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Z3M Roadster brake inspection

The brakes on this gorgeous Z3M look old and tired, and the braking performance is below what we expect for an M car.

Time to strip out the pads and see what’s going on.

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The car is running EBC redstuff pads. These pads should be a good inprovement over standard spec pads, but the brakes lack bite and need a whole load of pedal pressure.

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After removing the pads we can see an obvious problem. The pads are a few years old and as pictured below the pad material has come away from the backing plate.

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With continued use the pads material can overheat and start crumbling away, leading to eventual loss of brakes so very dangerous. It’s vital that brakes are inspected on cars that cover lower annual mileage to prevent this problem.

The discs are in good condition so we are going to replace the pads front and rear.

Before we do we’ve removed the brake pad carriers and refurbished them, along with the calipers and pad securing clips.

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Calipers refitted with new pads installed.

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Now let’s test the quality of the brake fluid. This test allows us to measure the water content of the brake fluid. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, meaning that absorbs moisture from the air. If the fluid is not replaced every 2 years (regardless of mileage) then it will be high in water content which can lead to poor pedal and corrosion of the brakes internally. Seized calipers these cars is a common issue caused by lack of brake fluid replacement.

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As this is a performance car, we will use performance fluid. ATE super blue DOT 4 performance fluid, which has a boling point of 280c. This stuff is close to some racing fluids in specification and is more affordable.

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Job done, and the car is ready to go.

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