Identifying Brake Issues With Brake Dust

Identifying Brake Issues With Brake Dust

Brake dust can indicate what could be wrong. This video is sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.


According to a recent European survey, they looked at modern vehicles and they looked at the emissions from the vehicle and particular particulate emissions. These are tiny chunks of either rubber particulates, carbon deposits from the engine, but these particulates, well, 50% of ’em. Do you know where they came from? Not the tailpipe. It actually came from the tires and the brake pads. So how can you use that brake dust to determine if there’s an issue with the brakes? Well, how the brake dust is distributed on the wheels can show if there’s issues with either the a AVS system, the ADAS system, and even the stability control system. Brake dust is typically more prevalent on the front wheels of a vehicle, but on the front wheels, they should be evenly distributed between the two. The left should look the same as the right in terms of how it’s distributed and the amount the same goes for the rear.

But if you have the rears wearing more and distributing more brake dust, well it could be an issue of a different type. A lot of modern vehicles have this system called electronic brake distribution to where they’re using more of the rear brakes to make the vehicle more stable during a stop. In other words, you’re not getting all that nose dive that you did before, but in the rear, if you notice that either the left or the right has more brake dust than the other, it could indicate an issue with the stability control system or even ADAS. Instead of jerking the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands, a lot of vehicles will actually use the rear brakes to move the vehicle over or change the direction of it. So if it’s trying to change the direction, let’s say, from a bad input from the steering angle sensor, well the inside or the outside caliper will have more brake dust on it than the others. So as you’re doing your walk around on the vehicle, take a look at the wheels and the amount of brake dust and just keep in mind that they can indicate what could be wrong with the brake system and where to concentrate your diagnostics on. I’m Andrew Markel. Thank you very much.

This video is sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.

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