Mechanics putting drivers in danger over confusing brake pad repairs

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 09:26
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Motorists could be driving around with dodgy brakes because mechanics are giving them confusing advice on replacing worn pads, according to MotorEasy, the car ownership and maintenance service. Equally frustratingly, many will potentially be wasting money on brake pad replacement too early.

Just one in five garages provide customers with a useful guide to how many miles they have left on brake pads* when their car is examined as part of a service or MOT procedure.

Instead, mechanics provide information on brake pad wear in millimetres remaining or a percentage worn to describe how worn brake pads are, but this leaves owners confused about when they need to book in for a replacement.

Franchised dealers are least likely to provide a mileage estimate (22%), with many manufacturer technicians favouring a traffic light system. Independent garages gave a mileage reading in 25% of cases according to the investigation of more than 100* workshops across the UK.

To help improve the safety of cars on Britain’s roads and stop drivers paying for repairs they don’t need, MotorEasy has launched a new, easy-to-use Brake Repair Calculator** that uses car registrations to tell drivers when it’s time to change their brake pads and discs.

MotorEasy founder, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “The majority of garages we analysed gave their customers a metric that means little or nothing when it comes to brake wear. Telling drivers that they have, say, 30% wear left on their brake pads doesn’t tell them whether or not they should be thinking about getting them changed now or whether they have another 6 months of safe driving left before needing to get them replaced.”

The investigation is part of MotorEasy’s ‘Lost in Translation’ campaign that has been launched to highlight how workshops could take simple steps to improve the relationship they have with customers and increase customer loyalty as a result.

As well as the Brake Repair Calculator, MotorEasy has released a tongue-in-cheek video to show how we just don’t put up with baffling lingo in other trades – and asks why should it be acceptable at garages?

Drivers can also book their service or MOT through MotorEasy, allowing one of the firm’s professional technicians to handle the entire process, including negotiating on parts and labour costs and ensuring that no unnecessary work is paid for at:

To receive 5% off manufacturer servicing on the MotorEasy website, use the code: LOST5

Have a repair jargon example, garage frustration or simply a question about your car? Add it to the campaign and put it to the MotorEasy engineers using #lostintranslation.


  1. Brake pad and disc wear are generally down to the driver and the weight load they are carrying in my opinion, so a garage could never give an accurate assessment of mileage before replacement of pads/ discs are required. I suppose they could give a theoretical one based on normal/average conditions, but what help would that be to a vehicle owner or a fleet manager. I think the better solution would be, that once you are down to under 50% of stopping capability on any vehicle then increase the inspection period times, or automatically replace if down to say 15% for arguments sake.

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