How to Select the Best Brake Pad Shim for Your Car
Think of a brake pad shim as a pill that cures two common diseases in your car's brake system: One, the shim aids in treating brake squeals. It reduces the screeching noise that you hear whenever you step on the brake pedal to stop the car. Two, it lessens brake judder or too many vibrations around the brake metals and components. If not treated right away, this may lead to serious damage in the rotor. To put an and to all these problems, a heavy-duty brake pad shim is the only thing you need. However, fake and low quality shims are very common nowadays. You have to be careful so don't become a victim of these bogus sellers. To get the highest quality brake pad shims in the market today, here's what you need to do.
Selecting brake pad shim type
Brake pad shim types are basically the materials used to produce the shim.
Titanium- Titanium is one of the most durable metals in the world. A Titanium shim is efficient in shielding the parts of the brake assembly such as the piston and the rotor from extreme heat. Titanium has very low thermal conductivity, which means that it does not get hot easily. It's very efficient to use, especially in keeping the brake fluid from boiling despite the high temperature. This type of shim is best for cars with hydraulic brake systems to prevent the hydraulic fluid from heating up. Although the titanium shim is proven to be the most durable, it is also proven to be the most expensive. If you really prefer the titanium's performance and function, you might want to try a cheaper version- a titanium alloy shim. It isn't pure titanium; it's still tough nonetheless. There's just one downside of using this type; it produces more brake dust than the other types.
Rubber- This is the most common type because shims made of rubber fits most cars. Rubber brake shields are made from layers of quality rubber that can withstand great amounts of heat and vibrations. This type is also the easiest to install because it comes with an adhesive mounting surface that you just have to press firmly at the back of the brake pad upon installation.
Knowing where to buy
After deciding which to buy, it's time to look for a store. Buying online is the best option. You can browse a number of car parts shop on the Internet to compare prices, types, and brands. Payment transaction is also very easy. Whether you're buying online or in an actual store, make sure that you know the dimensions and type of shim that your car requires.
Car Maintenance Project: Installing a New Brake Pad Shim
One of the sure-fire ways to maintain your brake discs'optimum function and form is by installing a brake pad shim. This soft cushion helps in reducing noise and vibration that are produced when the rotor and the brake pads come in contact. Too much friction between the rotor and the pad may result in breakage and early deterioration of the components in the brake assembly. That's the scenario that you can prevent from happening if you install a brake pad shim in your car today.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Car jack and stands
- Lug nut wrench
- Set of wrenches
- Brake piston retractor
- Brake grease
- Brake pad shims
Step 1: Park the car on a clear and level surface area. Set the car's transmission in park or reverse gear to prevent the car from moving.
Step 2: Lift the car up using the jack and secure the car's frame on the stands. Remove the wheels by taking the nuts out. Use a lug nut to loosen all the bolts that hold the wheel in place. Put the nuts and wheels in a clean dry place.
Step 3: Take the brake hose bolts out from the knuckle.
Step 4: Remove the two bolts that hold the caliper in place: the caliper bolt and the pivot bolt. Use the wrench to undo these bolts.
Step 5: Pull the caliper out of the disc. Swing it side by side until it comes off. Avoid pulling it hard or else it may break. Hang the brake caliper in a bungee cord so the brake line won't twist and crook.
Step 6: Remove all the clips that attach the brake pads in the caliper. Slowly, slide the brake pad until it is free from the caliper.
Step 7: Pull the caliper piston out using a brake piston retractor.
Step 8: Install the shim at the brake pad's back. Remove the protective cover of the shim to expose its adhesive plane. Press this side firmly on the back of the brake pad. See to it that the shim's center is rubbing against the piston. The shim's edges should not go beyond the pad's rim to prevent it from disrupting the pad's movement in the caliper.
Step 9: Reverse the procedure to reassemble the brake set up. Before tightening the caliper's pivot bolts, apply a thin amount of brake grease. Drive the car to test the brake system. It is very important to know that the brakes are working properly before engaging in a long drive. Failing to verify this can lead to fatal accidents.