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Brake Pad Warning.

sir john

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Forgive me if this is obvious but i wouldnt forgive myself if someone had an accident and i hadnt passed this experience on.

Bought my Lexus 14 months ago. Old MOTs show how little use it has had in recent years. some years it has done less than a few hundred miles.

MOT Feb 2003 148,325 miles.

MOT July 2004 148,366 miles

MOT Sept 2005 149,750 miles

MOT Sept 2006 151,000 miles

MOT Jan 2008 151,255 miles

MOT Aug 2008 153,886 miles. this is when i bought it and demanded a 12 months MOT from non franchised dealer.

Its since done 19k miles.

Why is this of interest to anyone but me??

Today i replaced the rear brake pads.

This is what i found when i removed the old pads.

On all 4 pads, the friction material had parted company with the steel back plate. On one of them, the friction material had broken in 2 and 1 half had migrated and jammed between caliper and disk.

The reason for all the friction material coming loose was obvious. The pads were VERY old. The metal back plates had rusted so badly that the rust had prised the components apart. Im not talking about a bit of surfice rust here. We are talking deep, corrosive shailing rust that you only see on VERY old metal. Ive changed many pads since my first car in 1983 but ive never seen brake pads like this.

These pads must have been on the car for well over 10 years. If the car had been driven more over the last few years they would have worn out and been replaced years ago. Well before they could have rusted apart.

My warning to everyone with a car that hasnt been used a lot over the years is to change your brake pads frequently. Not just when they wear thin. After all, they are the only thing that stops you hitting the car in front at ???mph.

Again, forgive me if this is a bit of a bore.

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Sounds like they've been subjected to some sort of abuse by the previous owner to me. Pads don't just fall apart, especially not genuine onea. They may have been over heated, cause by a seized piston possibly. Exposed to salt water or maybe even driven lots on salted roads in winter.

Interesting to see what others think.

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I've never seen pads as bad as you describe, even on a car which stood (admittedy, indoors) for 7 years. But the advice is good, especially on a car you've just recently bought: Check important stuff like brake line corrosion, brake pad wear/corrosion, disk wear/cracking, caliper condition, etc. It's not rocket science; if you can't see the pipes or pads behind the scabs of rust, get 'em fixed!

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Thanks for taking the time to look at the posting.

E910. Ive never seen rust like this on a pads before either. Hence the warning. I dont think that its down to salt or salty road. Or abuse and siezed piston. The car is rust free and looking from underneath you wouldnt think it was 5 years old never mind 16. The pistons were fine and pushed back into the caliper very easily. BTW i have lived 50 yards from the sea for the last 15 years and its not uncommon for us to have to drive through deep fresh/salt water in teh winter. But never had pads like this before.

Steve. The car passed its MOT in Aug 09 @ 168k miles.

The Service book has 15 Lexus stamps up to 103k in Jan 1997.

From then on it has hand written services. No stamp, just a squiggle. The dates and mileage of these "services" dont match the MOTs. If the MOTs are correct, and they will be, these services didnt take place.

I did the oil and filters last year and its due for the full works over christmas. (i should have checked the pads last year)

My assuption was that the warning light would tell me when the pads were Knackered. But a warning light cannot detect rust in the pads back plates. Thats my point. I bought an old car that hadnt done enough miles in the last 10 years to wear out the pads, so they got so old they rusted apart.

If you think about it, its a common story for old luxury cars. A nice old boy buys his dream in retirement and dosent use it. Result; things go way passed their sell by date before they wear out.

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So the big question is why the MOT did not pick it up in August 2009? Assuming the services are "bogus" then you must be able to rely on the MOT, I would have thought maybe the efficiency test and comparison between sides would have spotted something amiss. If not then it's up to the owner to make sure it's reliabaly serviced / checked over as a car ages. Your warning then should be understood by owners.

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Why indeed did the MOT in Aug 09 not pick this up? I also found out i have both rear springs broken at the top. That wasnt spotted either and the car doesnt sit or ride any different to last year.

I agree though, that it is my responsability to insure the vehicles is fit for the road. Im not trying to pass the buck. Just warn others with similar cars, not to rely on the warning light as i did. Check then now.

The car is now grounded until the springs are fixed. My decission.

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quote name='steve2006' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:49 PM' post='701552']

It may be worth, while you have the rear brakes apart, to remove the discs and check the parking brake shoes also.

Like to see the old pads any chance of a picture?

How do i get pickies on the posting. I have a camera phone and i can get them on the PC. Will put them up if you can tell me how.

Just had a thought. Lets see if this works. Should be my 2nd favourite thing (after the Lexus)


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