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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

some brake advice would be great thanks! Our LEAF 30 Acenta is late 2015, and 52k miles. At the last MOT in December we were advised that the offside front brakes were just starting to bind but nothing serious. Front pads were at 4mm.

after the car was sitting around a lot in the last 2 months (did move it a bit every week or so), the brakes sounded like they were rubbing, but after getting back into normal driving that has gone. We're getting the normal kWh/mile that we'd expect too.

needed a front tyre replacing, so asked them to look at the brakes to see if binding was still an issue, and I’ve been told the front discs and pads are in poor condition and need replacing. I’m sceptical about the discs certainly, and prob will get a second opinion. I can't change brakes myself so will need a garage to do it at some point. Can you answer these questions for me?

What is the minimum pad depth before MOT failure/not safe? We've gone down 1mm each year basically.

Is this quote for work reasonable?
Front Discs - £140.97 inc
Front Pads - £55.08 inc
Labour - 1.5hrs - £90 inc

thanks!
 

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I’m sceptical about the discs certainly, and prob will get a second opinion
The discs may have corroded - the MOT police get a bit harsh about pitting incase the surface delaminates.
What is the minimum pad depth before MOT failure/not safe? We've gone down 1mm each year basically.
1.5mm
Is this quote for work reasonable?
Front Discs - £140.97 inc
Front Pads - £55.08 inc
Labour - 1.5hrs - £90 inc
Depends - do you want to use "genuine" Nissan discs which are not made by Nissan, or a quality alternative? You can pick up decent pattern parts for half the cost, and an independent sometimes charges half the hourly rate. There is nothing special about the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The discs may have corroded - the MOT police get a bit harsh about pitting incase the surface delaminates.

1.5mm

Depends - do you want to use "genuine" Nissan discs which are not made by Nissan, or a quality alternative? You can pick up decent pattern parts for half the cost, and an independent sometimes charges half the hourly rate. There is nothing special about the brakes.
thanks for your thoughts. Much appreciated. Photo of the brakes below (same all around), seem unremarkable to me. I’m happy with alternatives rather than 'genuine', I haven’t been told what they would fit, probably should ask! This is an independent garage, not Nissan dealer.

130904
 

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You are being overcharged.
The brakes in the picture might well fail an MOT today, but used normally pass in 6 months time. When is it due - if it's December I'd carry on driving it as it is.
I'm not wanting to start a fight, but if you don't use the brakes much over the next few months because of the lockdown then protect them from damp by covering the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You are being overcharged.
The brakes in the picture might well fail an MOT today, but used normally pass in 6 months time. When is it due - if it's December I'd carry on driving it as it is.
I'm not wanting to start a fight, but if you don't use the brakes much over the next few months because of the lockdown then protect them from damp by covering the wheels.
Thanks again. MOT is due in December yes. The car is being used more normally now with my wife back at work daily. whenever we drive it though, we are fairly light on the brakes, not much start stop driving, and lots of regen. Let’s see how it goes over the summer!
 

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I had a brake caliper bind up on our Leaf. The first symptom was a scraping noise from OSF when on full left lock. This got progressively worse and was joined by a clicking/clonking (driveshaft loose - fixed under warranty). Then the wheel was warm after a few miles driving so clearly a binding brake.

I disassembled it, removed the caliper, checked the motion of the piston (fine!) and pins (fine!). Put it back together - still getting hot/scraping. Took it apart again, took the pads out of the carrier - or tried to! The outside pad came out easily and the outside face of the disc was clear much like yours. However, the inside pad was totally seized in the caliper and the inside disc face was corroded. I managed to get the pad out of the carrier, remove the stainless steel inserts from the carrier, wire brush everything, little bit of grease on the pad ears and reassembled - great, it worked fine now.

Too many garages and dealers will try to sell you new parts when parts are not required, they just need cleaning out. If new pads were put in but the stainless inserts were not removed and cleaned beneath then the new pads will bind very quickly also. To do what I've described above would take a garage 1hr max to do both sides

Once you've made sure everything is moving freely (pistons, pins, pads) then get out onto a road and give the car a few increasingly firm stops (so that the brakes are doing some work rather than regen) - you should find that this starts to clear some of the surface muck off the disc and you'll hear that it gets quieter after a few stops. Then do a few (5 or so) seriously hard stops (60-5mph) (obviously make sure you're doing this safely, not around other traffic, etc) to get the discs clear and the pads hot, but don't sit stopped with hot pads on hot disc - let the brakes cool. If you must come to a stop apply the parking brake and get off the footbrake as quickly as possible.
 

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Thanks again. MOT is due in December yes. The car is being used more normally now with my wife back at work daily. whenever we drive it though, we are fairly light on the brakes, not much start stop driving, and lots of regen. Let’s see how it goes over the summer!
Then do a few (5 or so) seriously hard stops (60-5mph) (obviously make sure you're doing this safely, not around other traffic, etc) to get the discs clear and the pads hot, but don't sit stopped with hot pads on hot disc - let the brakes cool.
Given your sensible driving style I think that you do need to try the suggestion from @i-s to try to bed the discs and pads back in and remove the surface pitting evident in the photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the car was just back from a 18 mile drive. Immediately after parking, the passenger front and driver rear discs were both cold to the touch. The passenger rear and driver front discs were warm, no heat had spread further than the disc. Will follow the suggestion to use the brake a little more firmly to try and bed them back in.
 

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The firm braking bed-in is good for maintaining the condition of your discs. However, it won't help the situation where things are seized up and that needs attending to first, before you use the bed-in process. Like I said, it's unlikely that parts are needed, just a bit of cleaning and wire brush action should do the job.
 

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The firm braking bed-in is good for maintaining the condition of your discs. However, it won't help the situation where things are seized up and that needs attending to first, before you use the bed-in process. Like I said, it's unlikely that parts are needed, just a bit of cleaning and wire brush action should do the job.
Agreed - my suggestion was for the pitting on the brakes. Find a low cost independent for this work - not a £60/hour+ outfit.
 
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