You can revive your brake pads by sanding or baking them to remove all the contaminants. Wipeout all oily or greasy materials with an absorbent cloth/paper.
How Do I Revive My Brake Pads?
If you notice that your brakes are making a frequent screeching noise, or the brakes are uneven or irregular, your brake pads need immediate change or fix. You can restore your brake pads if they get contaminated or glazed. If you get any kind of oil or lube in them, it seriously hampers its performance and becomes almost impossible to use.
Here’s how to revive your brake pads to work them correctly for a couple of months, at least.
First things first, park the vehicle on a dry, flat surface. Wear safety goggles and protective gloves. Use a secure bike stand or kickstands.
Pull the Pads out
Your brakes either have cotter pins or a screw. Whichever it is, take it out from the caliper carefully. There will be a retained spring inside. Pull the pads at once and have no direct contact with the surface.
Get the Sandpapers
Get some sandpapers that are not too rough. 200-220 grit sandpapers would do the trick. Put the sandpaper on a piece of glass on a flat surface so you won’t have a wavy result. You can cut little pieces as I need them, that way the rest of the sheet stays clean.
Sand the Pads
sanding down the brake pads help a lot. After placing the sandpaper on a flat surface, rub the brake pads very gently. Apply some pressure and go back and forth to clean the surface.
Make sure there is enough gist on the pads before you put them back. Even though this process will reduce the pads’ lifespan, but it’s way better than throwing it away.
Use Blow Torch
If sanding your brake pads is not enough, the next thing you can do is a little excess heat, maybe with a blow torch. A blow torch comes is surely dangerous, but it is a viable option for bringing some life back into lightly contaminated brake pads, making a nice finish for sanding.
Be extra careful while using the extreme heat of the blow torch. Another major issue that you have to look out for is that excessive heat like this may weaken the bond between the brake pad surface and the backing plate. So don’t bake it to a glowing red.
How to clean contaminated brake pads
If your brake pads are contaminated, you can clean them by rubbing alcohol or disc brake cleaner. First, with a piece of absorbent paper, rub the surface to absorb as much oil as possible. Clean the pad using isopropyl alcohol and or a degreasing agent such as Chante Claire.
For best results, use alcohol first, followed by the degreaser. Remove residual substances by scrubbing with care. Then use the alcohol again and remove any trace of detergent. Beware that some industrial degreasing agents may contain lubricants which may ruin the pads big time.
Clean the rag/paper towel to wipe out any contaminants and keep it working nicely.
Can you clean the brakes without removing the wheels?
Cleaning the brakes without removing the wheels is a big no-no.
You simply won’t be able to reach them without taking the wheels off, especially for the drum brakes. Yet you might be able to do it, but you’ll face many problems like a caliper hanging up.
Glazed brake pads fix
Glazing of the pads is a microscopic change to the friction material on the surface of the pad. This is caused by overheating issues. The best solution to this problem is not to ride the brake in stop-and-go traffic.
You can also sand glazed brake pads to restore them. If your front pads are glazed, make sure your back brakes are OK. While the pads are out you check the calipers for correct operation. Remove them from the vehicle and lap them, dry, on a flat surface using a sheet of sandpaper.
Why are my brakes screeching?
Brake screeching is one of the common brake issues and can be caused by several reasons. Worn pads, glazed pads and rotors, broken anti-rattle clips, lack of pad insulation or insulation shims, and incorrect rotor surface can cause such problems. Additionally, loose or sticking calipers can be one of the reasons.
What’s the difference between brakes and brake pads?
Brake is referred to by the entire braking system which consists of brake pads, calipers, rotors, and brake drums, for older vehicles. On the other hand, brake pads are a certain part of the brakes that apply pressure to the rotors or brake discs directly, “squeezing” the wheels to a stop.
Give up on the idea to restore your pads if you’ve spilled oil or grease on them. It’s always better to apply oil contained from a bottle while lubricating the chain. Do not hesitate to buy a pair of new brake pads if you feel your old ones are beyond repair. Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.