Annual Caliper Slider Pin Lubrication Necessary?

Do the slider pins on disk brakes require annual relubrication? I usually don’t touch the brakes until the pads need to be replaced, but was advised recently to pull the pins and relubricate them at least once a year. I usually use Sil-Glyde as a pin lubricant. Road salt is used four months out of the year where I live, if that matters.

Just lube them when a brake job is performed.


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I live in salt belt. There is some validity to doing that, but there comes a point when “if you do this it will prevent that” becomes so burdensome that you are constantly doing something. Myself, I don’t lube them unless the brakes are being done. If I ever have a wheel off for any reason I check to see if they are moving freely. If not then I repair. If you have the time to lube them once a year and it makes you feel better, go for it. But I wouldn’t pay to have it done.


It sure wouldn’t hurt anything but it’s not necessary if the pins were lubed properly at the last brake service and the slide boots are in good condition.

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New car dealers are advising this around here for car. My sons Hyundai Sonata ore out the rear brakes in 15000 miles with rear discs in a year and a half. Th dealer gave him ab brake job for half price but said it was not covered by warranty because Hyundai is not responsible for the amount of road salt we use. My 2012 Toyota Camry lasted 2 winters but only 19 months before I had to replace the rear brake shoes and rotors plus the left rear caliper. The caliper was frozen with rust and the right one looked and worked like new. I pulled the ABS fuss as soon as we got some snow to make sure the skid marks were of equal length. Had to replace both front calipers at 5400 miles, last year.

Both dealers advise cleaning and lubricating the pins and slides every fall for $90 which seemed expensive to me, except that when I thought about it It is about the same work as doing a brake job except you are not replacing the rotors.

I don’t bother doing it because it is so easy for me to do a brake job at home that I just wait until they are worn out. Just did one last fall and it cost me 61 for Detroit Axle rear pads and rotors, came with all the hardware, and brake grease and worked as well as the factory bads I bought the first time or the Wagner ones I bough the second time and they make no noise at all. I found out how well they stopped when a pickup with no brake lights stopped dead in front of me at dusk. He had no tail lights because the thought the first setting on his switch turned on his headlights and they turn on his DRLs. He saw me coming and got out to yell at me for almost hitting him.

If you pointed out the driver’s lighting problem, I hope he at least thanked you.

My practice has been to lube the pins when doing a brake job and leave the brakes alone until it is time for the next brake job. This might be a situation where “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies. I will probably do as tcmichnorth does and check the calipers whenever the wheels are off the vehicles and do maintenance if needed.

I’ve never done that and never had a problem. I use the silicone lube as recommended and never had a stuck slide in Minnesota. Whatever works I guess.

The forces on the slide pin are huge, and its surface area is small. I would actually be more concerned about a frozen piston in the caliper. There is a lot of surface area for corrosion, and little actual motion. I would consider spraying the whole area (car wash) after a heavy salt use.

Our rust problems in the Buffalo area are worse than most other cold states. We get more snow than most places because our prevailing wind blows the whole length of Lake Erie picking up moisture. That same lake keeps our temps hovering near zero which keeps the salt more active than colder temps. We use a brine often with chemicals that are even worse than salt and we have a bare roads policy. We keep salting until the roads are bare.

It’s pretty salty in Wisconsin, but not like Buffalo. I know several people who live in the Midwest USA who used to keep their vehicles long-term but grew tired of putting in the effort to stave off rust. Now they buy new vehicles and keep them no more than seven years and let the next person deal with any rust issues.

I spray my vehicle’s undercarriage and body cavities with Fluid Film, an oll spray rust preventative, each fall. I think in Canada and perhaps New York, there is a firm called Krown that applies that type of product professionally. But if Buffalo is like living under a salt shaker as you described, the oil spray treatment probably would succumb to the constant road salt exposure.

A non hardening rust proofing helps stave off the inevitable 2 or 3 more years so it is worth it. Modern cars are much more rust resistant th an cars of the 50s through 70s. We used to see 3 year old cars covered with rust.

My father in law had 5 new car in his life, a 53, 58, 63, 67, and 72. All were replaced because of rust. The 53 was repainted and bodywork done after 3 years and 2 years later was riddled with holes.

I drove a Chevy Vega, an example of the worst rust resistance in a vehicle. My brother-in-law once commented about the penalty that one pays when living in the salt belt. He was referring to the costs associated with trying to prevent rust, or replacing vehicles more often due to rust vs the personal transportation expenses of someone with the same vehicles in a salt-free area.

There’s a lawn mower guy on the Utube that cleans and sprays one of those on lawn mower decks. He does it every year and charges his customers somewhere around $100 for it. I had my 20 year deck off this winter for refurbishing and it looked just fine. I never clean the grass out. So I don’t know.

I’m not sure about the under-carriage. Most of my rust has been around the pinch welds after 10 or 20 years. Body cavities seem to be pretty well protected now from the inside. Can’t hurt I suppose but what a mess, especially if you (or someone) have to work under the car.

Most lawnmower decks rust out from the use of lawn fertilizer. Even we don’t use salt when the grass is growing. I had a friend who garbage picked lawn mowers, then fixed and sold them, He told me that the reason my decks never rusted out is because I was too cheap to buy fertilizer.

I told him, not only am I too cheap, but why would anyone put something on grass that makes it need cutting more often?


I’ve never heard that or seen that. I have one mower that’s almost 30 years old at my last income property. 1/2 acre of lawn. Still runs (Troy Built mulching mower) great. I fertilize 2-3 times a year. There are ZERO signs of the mower deck rusting out.

That information came from a friend of mine who retired as a welded at age 60 who had a life long love affair with mowers and tractors and anything John Deere. He fixed up and sold between 50 and 100 mowers a year and he had two good size John Deere tractorsAnd kept a mower deck on one and a snowblower attachment on the other.

His observation was in response as to why my mower decks did not rust out like some peoples. I do know how corrosive fertilizer can bee have you ever seen a steel spreader ybe, it’s our climate, as much snow as we get in the winter, we get that much rain the rest of the year.that had fertilizer left in it? Maybe it is our weather, as much snow as we get in the winter, we get that much rain in the summer.

I’ve got a service now and they fertilize about four times a year, but they have been modifying the formula the last few years though to save the lakes. Yeah might be your weather, i dunno. From the Utube guy I expected my deck to be nearly rotted through but just some pitting.

I’m skeptical that fertilizer accelerates rusting. It isn’t used much, and should be watered in mostly before mowing. I suspect that wet lawns cause rust after the paint is breached as rocks are kicked up into the mower.

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I sorta have to agree with you about the rock’s and sticks chipping the paint I don’t use fertiilzer so the only minor rust I see is from the chip’s. Not going to argue with oldtimer_11 as he said they possiblly get a lot more rain than we do.