Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Brembo offers advice on brake stiction

Lockdown has changed the way of life for many people. Many are working from home and car usage has decreased. This means the cars will be left parked without moving for quite some time. For those who do not have the facilities for storing their vehicle in a garage, the cars are being left exposed to the environment.

Unfortunately, this can cause the brakes to develop issues when left for a while, stopping it from being able to work correctly during driving. Corrosion will start to form on the surface of the brake discs and, with normal use of the vehicle, this rust is removed by applying the brakes.

But if the vehicle has not been driven for a while, this can cause the areas affected by corrosion to expand.

Corrosion on the surface of the brakes can increase stopping distances due to a reduction in the performance of the braking system.

This is not the only issue. If the parking brake is engaged the pads / shoes have been left in contact with brake discs / drums. Corrosion will build up and can cause these components to stick to each other, and this will prevent the wheels from moving the next time that the car is driven. This is known as brake stiction.

It is possible to avoid brake stiction by following some simple steps:

Start the vehicle engine, with the engine running, release the parking brake and move the car a short distance in forward and reverse while gently applying the brakes.

The brakes will “clean” off the surface corrosion when they come in contact and prevent the corrosion from building up and causing issues. This is recommended to be done once a week.

If it has not been possible to perform this maintenance recommendation, extra care should be taken when driving the vehicle for the 1st time after being left standing. Ensure to test the brakes by gently applying them to make sure that they are operating correctly. Some brake noises (squealing, grinding, crunching) may occur for the first few miles due to the excessive corrosion build up.

Should these noises continue, or develop into other symptoms (juddering) or get even worse and the vehicle cannot be moved because the wheels have seized, Brembo recommends speaking to the nearest Brembo Expert who will have the necessary skills to get the vehicle back on the road.