I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard it. “Brake Service…I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous..”
The way that manufacturers sell maintenance has changed over the years and has made life tougher for the dealer and the consumer. Anyone who has ever followed their full maintenance schedule has always done a brake service annually, they just may not know it. Chances are that it was built into the annual service. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and most other traditional imports used to do it that way. Over the last few years however, they’ve broken it out of the package to make the maintenance package seem less expensive. Really, the opposite is true and most dealers charge more for the brake service on it’s own. Why? Because they can!
That said, a brake service is an important part of keeping your brakes in top shape. With the trend towards larger, more open wheels, disc brakes are more exposed to the elements than ever. What this exposure does is allow road grime to build up on the moving parts of your brakes and cause them to get sticky. The pads pads start to stick in the carriers and the caliper sliders begin to stick. This causes a couple of things. The most obvious is that it causes the brake pads to wear unevenly, which means that 1 pad of the set may wear prematurely. By not allowing even pressure, the brake pads do not clean the disc properly, which allows the discs to rust prematurely.
A technician will remove the brake calipers, clean & lubricate the carriers that the pads slide in. While he’s at it, the tech will remove the caliper sliders to clean the sliding surface and apply fresh lubricant. While it’s apart, they may sand any rough edges off the pads which may be causing some noise.
Now you know why your dealer is trying to have you service your brakes. Doing a brake service every year or 24,000 km will extend the life of your brakes by helping them wear evenly and keeping them quiet.