When you hear people talking about brake repair,  you hear words like "lube," "grease," and/or "bleeding." It sounds confusing as brakes surely do not need all of that to operate properly, do they? Actually, each of these applications in regards to automotive brakes serves a slightly different purpose, and all should be done to your brakes when you have them replaced.

Lubing Brakes

Using brake lubricant on certain parts allows those parts to move freely so that the brakes can do their job. You would be surprised at how little lubricant is used, considering that lubing anything usually means a liberal amount of lubricant is needed. However, when you ask an automotive parts store for brake lubricant, you are often handed small packets of lube, about the size of condiment packets.

Still, this lube has to be applied to these parts:

  1. Edges of the hydraulic piston
  2. Metal back of the brake pads
  3. Metal hooks on the sides of the pads that sit on the calipers
  4. The slide pins on the calipers

When all of these are lubed, the lube job on your brakes is complete.

Greasing Brakes

Greasing the brakes is not really greasing the brakes, per se. It is actually greasing the axle rods that come into contact with the brakes and wheels. The grease it thick when applied, but when the wheels are spinning and everything gets hot, the grease "melts" to lubricate the ends of the rod and the connections to the wheels and brakes. It helps keep everything spinning in a very fluid motion.

Bleeding Brakes

Bleeding brakes involves the repeated process of removing the brake fluid from its reservoir, cleaning the reservoir, then pumping the brakes to push out the air bubbles in the brake fluid distribution lines. Doing this prevents a buildup of air bubbles in the lines, which can cause your brakes to not function properly. That is very dangerous, especially if your brakes do not work when you need them at a critical moment.

The brakes need brake fluid to work, just as they need the grease and lubrication. The brake fluid prevents the brakes from drying out and/or seizing up. However, the brakes themselves are not typically part of this type of brake repair, unless new brakes are installed and the lines are bled before you get your car back. If a mechanic installs new brakes and does not bleed the lines, ask him or her why just to be safe.