clips and return springs
should be replaced. Self-adjusters should be replaced if
they are corroded or frozen. Use brake grease to lubricate
self-adjusters and raised points on brake backing plates
where shoes make contact.
Wheel bearings should be part of a complete brake job on
most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive
cars. Unless bearings are sealed, they need to be cleaned,
inspected, repacked with wheel bearing grease (new grease
seals are a must), and properly adjusted.
As a rule, tapered roller bearings are not preloaded. Finger
tight is usually recommended. Ball wheel bearings usually
As a final step, old brake fluid should always be replaced
with fresh fluid.
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