Despite copper grease often being hailed as the ultimate lubricant, there isn’t a universal solution that is suitable for all contact points. Apec Braking outlines the need for specialised lubricants in the brake system, and how best to use them.
For a braking system to be operating at optimum efficiency it is important to have free movement of components. Due to exposure to environmental conditions, acidic cleaners, and high-pressure washers, the brake area can suffer from corrosion that will inhibit free movement of components. This can cause damage to the brakes by overheating through prolonged contact, but more alarmingly, it can cause the vehicle to react unstably when braking, leading to accidents.
In a brake system there are several contact points that will need to be treated as part of the repair process to ensure free movement. There is a misconception that copper grease is the universal lubricant for workshop use. However, copper grease within the brake environment can result in galvanic corrosion, which is further worsened by the contamination of acidic wheel cleaners, which are often used by owners to clean alloys and rims.
The slider solution
Apec Braking offers a slider lubricant that is compatible with rubber and moisture resistant, to prevent corrosion. It is best practice that both the sliders are removed and examined to ensure their condition at every brake pad and disc replacement.
Seized sliders are becoming more of an issue due to the increased use of pressure washers, which have enough pressure to remove the rubber boots and introduce moisture in the slider cavity. If the sliders are in poor condition, it is recommended that they are replaced. However, if the sliders are in good condition (not pitted or bent), they must be cleaned thoroughly of any corrosion and re-lubricated with Apec Caliper Slider Grease, to ensure free movement and protection from corrosion.
A common shortcut is to remove one slider bolt and swing the caliper away to fit the replacement pad. However, this method does not allow for detailed examination of the sliders or provide the room for the carriers to be cleaned. Contact points that are exposed, such as the abutment points on the carriers, will require a lubricant that will not cause galvanic corrosion to the surrounding metallic components.
It is essential that the lubricant used is of the correct consistency in order to prevent its removal during driving or cleaning. For these contact points, the metal-free Apec Brake Grease with a high melting point is ideal for preventing galvanic corrosion. The grease is manufactured from super-refined mineral oils; this means that it is water-insoluble, providing resistance from washing off under most adverse conditions. However, this would make it incompatible for use on the slider pins, as it would cause the surrounding rubber boots to deform – this would allow contaminants into the slider cavity and prevent free movement.