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Automechanika Frankfurt 2014 Wrap Up: Photo Gallery

Aftermarket News Managing Editor Mark Phillips represented the Babcox Media team at Automechanika Frankfurt 2014. You can catch up on a lot of last week's news from the show at Aftermarket News or the Counterman Twitter account or just take a look...

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Auto Care Marketing: Price Sensitive vs. Fear Sensitive

For 2014, I changed my health care insurance from a traditional plan to a health savings account (HSA). Basically, the first $2,500 (pre-tax) of medical expenses are on me. I was confused at first, but soon found that it did have some entertainment...

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Work Smarter With Procedures, Measurement And Accountability

You’re working harder and faster today to stay ahead of the competition and boost profitability in a challenging business environment. You’re providing the highest quality repairs and top-notch customer service so that your shop’s car count...

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Audi: Vibrates at Idle

Complaint The customer says that the check engine light is on and that the vehicle vibrates at idle. Cause The customer’s complaint is confirmed, with the vehicle vibrating at idle, but the vibration was not felt at high speeds. A scan tool found...

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Step-by-Step Lexus Fuel Pump Replacement

We will use a third-generation 2006 Lexus LS430 as our case study for this fuel pump assembly replacement. First, discharge the fuel system pressure, disconnect the negative battery terminal and drain the fuel. Be sure to remove the rear seat cushion...

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Nissan: Squeak From Fuel Pump

Customer may report a squeak noise that is: • Coming from inside the vehicle; • Happens after driving for 30 minutes; • Is coming from under the vehicle or from the left rear area of the vehicle. If you confirm that a “squeak” noise...

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Nissan Maxima Brake Job Tips

Called the four-door sports car by Nissan, the 2004-2008 Maxima brake system is easy to service with very few complaints of brake noise or pulsation. The system used the same brake pads, rotors and calipers on all models. There were some changes in...

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Get Inside the Mind of a Modern Transmission

The transmission game has changed. Solenoids, sensors and computers have replaced vacuum lines, governors and kick down cables on modern automatic transmissions. The tools have also changed: Scan tools, scopes and meters have replaced pressure and...

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Saturn: Hesitation Between 35-50 mph

Condition Some customers may comment on a flat spot or hesitation between 35-50 mph (56-80 km/h) speed range. Cause The existing transmission calibration is programmed to maximize fuel economy and requires a greater throttle input than some customers...

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Midtronics Launches Informational Microsite

  Midtronics, Inc. has launched an informational microsite — or mini website — to provide customers with detailed information about the company’s newest diagnostic platform — the DSS-7000 Battery Service Diagnostic System. The microsite...

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German Tool Specialist KC Tool Announces Addition of Gedore Tools

As of August 1 KC Tool became the first certified reseller of Gedore Tools in the United States already adding more than 2,500 Gedore tools to its selection of German made tools. KC Tool plans to add an additional 6,000 Gedore Tools over the next few...

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United Stationers Expands Into Auto Aftermarket

United Stationers announced Sept. 11 that its wholly owned subsidiary, United Stationers Supply Co., signed an agreement to acquire MEDCO, a U.S. wholesaler of automotive aftermarket tools and supplies, and its affiliates including G2S Equipment de Fabrication...

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Home Cooling How Long Should a Brake Job Last?

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Every technician knows it’s impossible to estimate how long a set of brake pads will last. But, due to changing ownership cycles, your customers are developing new expectations.
 
According to R.L. Polk, the typical consumer held onto a vehicle for 57 months in 2012. This is up from 38 months in 2002. So, if a customer drives 15,000 miles a year, the customer will accumulate 23,000 more miles before they trade it in. These extra miles could mean an extra front brake job. These repair incidents create points of reference that form certain customer expectations that were not there just a decade ago.
 
But, in some cases, reality may not meet customer expectations. Why? Each time the brakes are serviced, the pads could be compromised by the previous brake jobs that did not restore the brakes to like-new condition.
 
The brake hardware might not have been ­replaced during the first brake job. Halfway through the customer-expected life of the pads, the abutment clips may have corroded and lost their spring. The guide pins could have been neglected on the next brake job. Now, the pads wear really unevenly and the customer will notice that mileage between pad changes has significantly dropped. Performing a complete brake job will break the cycle.
 
A normal customer-expected wear interval cannot be achieved if a low-quality brake pad set is used. One area that is consistently compromised is the quality of the backing plate and how it r­etains the friction material during the life of the brake job.
 
Keeping a friction material attached to a piece of metal under more than 1,400 psi and shearing forces is not something to take for granted when selecting a replacement brake pad. If the attachment method and implementation is substandard, it can result in noise and, eventually, failure of the pad before it’s worn.
 
This is called edge lift or delamination. It’s caused by failure of the attachment method and can be hastened by corrosion. The first symptom of the failure is noise. The noise is a result of the separation, causing ­irregularities in the braking surface and the pad now having completely ­different NVH properties.
 
Some manufacturers are using mechanical ­attachment methods that can prevent delamination in a brake pad. The technology allows brake pads to be run down to the last few millimeters of friction material. The bond can be resistant to shear loads, corrosion and heat. This makes for a pad that can meet or exceed a customer’s expectations.

In a recent survey of technicians and shops ­conducted by Brake & Front End magazine, noise was the primary reason why a customer brought their ­vehicle in to have the brakes inspected. They did not bring it in for a low-priced brake job. Customers are concerned about safety, not a low price. They can see the value in getting more miles out of a complete brake job, over a cheap brake job that has them returning to you sooner than expected.  
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Andrew Markel

Andrew Markel

Andrew Markel is the editor of Brake & Front End and Servicio Automotriz magazines. He has been with Babcox Media for more than 12 years. He is a technician and former service writer and holds several automotive certifications from ASE and ­aftermarket manufacturers. He can be reached at [email protected]
Andrew Markel

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