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Discussion Starter #1
hi can anyone tell me if there is anything to worry about when using brake cleaner. One of my mates told me be carefull it could dissolve any rubbber pipes etc if sprayed on them.
Also if I use this to clean the brakes would I have to put more brake greese on the back of my pads and what greese would be ok. Copper based or not.
 

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Hi there, am a bit confused after reading your post - brake cleaner would normally only be used on brand-new discs (to de-grease them) prior to fitting (not as part of a cleaning schedule) - its so that any grease which is applied to prevent corrosion after manufacture is removed, and braking is therefore effective & safe.

I wouldn't think it would do rubber hoses or paintwork (for that matter) any good - so this would normally be applied with the discs on the workbench. Then wiped off with a soft, clean cloth.

Copper grease (copper slip) is used on the back of the pads to eliminate/reduce squeaking when the brakes are applied - again, ensure that this coating doesn't get on the faces of the pads (for obvious reasons).

Hope this helps,

Paul:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for your reply. I thought that my brakes where being cleaned each time the car went into a service as i am being charged for brake cleaner on each invoice i have recieved.
When I look for brake cleaner at Halfords it stated on the spray can, one of the uses was for getting rid of dirt and brake dust etc. now i'am confused.
 

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Is that perhaps Brake Dust Cleaner/remover (as in alloy wheel cleaner)?

You see, one product (brake disc cleaner) is for the brakes' benefit at time of fitting - the other (brake dust remover) is for the wheels' benefit as part of the cleaning ritual.

Sorry for the confusion.

Hope that helps,

Paul:)
 
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Yep - Paul's spot on. The stuff you buy from Halfords is indeed for cleaning your disks, pads and calipers when you give the car a wash. I presume this is what you are talking about. It's usually a spray on and rinse off chlorine solution IIRC so like anything else, it should be used with care. Are you experiencing excessive brake dust or something? The dust is pretty normal and actually helps to avoid juddering under braking from what I've read on the 'net. I usually just get the jet wash on mine and I imagine if you took the wheel off you could clean it up quite nicely. My local garage uses air to clean the brakes during servicing...
 

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WARNING! Brake Cleaner

Due to the risk of inhaling fine dust particles air should never ever be used to clean brake or clutch components as it can result in lung cancer and other serious respiratory diseases. Using air to clean is in contravention of all health and safety legislation and guidelines. Brake cleaner was introduced especially for this reason - it prevents the dust from becoming airborne. I have used it for many years without any risk to the rubber components in and around braking systems - in fact it is now common practice when cleaning or repairing brake and clutch systems. So when paying extra for it at service time think of the poor mechanics health. There have been many cases worldwide where death has resulted in the inhalaton of dust - in fact the actor Steve McQueen died of such a disease. Unfortunately it takes many years (15-40 years) for the disease to emerge so as there is no immediate effects most people do not realise its dangers. I used to work as a Safety Officer for a large government agency and unfortunately was involved in cases where people and their families suffered and died from the long and agonising affects. So any of you guys/gals out there please take heed and if in any doubt contact the Health and Safety Executive or any trade union.:steam:
 

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Copper grease on brakes - I don't think so

It is now accepted practice not to use copper grease on brake components - only special brake grease should be used. It is not designed for this purpose.:steam:
 

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Hi dnhclio, the stuff you are looking for is a solvent base brake cleaner, this is specifically for cleaning brake components and should not harm any rubber parts, although I would advise against "soaking" the components in the solvent.

Note its not the Halfords type cosmetic wheel cleaners already mentioned (eg wonder wheels etc)

I would also advise against any aerosol versions of the cleaners, as Madnoel10 states brake dust is very dangerous, these solvents are best applied by brush or cloth, also dont "sniff" the solvent ... its better than it used to be when freon based but still not pleasent stuff and proper care/protection should be used when handling the cleaner.

You should be able to get it from any large motor factor, I'm sure Silkolene or Granville do a 2.5 ltr can. but is about £20.

Hope it helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all. It's nice to know that when needed, help is at hand and you can ask a question, end up less confused and better informed.
Thanks again.
 
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