Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s favourite auto service experience. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So, we’re going to talk about a 2005 Toyota Sequoia that had a brake issue. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: It was brought to our shop, the client had some concert about the brakes needing to be replaced. I did drive the vehicle for a while, dropped them off at the airport. Out shop is located close to the airport, so it gives a good opportunity to offer some extra customer service and test drive a vehicle at the same time. Really didn’t notice any issues with the brakes but he was under the impression they needed to be replaced.
Mark: So when you checked the vehicle, what did you find with the brakes?
Bernie: Well, pretty severely worn. Really really rusty, very badly worn pads and rotors, nothing metal on metal which is probably why I didn’t experience anything but they were worn, the pads were worn down quite extremely. There’s a lot of rust on the brakes.
Mark: So is this pretty typical with brakes? What causes all the rust on brakes?
Bernie: Well usually, most of, I mean, naturally the vehicles are out in the, if you’re in a rainy climate or snowy climate, you’ve got a lot of moisture that accumulates on your brakes, so naturally rust will build up on brakes over time. Now this vehicle is from Whistler which is, you experience snow for four to five months of the year and a lot of road salt, so wherever you have a lot of road salt, that’s a lot harder on the braking system of the vehicle. I’ll share a few photos here and you can’t a really good idea what’s going on with the rust wise. Here we go, you looking at the brake rotor? Yeah so, this is the front brake rotor, now you can, normally this is a very shiny piece of metal from where my mouse pointer right out to the edge of the rotor, normally this is a very shiny piece of metal. As you can see, the only shiny bits of metal are about half the rotor in the middle, and the outer edge is rusty and the inner edge is rusty as well. So this is basically just from cycling with the road salt and eventually it keeps attacking the metal and it’s very rusty. Of course, once you have that, there is less area for the brakes to apply. Here’s a close up again, you can see there’s a whole edge of the brake pad that’s not applying against any metal, it’s just applying against flaky rust which definitely affects your braking ability. Another view we have here, this is the brake caliper, now this part we replaced as well and along with the brake pads. You can see that this part of the brake pad here, where my mouse pointer is, this is the actual pad material, the wear out part of the material and this piece is the backing plate. So when you want, so once you wear down to the backing plate you get the grinding sound which is referred to metal on metal brakes. You don’t want to go that, definitely never want to go that far. You can see on this brake pad, it’s almost worn down to metal on metal, extremely thin and also worn on an angle and you may ask, well why would the brake pads be different? All primarily due to the caliper brake pistons. These are the pistons here, these pistons are obviously sticking, especially this one more than the other because it’s more wear in this area. So the caliper pistons are sticking again it’s another hazard of living in salty climates. Calipers get attacked a lot more as well. This is a different view of the brake pads, looking from the top side, again you can see the pad wear extremely different from side to side.
Mark: So in effect, is one side of those calipers actually doing the work and the other is is not?
Bernie: Well, they’re both working but one is doing a lot more than the other. Once you get uneven pad wear like that, you’ve got one side that’s pushing harder than the other and especially if you have one side of the vehicle like say the right side caliper is seized and the left side is not, then you get a severe brake pull and you hit the brakes. That wasn’t noticeable on the drive I took, you know but driving down a mountain highway road, going high speed you might, you would probably have noticed a difference. The brakes will certainly be a lot better after we replace them because you’ve got a lot more surface area, everything is moving freely so you get much better brake activation.
Mark: So how often do calipers need replacement?
Bernie: It really varies from vehicle to vehicle. There are some shops that I think it’s their belief system that you should change the calipers every time you do the pads and rotors and you know, there is some merit in theory to doing that because you know these other parts, there’s rubber seals and the calipers they’re heating up and cooling down and they don’t have the same effectiveness as they would have, but normally what we do is we to it on a case by case basis. If there’s any evidence of problems like this, the calipers get replaced. If the seals are torn, the calipers get replaced. Generally once you get over ten years old, there’s certainly much more need to replace calipers just from the age of the vehicle. But again, if you’re getting into a lot of fancy imported vehicles, the calipers can be insanely expensive, you know a thousand dollars a piece and there’s really not reason to change those parts just because you’re changing the brake pads. It’s something you analyze every time you do a brake job and see what needs to be done.
Mark: So I am assuming once you change all those parts, it looks almost like it’s all brand new then?
Bernie: Yes, I don’t have an after photo but everything is shiny and new and it looks really nice.
Mark: The customer is happy with their stop on a dime, give you nine cents change Toyota Sequoia
Bernie: Exactly, exactly and I mean it does look great and of course being in the climate it’s in, given in a year from now it’ll probably look a little rustier but it takes a few years in this climate for it to, and that climate up at Whistler for the brakes to look like that, but it you live somewhere where there’s road salt six or eight months of the year, every couple of years your brakes could actually wear out at this kind of rate.
Mark: Any last thoughts on the Toyota Sequoia?
Bernie: Great vehicle. It’s a full size SUV, reliable, it’s Toyota, it’s awesome.
Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for a service on your Toyota or your Sequoia in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 in Vancouver or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Remember they are 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark.