March 12th, 2003

March 12, 2003
The brake pedal is the one on the left
Ah better weather is upon us. And just in the nick of time too. Brake problems are now haunting the beloved Big White Bus. The brakewear indicator began lighting up last week. I got home walked around the truck and the telltale smells of a very hot brake were eminating from the right rear wheel. I went in and change and proceeded to remove the wheel and inspect the brakes.

Now this light tells you when the pads are worn thin. These pads have been on the Big White Bus since September. I didn’t think I had been stopping a great deal in the last 6 months. But never the less the light was on. The pad is in very good shape. But it did smell burnt. So I took the pads out and inspected them further. No excessive wear was found.

Basically the way the indicator works is when the pad is worn down there are two wires in a channel near the metal backing plate of the pad. When the wires are exposed and you hit your brakes they “short” against the brake disc. This tells something else to illuminate the light. Anyway that’s how I understand it works. When you pull a worn brake pad you will see the channel very well and the wires too.

I can’t see the wires or any reason other than this that the light should be alight. I noticed a black burned substance on the top of the pad where the wires enter the channel. My hypothesis (21 point Scrabble word, impressive) is that the brake pad was heated up, due to what I am not sure. But this heating has caused the filler substance to “boil” out and the wires inside now are touching.

Is this verifiable?
Am I insane?
What business do I have making these types of hypothesis in the first place?
Who invented aerosol cheese products and why?

These are all valid questions but unless someone can tell me differently I’m gonna stick with my hypothesis. The solution is to unplug the sensor plug.

But aren’t you disabling an important sensor?
Yes and no. Yes it is no longer part of the diagnosis system. But the front pads will wear much faster than the back and they still have sensors on them. Besides, I’m not some Rover Noob. I check my brakes when I rotate my tires once a year or so.
And my Dad was a television repair man, I have an awesome set of tools, I can fix it.
(Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1982)

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