Contaminated Brake Pads


#1

Hello, Just picked up my Ford F-250 after being in the shop for 2 days. They replaced my power steering pump,front brake rotors and pads. I left the shop and drove 35 miles to my job site only to see fluid dripping from the new power steering pump. It sprayed every where and soaked the driver side brake rotor. I can smell the fluid being burned off. Will the power steering fluid which is transmission fluid on this vehicle effect the brake pads?? I’m concerned my new rotors got warped from the burn-off of the fluid and it can’t be good for the pads. Thoughts besides find a new mechanic.


#2

They didn’t get warped. Your pads should be fine once the fluid rubs off, which will be soon. I’d make sure to test the brakes before you need them lest they not grab as well as they should right away.


#3

I disagree. Brakes are too important, oil can soak into the pads, have them replaced now. The disc can be cleaned, of course.


#4

Thanks shadowfax, I’ll sleep better tonight. Now I just have to wait and see if the mechanic can locate the problem.


#5

texases, that’s my concern. The truck is 4wd so the labor on the work added up. I was thinking the shop should replace the pads.


#6

I’m with Texases on this. I’d clean the rotors with brake cleaner and put new pads in. Pads are dirt-cheap. Accidents are not.


#7

Well, you can probably get the shop to replace the pads anyway, since their shoddy work got them coated in tranny oil. And if you can do that then, hey, free new pads, yes?

That said, I do not agree that brake pads are sponges. You get oil on them every time you drive when it rains. All the oil on the street gets suspended in the water and splashes right up on your rotors. If brake pads soaked up oil, then they’d be nearly frictionless long before they were worn down. We’re talking about a dense composite consisting of one or more of materials like metal, ceramic, and Kevlar. These are not known to be absorbent.


#8

Shadow makes a good point. The shop that did the work should be footing the bill.

But brake pads are hygroscopic, how much depends on the actual composite and especially the binder. The original pads on mu tC were terrible for this. Driving on the highway in heavy downpours meant loss of much of the braking power. I changed the pads to a different composition to solve the problem. My son’s tC, one year newer than mine, also had this problem. He too changed to different pads.


#9

Interesting point from shadowfax regarding the density of the pads. They are new pads that were exposed to the entire contents of my new power steering pump within 40 miles of leaving the shop prior to towing the truck back. This was probably the equivalent of an entire winters worth of road oil if Northern California wasn’t in a drought. Perhaps I’ll insist the shop clean the front brakes and call it a day. Thanks everyone for your input.


#10

Maybe they’d be ok after cleaning up, but gee, I think I’d want new pads after just having the job done.


#11

Any lining must be replaced if it gets contaminated

Brake pad
brake shoe
clutch disc