It wasn’t too long ago that my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and I worked on the brakes on my car. Recently, I began to hear grinding on one of the back brakes. It was just the one and there was no indication that the pads were going before it began grinding.
If you are familiar with the brake pads, they have a little indicator thingy that when your pads are getting low, they begin to squeal a bit. My brakes never did that. The one side just started grinding – and bad.
The day I noticed it, I pulled into work and could see that the pad was tearing a huge gouge right in the middle of the rotor. The other side was fine. I couldn’t really figure out what happened. My brother-in-law and father-in-law thought I might have gotten a set of bad pads and one cracked. By the time we got a day to work on them, that pad had tore up the entire rotor on that side.
They had gotten so loud that any time I stopped at a drive thru for coffee, the workers looked at me and the back end of my car as I drove up to the window. As I drove away, the watched as well, probably hoping to see sparks flying from the back wheels or something!
After calling around and getting estimates, I picked up the parts and we were blessed to have a nice day to work on them. My brother-in-law said it would be a “piece of cake” and the whole job should take less than an hour. We figured we’d jack up both ends at the same time and he could do one side while I did the other. Our time saving idea really didn’t work.
We forgot about one of the bolts that happened to be in a really tight place on the brake shoe. The nut sits in such a way that you can barely get a wrench in there to loosen or tighten it. The longest part of the job was getting to that particular nut. We had to painstakingly turn this nut little by little (maybe 1/8 turns at a time) until we could loosen them by hand. What a pain!
Once we got the old rotor off and the pads on back on the shoe, everything came together quickly. That is until we had to tighten that one bolt/nut again. I swear that was tedious! It took so much time.
Finally we got everything set and we put the tires back on. My father-in-law has a socket for the lug nuts. He also has a breaker bar which you put over the socket to tighten or loosen the nuts. Basically, the end of the socket goes into the hollow tube of the breaker bar. His is square, but this gives you a sort of idea as to what I am talking about:
So the tire is now on the ground and I have this socket in the pipe. I am tugging on all the lug nuts to be sure they are secure. I must not have had the socket one one of the nuts, because as I tugged on it, the bar slipped off the socket and because I was bent over, the thing came up and conked me on the forehead! The only thing missing was the “pipe konk” sound effect used in a Three Stooges film! I saw stars for a few, but recovered quickly.
The goose egg had gone down a lot by the time I took a picture of it. You can still see it and it still hurts like a bugger!!
I’m happy to say that despite the comedy interlude, the brakes are working fine. Thanks to my father-in-law and brother-in-law for their help once again!
3 thoughts on “Brakes – Broke!”
ow! and glad you and your brakes are okay –
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I’m going to change my back brakes soon lol…they are not making a loud noise but I’m noticing brake dust. on the hubcaps.
The front breaks are easy….the back ones are not.
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well done! I’ve had brakes that got bad before they squealed too. Not a job I’d look to take on again though- my brother in law, who is good with cars, and I put new brakes on a minivan my sweetie and I had a few years back. Was a real pain in the .. , took about 5 hours, and then when I went to give them a try and ginergly backed out of the driveway, the van rolled and rolled and smacked straight into a bricked mailbox across the road, brakes doing nothing! The neighbor was OK, his mailbox was scratched at worse but laughed at us and said ‘you didn’t bleed the system did you?’