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2011 Mazda3 (built after December 2010): Mazda?s best seller remains an entertaining compact car and coming this fall will be sold with a new, incredibly fuel efficient four-cylinder engine. (Mazda)
2011 Mazda3 (built after December 2010): Mazda?s best seller remains an entertaining compact car and coming this fall will be sold with a new, incredibly fuel efficient four-cylinder engine. (Mazda)

Rob's Garage

Victoria reader's brakes don't need extra attention Add to ...

Hello Rob.

How often would you recommend that I lubricate the sliders and pins on the disc brakes of my Mazda3 GT? I live in Victoria B.C and hence not much salt on the road but of course lots of rain?

Do you think every two years/24,000 km is excessive?

Your advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Tony

Wow! Tony, this makes you a true car guy! Someone that’s not afraid to get their hands dirty and is committed to preventative maintenance – I’m impressed.

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That’s a good question about the possibility of rain or salt washing away the lubricant for the disc brake sliding mechanisms, but there’s usually no need to re-lube these pieces in between brake jobs, assuming the appropriate mineral or silicon grease has been used. Usually silicon will win out as the preferred choice a reputable shop.

Tony, as you have identified, the reason to lubricate the disc brake sliders – or more accurately, the sliders and pins that allow a floating disc brake caliper move freely on its mounting adaptor – is to provide a smooth, easy surface for the caliper to slide back and forth, allowing for an equal braking force on both sides of the disc brake rotor. Without this ability, the caliper can stick or freeze in one position, causing the inboard brake pad to do all the work of stopping that wheel from rotating. This ultimately results in a loss of more than 50 per cent of the braking efficiency at that corner of the vehicle – not a good thing.

Let’s not forget that accumulations of dirt and brake dust also contribute to calipers that can stick in one position, so Tony your question makes a lot of sense.

You could remove the calipers and re-lube the slider mechanisms as often as you have the time and energy. But if you decide to leave them for servicing at each brake job, you will be fine – Mazda does not indicate that any special attention is needed for these brake parts.

I suppose you could spend an afternoon lubing your sliders, but I’d rather detail the car... as long as the lawn didn’t need mowing, the trim at the back door re-painted, the recycling taken to the depot, the weeds pulled…

Send your auto maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

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