The Very Best and Very Worst Of Reddit

Every once in a while, the Safe Braking team puts together a compilation of the very best and very worst brake related content the massive aggregator Reddit has to offer.

Today, we have some amazing gifs, and also some cringe-worthy pictures that will make you question the intelligence of most people.

First up, aw rats! A customer came in complaining of squealing brakes. Although I don’t think it was the brakes that were squealing..

Photo Credit: /u/toneman238










Next, we have an amazing GIF of some highly powerful brakes. Can’t even imagine what was running through that drivers head! (Click to watch)

GIF courtesy of /u/redditblockedmyother

GIF courtesy of /u/redditblockedmyother







Third, is a a classic picture of terrible brake maintenance.  Don’t be the guy who’s car is so bad it made it to Reddit!

Photo Credit: /u/mymommadethisforme

Photo Credit: /u/mymommadethisforme










No caption needed on this last one! (Click to watch)

GIF Courtesy of /u/johnbonhan








We sincerely hope you enjoyed our compilation!

Seven Signs You Need A Brake Job

Safety is a top consideration for drivers. While today’s cars offer more safety features than ever, from passive devices like air bags to active features such as stability control, nothing replaces careful attention to the most fundamental safety feature: brakes.

An annual brake inspection should be at the top of every motorist’s to-do list. Better yet, year-round attention to braking performance and developing the habit of listening for signs that brakes need attention should be part of every wise driver’s skillset. Channel Five News Colorado provides some key tips to keep in mind when assessing the current state of your brakes and your need for brake repair.

Check it out!

Here are 7 signs your brakes need to be inspected:

1. Feel any drag? Be alert to brakes that seem to stick, wheels that are hot or an engine that seems to lose power. The brakes may be failing to release; alternately, the condition could reverse, leaving you with no brakes at all.

2. There’s a pull. Does the vehicle pull to the left or right when brakes are applied? Make sure tires are fully inflated. If the pull persists, it’s time for a professional to check the brakes.

3. Stomping on the brakes? It should not take extreme muscle power to make the brakes work. This “hard pedal” symptom, when the brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging, can indicate brake trouble.

4. Brake light is on. There are several reasons the brake light is illuminated on the vehicle dashboard. The problem could be simple: brake fluid could be low. Or, it could involve a hydraulic system failure.

5. Shake, shake, shake. Can you feel the brake pedal, steering wheel or your entire vehicle vibrating, pulsating or shaking? This may indicate a problem with disc brake rotors or a faulty steering mechanism.

6. There’s a racket. Brakes should operate with very little noise. Don’t ignore squeals, screeches, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bangs. Your brakes may need repair.

7. Grab. “Touchy” brakes that grab with the least bit of pressure may indicate that brake linings are contaminated with grease or oil, or a component is broken and could fail.

Brakes wear out and will eventually need to be replaced. How quickly depends on factors unique to you: your driving habits, type of vehicle and when and where you drive.

RANT: NHTSA’s NCAP Automatic Emergency Braking Plan Leaves A lot of Questions

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced as a way to create consumer demand they want automatic emergency braking technologies listed in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) information sticker for a new vehicle. This information can be found online and on the window sticker of a new car.

Monroney-safety-ratingsNCAP ratings is like the Yelp rating system for cars. Some people will not buy cars that have a low star rating. Currently, the NCAP uses frontal, side and rollover crash testing to determine the star rating. While the NCAP information does include rearview cameras, electronic stability control, lane departure and front collision warning, these do not count into the overall star rating.

I hate to break it to NHTSA that automatic emergency braking systems are not standardized. One system may take over at 20mph while another kicks in at 35mph. One system may have front sensors while another system may detect only the driver quickly removing their foot from the brake pedal. Yes, they will decrease the severity of some impacts, but it is difficult to measure.

Crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support systems can intervene by automatically applying the vehicle’s brakes or supplementing the driver’s braking effort to mitigate the severity of the crash or to avoid it altogether.

In a 2012 report, NHTSA estimated automatic braking systems could potentially prevent approximately 40,000 minor/moderate injuries and 640 serious-to-critical injuries and save approximately 40 lives, annually.

What they fail to realize is the human factor AEB systems. First, automakers will continue to put the responsibility for higher speed braking on the driver due to liability. Second, NHTSA is failing to take into account driver ignorance and the amount of education need to get drivers to understand these systems.

dash-board-warning-lights-03 (1)In a survey of British drivers, it revealed that 98% of drivers don’t fully understand the most common dash board lights. America has a less stringent driver education program, and I can guarantee 99% of American drivers could not identify all the lights on their dash including the ABS and ESC.

