Brakes use friction to create stopping power. Brake lubricants may seem counter-intuitive, but many of the brake system’s sub-components require it to operate efficiently.
Let’s take a look at which components are likely to use lube.
- Surfaces around the rear of the backing plate
- Any adjustable cables, springs, wheels, bushings, pistons, or fittings
- Areas where non-pad related metal-to-metal contact is evident
- Caliper screws
- Caliper frame
On the other hand, there are some areas where lube should never be applied, including;
- The friction face of the brake pad
- The friction face of the rotor (more about rotors here)
- The inside of any drum housing
In all cases, only dry lubricants should be used, except in cases where rubberized components are involved. In this latter situation, purpose-designed brake chemicals are the only way to get the job done.
Here’s a quick understanding of how to do the work.
- Before applying lube, always mop any loose materials such as dust and dirt off the brake system with a soft cloth.
- Spray brake cleaner on the brake system and mop the system dry with an additional soft cloth.
- Using a file or small grinding tool, remove any rust or other hardened materials from the brake system.
- Once these elements have been removed, again clean the brake system with cleaner and a soft cloth.
- Then, apply lube to your finger and carefully coat the specific area of focus. Be sure that you do not touch or leave any lubrication on any friction point as discussed above.
Now that you know how to work with brake lube, we hope you give the DIY approach a try. There’s no reason not to learn something new and save a few bucks while you are at it.