Perfect Brake Service

April 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
If you’re just “hanging pads” without doing a careful inspection and evaluation of the whole braking system, you’re doing both your customer and your shop a disservice.
[caption id="attachment_1951" align="alignright" width="300"]EMB Elektro-Mechanische Bremse / Electro-mechanical brake EMB Elektro-Mechanische Bremse / Electro-mechanical brake[/caption] Safety concerns have led to brakes being among the most highly-engineered and rigorously-tested systems in today’s family of BMW vehicles. And properly so. Fortunately, BMW engineers have been able to design advanced systems that perform extraordinarily well, while still being relatively easy to diagnose and repair. This is especially helpful since the volume of brake work needed, unlike that of many other repairs, has remained steady, or has even increased in recent years, and is a mainstay of your business. It represents an attractive profit opportunity for independent repair shops servicing BMWs. The key, of course, is to make sure it’s done right the first time in order to prevent comebacks that can suck the profit out of an otherwise profitable job.

How do you know?

There are obvious and less-obvious indications that brake work is called for. Certainly a “Brake Service” light on the dash is the most “in-your-face” clue to the presence of a shortcoming in the system. This may be due to a pad wear indicator that has grounded to a rotor, or low pressure in one hydraulic circuit. And a signal from the BMW CBS (Condition Based Service) indicator suggests that a combination of miles driven and driving habits as analyzed by onboard electronic logic have resulted in critical brake lining wear. A parking brake light that stays illuminated can alert the driver to a brake issue even if no CBS alert is activated. Or, an illuminated ABS warning light can point to a damaged wheel speed sensor, or even to a caliper, lining, or rotor problem. But these are far from the only indicators of brake trouble. Customer complaints often raise the need for brake work. Typical customer reports can include brake noise (especially squeal), pedal pulsation, low pedal, or pulling to one side while braking, all of which point to the need for a careful inspection of all system components. If your shop is in an area that mandates Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (PMVI), you know that it requires, at minimum, a thorough visual inspection of the brake components of at least one front and one rear wheel on the opposite side of the car, and some locales require physical inspection of the brakes at all four wheels. Even if not mandated, it’s certainly wise to inspect the brakes all around since there may be a fault at just one corner. Many independent repair shops are taking a cue from dealership strategies, performing a “safety check” of critical systems whenever a car is in for any repair whatsoever. This is a valuable service for the motorist since today’s less-frequent shop visits can allow problems to go unnoticed for extended periods of time. Such delays can lead to substantial damage and expense, so it is in the best


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Category: Brakes, the bimmer pub

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