Mark: Hi, Mark Bossert at Top Local Rankings in Vancouver. We’re here talking with Bernie Pawlik, award winning owner of Pawlik Automotive. They’ve been voted the best auto repair in Vancouver eleven times in a row and tonight we’re going to talk about what makes a quality brake repair. Gee, that seems like a real good place to start. Bernie, what makes a quality brake repair?
Bernie: Well, the first thing Mark is a thorough inspection of all the brake components and the second is using quality parts. There are many grades of brake parts available from low to high price. At the very minimum it’s important to use original equipment quality or better. The next part of the equation is in the labour, taking the time to do the job right and this involves thoroughly cleaning all pads and caliper sliders and cleaning and repacking wheel bearings where applicable. At our shop we’ll sand blast rust corrosion off the pad sliders and lube all the contact points, wash and repack wheel bearings where required. Many shops offer quick and cheap brake jobs but they don’t take the time to clean and service these critical areas and what will happen is the savings will be lost as your brakes wear out quicker.
Mark: So, I know you’re real busy, you guys are hopping busy right now and the phone’s ringing. How often do brakes need replacement?
Bernie: Well this varies greatly from vehicle to vehicle. I’ve seen brakes on some new vehicles wear out as quickly as twenty thousand kilometers, but some brakes will last a long time, I’ve seen others that last a hundred to two hundred thousand kilometers. To get this kind of life it really depends on the vehicle and it requires a few brake services along the way to kind of help them last for that amount of time.
Mark: So some shops charge for a brake inspection and some don’t. What’s the difference there?
Bernie: It really depends on the business model at the shop setup. Some will do free brake inspections hoping to sell some brake work where as others, you know, at our shop we do charge for an inspection. We look at it as we’re just looking at the vehicle to see whether it needs work or not and inspecting the brake system, measuring it out, making sure everything is in good order or whether it needs work. There’s pros and cons to both, obviously free is good but on the downside, is the shop being fully honest with you, I mean, the way they are getting paid to do the work is by finding some brake work to do so if they don’t find anything well the job is out the door with no pay. Now there are some shops to be perfectly honest that will do that and that builds good will but I think a lot of places don’t and they’ll often over sell a lot of parts. I’ve seen numerous estimates for brake work in from shops that they suggest a lot parts that don’t need to be replaced as well as put a high pressure on the customer – do it now, do it now, it needs to be done now, so we don’t do that kind of thing. We’re paid to do the inspection. We’ve no agenda as to whether we need to do the brakes or not, we’re just there to provide the information as to what the condition your brakes are.
Mark: So, what kind of tips would you have for me to maximize the life of my brakes?
Bernie: Well, there’s a few. First have your brakes inspected on an annual basis and have any repairs or services performed as needed. Second if you have a standard transmission vehicle it’s good to gear down and use your engine for braking. This can make your brakes last considerably longer and most standard transmission vehicles the brakes do last a lot longer than an automatic. It’s just less drag on the brakes. Also pumping your brakes is hugely important especially if you’re going down hills, pump the brakes. Brakes work by dissipating heat and if you keep the brakes held on they get very hot so pumping the brakes let them cool down, even if you pump them rapidly they cool down quite quickly and it helps preserve the life of the pads and the rotors. The other thing too is when drive brake early, don’t just come flying up to a stop sign and pound on the brakes. That wears them out really fast. Save your hard stops for emergencies. That’s basically it.
Mark: Right, is there anything other things that you would like to add, just kind of at the end here, Bernie?
Bernie: I think that just about covers it; nothing more to say. We’ll do another talk and get more in-depth on brakes.
Mark: Awesome. So we’ve been talking with Bernie Pawlik at Pawlik Automotive.com. You can reach them at 604-327-7112. As you’ve just heard, there’s lots of folks calling them, they’re smoking busy. But get in there, get your brakes looked after. Pawlik Automotive.com – 604-327-7112. We’ll talk to you next week.
Bernie: Thanks Mark. Talk to you then.
Quality Brake Repairs