Collision standards do not change dramatically as the vehicle ages, a five star is a five star at 10,000 or 100,000 miles (unless there is damage). Braking performance can change as pads, rotors and calipers age. Also, cheap replacement brake pads can diminish the performance of new safety systems.

Also, there is no standard or FMVSS regulation for automatic emergency braking at this time. This means the newly recommended NCAT listing could be useless to consumers when comparing vehicles.

9 Top Retail Tips for Brake Sales

Auto Service World published these nine tips for selling brakes. The market that needs brakes is not driven so much by brand preference as much as it is by the reliability of the components that you are handing over the counter.

The key selling point is usually cost and how confident you are in the product you are selling. So, you’ll need to know the product you’re selling and how brakes work, as well as why brakes fail. You’ll also need to know a little about each customer that comes in – how many miles are on the car, how long do they expect to keep the car; do they want a short-term fix or a long-term repair? As you become more experienced at asking the right questions, you’ll get better at selling brakes and helping customers make an educated decision.

Here are the nine top retail tips for brake sales from Auto Service World:

9. Hone Your Customer Service Skills
Every single customer that walking in your door or calls your shop wants to feel appreciated. They don’t want to feel taken advantage of and surely do not want to feel stupid when talking to you. Build relationships with customers and listen to the customer.

8. Stand Out from the Competition
Always exceed customer expectations. Know the products on your shelves and talk with the customer about his available options. Make the customer feel confident that he is walking out after making the best decision he could.

7. Ask Questions
Do some research about the car before recommending certain components. Is the customer looking to get another five to seven years out of the car? They make be willing to pay a little more to guarantee that the brakes last. Is the car towards the end of its lifespan? Chances are that the customer wants to put on less expensive parts that fix the problem.

6. Don’t Waste Money By Wasting Time
Don’t waste customer’s time by going into too many details or over-explaining products. Ensure that they are making an informed buying decision while being direct, short and informative.

5. Avoid Hardware Headaches
Emphasize that a small investment in new brake components now is well worth the extra few dollars to include all new hardware instead of dealing with re-using worn hardware. 

4. Rotor Recommendations
Customers that need pads oftentimes also need rotors too – they just don’t realize it. Ask them questions about the rotors and point out that it’s much more cost-effective to replace pads and rotors at the same time.

3. Keep In Mind the Import Challenge
Remember that import brands are usually loyal to OEM components.

2. Advising the DIYer
Be helpful. Brake jobs require a high level of technical knowledge. Don’t speak down to the customer; offer advice, pointers and reminders.

1. Go the Extra Mile
Schedule a reminder follow-up call for the customers that you’ve spent extra time with.  The customer will appreciate the few minutes you took to talk to him or her and if they give you feedback, that can help you hone your sales skills.

RECALL: Subaru Recalls 200,000 Vehicles For Brake Issues

Subaru of America is recalling 198,900 model year 2008-2011 Impreza, 2008-2014 WRX and STI, and 2009-2013 Forester vehicles, currently, or formerly, registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia that were recently fixed under a previous recall.

The brake lines in these vehicles may experience corrosion due to salt water splashing on the brake lines through a mistakenly made gap in the fuel tank protector. This could result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, dramatically increasing the risk of a crash.

Subaru has determined that the proposed solution in the earlier recall was inadequate due to incomplete repair instructions provided to dealers. Affected Forester, Impreza, WRX, and STI vehicles that were not repaired during the previous recall will continue to be processed.

Affected vehicles not currently, or formerly, registered in the salt belt states identified in this recall are still eligible for repair, at no cost to the customer, upon request to the manufacturer.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will apply an anti-corrosion wax to the four-way joint connector area of the brake line system, for absolutely no charge. The recall is expected to begin on January 26, 2015.

Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru’s number for this recall is WQQ-52.

Photo Courtesy: Subaru North America

Photo Courtesy: Subaru North America

VIDEO: Worst Parent Ever? 3 Year Old Does Brake Job

Check out this horrendous video of a parent making their 3 year old little girl adjust the parking brake on a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

I don’t care how bad you want your daughter to be a mechanic, she is just too young to be handling this type of equipment! Always use your best judgement when put in a situation like this. She has plenty of time to gain learning experiences, and being three years old isn’t the right time!