Friday, June 15, 2012

The level is down and the sound is a little different.

We all get used to computers and take them for granted. We read displays and react accordingly. This happens in all walks of life. At work I switch on the electrics of my allocated coach, read some displays, press some buttons and do my walk around check.

In my car I switch on the ignition, watch the display boot up and when it is ready I start the engine. Easy peasy with with no warnings displayed. Lately I have noticed that when I feather the foot brake the sound is a little rough as though there may be some dirt on the discs. It comes and goes but seems to happen more often when Gail is with me in the car.

Further inspection showed that the brake fluid level had dropped to the minimum level in the reservoir. So I started thinking to myself, the MOT at the end of February showed that the brake pads were wearing low. A lower fluid level in the reservoir indicates brake pad wear. That rough sound when I feather the foot brake could be badly worn brake pads. The car has covered 50,600 miles from new on the original brake pads. Ah, I thought better get this checked out at a garage as it might be time to get new disc brake pads.

In the UK garages are notorious for ripping motorists off by replacing items before they are really needed. Bearing this in mind I went to one garage and asked for a brake inspection. The fitter declared that I needed new pads AND discs and the cost would come to £200. I said thank you and that I would shop around. I went to the next garage which was a branch of National and asked for a brake inspection. The fitter came into the reception area and asked me to follow him into the workshop. He then explained the condition of my disc pads and discs by showing me the grooves scored into the discs. I was free then to examine my own discs and pads. I asked how much it would cost to fix and he quoted me £180 which I was happy with.

I know that very often when discs pads are worn you need to replace the discs at the same time because this is the nature of the beast. I also know that garages do rip motorists off by replacing discs when they do not need to because the profit is welcome. Where National scored with me was not only because they were £20 cheaper but because the fitter showed me what was wrong and I could see with my own eyes and feel with my fingers that this was not a con. Trust is hard to earn with motorists today but showing them the worn components rather than simply claiming it is worn out develops a confidence and trust so often missing.

And the new brakes, marvellous - quiet and smooth. Thank you National.
Read and noted
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