VIDEO: Yaw rate sensor causes brake pad and caliper fire

Brake pads on just one wheel catching fire or wearing out very quickly is becoming more common as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) equipped vehicles age and the sensors start to fail. What happened in the video with a Mercedes Benz ML 320 is the yaw rate sensor or the steering angle sensor is producing erroneous data. The car could be traveling in a straight line, but the sensor may think the car is sliding into a ditch. The ESC system will engage the brakes for the one wheel in an attempt to correct the slide. The driver may have felt only a slight pull on the wheel no worse than fighting the crown on some roads.
A yaw sensor measures the vehicle’s rotation around its vertical axis, while at the same time measuring the acceleration at right angles to the driving direction. By electronically evaluating the measured values, the sensor is able to differentiate between normal cornering and vehicle skidding movements. Yaw rate is measured in degrees per second. If you have a vehicles making a 90º turn in two seconds, it would have a yaw rate of 45º.
The stability control system measures the effectiveness of its correction made with the brake system. How effective the correction is depends on the condition of the contact patch of the tires. If the system does not see the yaw of steering angle to change, it will increase the correction with the brakes for maybe a single wheel.
If the sensor is sending out false data, it will get stuck in a “feedback loop” and torture the brake pads for just one wheel and potentially cause the pads to fail.
The tell tale signs of failure is brake dust build up on just one wheel. This is why I am an advocate of washing your own car on a regular basis. Yaw sensor and ESC sensor can be expensive to replace, tacking on a set of pads makes it even more expensive.

How Too Much Lubes and Chemicals Can Cause Noise

Basting a set of pads or caliper slides in lubricant, no matter how expensive it is, will not not solve a noise issue for an extended period of time. Why? Because the excess lubricant can melt or some chemicals can flash off. The melting lubricant can find its way on to the pads causing a judder problem and longer stopping distances.

Excessive lube can also attract debris and dirt. As the lube hardens over time, it turns to a concrete like substance that causes slides and calipers to stick. If excessive lubricant finds its way onto the caliper piston’s boot, the lubricant will attract metal particles that can destroy the rubber.

N508FallNwslttrShims need only a small amount of lubricant. Some floating one-piece and two-piece shims only require a small amount of lubricant between the surfaces of the shim and pad. There is no need to coat the entire back of a brake pad with a lubricant.

For the caliper anchor pins, use a silicone-based brake grease. Make sure it is compatible with all rubber compounds including nitrile, Teflon, nylon and other synthetic rubbers. For the shims, abutment clips and slides, use a synthetic-based boundary-type lubricant that has a high solids content and typically contains a variety of friction-reducing ingredients, such as molybdenum disulfide (moly or MOS2) and graphite.

Higher-quality pads have better shims that require less lube or even no lube. Too much is a bad thing and can prevent the shim from working.

Take Note American Journalists and Police: This is how a Accident Story Should Be Written

The typical brake failure story in the US newspapers is nothing more than a one paragraph story with the phrase: “Driver reported brake failure.” In rare cases, the story might say: “Police are examining the vehicle.” It is rare you actually read about the results of the investigation.

In the UK, things are different. In the North Devon Journal, they tell the complete story of how vehicle neglect killed the driver in one of those rear situation were the vehicle need to be in tip top shape.

From the article:

Vehicle examiner Geoffrey Chapman told the inquest that the 10-year-old Corsa was not in a serviceable condition and was not reasonably maintained.

He said the nearside braking system was defective and the brakes were not adjusted correctly. The handbrake adjuster was not correctly fitted and was incorrectly adjusted.

Mr Chapman said the offside front coil had fractured and the tyres, except the offside rear, were of an incorrect size. The mismatched rear tyres would have resulted in an MOT failure.

“It would not have caused the vehicle to go out of control, but once it was out of control and the driver attempted to rectify it or reduce speed, the vehicle’s defects would have had an adverse effect on the handling.”

The crash killed Sasha Stewart while she was driving home from here shift as a nurse. Some have speculated that a sudden fog bank caused here to lose control of her vehicle. I am sure Sasha knew her brakes, tires and suspension were not up to standards. But, she could never predict if was going to be fog, bad driver or pedestrian that was going to make her have to use all of the car’s capabilities.

This story is a must read for all driver thinking about putting of a brake repair.

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VIDEO: Puppet Sells BYOBP Brake Jobs, You Have Got To See This (55 seconds)

This has to be the worst business model and commercial in the world, just watch the video:


If Bring Your Own Brake Pad Brake (BYOBP) brake jobs are the future of brake repair, kill me now. This business model is so flawed you could drive a car with brake failure through it. Looking at the QicBrake website it looks like they don’t measure anything and they will charge you a $55 inspection fee if you bring it back and the problem is not covered under their vague warranty. And it looks like QicBrake doesn’t measure rotors or replace calipers. Someone needs to shut this place down before someone is killed.

Truck Crashes With Asphalt, Brakes At Fault

Zero injuries were reported after a dump truck loaded with asphalt and towing a paver lost its brakes and smashed into a utility pole and trees, yesterday in Ithaca, New York.

According to, the driver was operating the vehicle along an embankment when the brakes suddenly failed and he lost control. The truck then crossed over into the oncoming lane, hit a utility pole and landed in some thick woodland. Police said the trees prevented the truck from going down the embankment where the driver could easily have been killed.

Fortunately, the unidentified driver was not injured, but the same does not go for the dump truck that sustained heavy front end damage, according to a police report. The Ithaca Fire Department, Ithaca Fire Police, Bangs Ambulance, New York State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, city Department of Public Works and NYSEG first responded to the scene along with two large wreckers from a local towing company. Crews spent Wednesday evening removing the vehicle, trailer and paver while NYSEG replaced the damaged telephone pole.

Ithaca Police and the New York State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit are continuing their investigation, police said.

Toyotal Recall: 802,000 Called Back For Faulty Brakes

On Wednesday, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said it would recall a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could perpetuate total brake failure.

According to Reuters, Toyota was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths resulting from the defects. However some 1.05 million vehicles will be recalled in Japan the rest overseas, encompassing Toyota models Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah, Voxy, Corolla Rumion and Auris, as well as over a dozen Lexus models.

Just this past April, Toyota suffered from a 6.39 million vehicles recall globally in its second-largest recall announcement ever. Then, two months later, the company issued a recall of almost 2.3 million vehicles globally for faulty airbag inflators, a problem that has been causing trouble for other car makers.

In the latest recall, about 802,000 Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models manufactured between June 2007 and June 2012 will be called back to replace a small rubber seal ring in the brake master cylinder to prevent the brake fluid from leaking. If brake fluid has already leaked, the entire brake booster will be replaced.

Shares in Toyota closed 0.2 percent higher in Tokyo at 5,990 yen after the recalls were announced, while the exchange’s Topix index .TOPX gained 0.8 percent.