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You should use your brakes

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Veritas1980, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Veritas1980

    Veritas1980 Electric Viking

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    So I just had my first service done (20.000 km) and everything was great, except for one thing. Apparently I should use my brakes more.

    According to the service center, using the brakes very little (what can I say, I love one pedal driving) could cause them to be worn in an unbalanced way, causing them to need a very expensive early replacement.
    The recommendation is to drive with low regen one day a week, to use the brakes more.

    This was a bit of a surprise for me, I never have come across anything about this on the forum, and for me, it sounds a bit like a design flaw if true. In my opinion, regen braking is one of the great benefits of driving electric.

    Anyone with a similar experience?
     
  2. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Not here... been single pedal driving almost four years... going in for 4th annual next Monday.
     
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  3. Veritas1980

    Veritas1980 Electric Viking

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    That is my general impression as well, it should be no problem except they might be a bit "sticky" if not used for awhile, but other than that it should be fine.

    So I'm starting to wonder if it is only my car that seems to have a problem with this or a general thing.
     
  4. NeverFollow

    NeverFollow Member

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    Completely BS! I almost dropped my drink on the floor while reading your posting....

    Without really noticing it, your breaks must be applied anyway in the last few feet before stopping
    like at a traffic light or a stop sign. Enough to remove any dust on the discs and keep their surface smooth.

    Anyway, breaks must be one the most sturdy part of the car, like for example the drive shafts!

    Deformations could only occur if they have been abused under hard condition,
    like going very fast up and doing in a mountain in a curvy road!

    Mechanics always want to find something to be replaced, even when not needed!
     
  5. Ande

    Ande Member

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    Breaks should certainly not have uneven wear due to low use, some rust can be a problem, but this is also why the annual service lubricates them.
     
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  6. bambam4171

    bambam4171 Member

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    I can relate to the mechanic's instruction. Note: I currently do not own a Tesla but I have had a Prius and currently have a Lexus Hybrid. They both use regen breaking to some extent. With the Prius I indeed had to exchange the hind breaks every time I showed it the MFK (TÜV in CH) because of this. Then I started to at least once a week apply the breaks very hard coming off the highway. Never had to replace them since.
     
  7. Saimaannorppa

    Saimaannorppa Member

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    There is more to brake use than dusting off rust on surfaces. All the mechanical parts, seals, liners and runners etc. need to be used every now and then to keep good condition. Also heat produced while breaking helps the runners to clean off and lubricate. So a heavy braking coming off ramp from highway with no traffic is actually a good idea every now and then.
     
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  8. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I had my 2012 Model S inspected by Tesla Service Center at 87,000 miles and the brakes were fine despite of the fact that I seldom using them.

    Could that be because I don't drive in snow and don't experience road salts or other corrosive chemicals on the road for winter?


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Saimaannorppa

    Saimaannorppa Member

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    Yes, brake parts corrosion is more of a problem where corrosion is a problem in general.
     
  10. Carl

    Carl Supporting Member

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    Use AP more often. AP uses the brakes more than we would tend to. On my first (non-AP) Tesla I tended to have rusty brakes; no longer the case now with my AP1-Tesla.
     
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  11. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    What happens to my brakes is the pads stick to the caliper over time. (4+ years, 110+ k miles, original brakes.) Just this week I spent a good portion of a day unbolting calipers and freeing the pads. The front inside pads were both very difficult to free up, and the outside pads were more worn.

    Afterward, I noticed the brake pedal engaged much higher, where it is supposed to.

    About a year ago it was so bad, one pad wore out concave; as the pistons bent the non-moving pad!

    I started trying to remember to push hard on the brakes periodically. It didn't help.

    Now I'm just going to do this procedure once a year as preventive maintenance.
     
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  12. bambam4171

    bambam4171 Member

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    If your brakes are ok then regularly breaking hard with them should keep your disks, pads and actuators in working order.
     
  13. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    The brakes are made for ICE cars, which are constantly giving them heavy use. They are optimised for this type of use, for friction and heat, and grinding away the pads.
    To keep your brakes in good condition you should brake heavily (just short of ABS) a few times a week. This will also stop them getting squeaky.
     
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  14. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    Mine were never squeaky. Rotors were always clean and shiny, except after rain or a wash. Pistons in all calipers seem to work smoothly. When I was removing them from the car, I was able to spread the pistons with relative ease before sliding them off the rotors.

    It's the corrosion of the pad backing plates where they slide on the calipers that seems to be an issue. Perhaps if the pads required replacing every 40k-60k miles, I wouldn't have to worry about corrosion. At 110,000 miles my front pads are about half worn, the rears even less.
     
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  15. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #15 scottm, Oct 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    ..this ... this is why they want you to use brakes. So the pads don't get stuck in the calipers.

    I'm also a fan of regen and defer using brakes as much as possible. The thing is when doing this you slowly lose sense of what normal braking is.. or should be. One day, I just decided I want to check my brakes and did a full press panic stop but my car just glided down slowly to a stop... after a couple hundred feet I stopped rolling. That's not right! I could have hit three cars ahead of me if there was a real emergency need to stop..

    On my car after a couple winters, all 4 inside pads were basically cemented to the caliper and offering no brake pressure. They use grit and sand and salt on the roads here in winters. This stuff packs in around the pad... and cements them in!

    My stopping distances started getting way too long... and I was starting to get pulsation in the pedal, thinking I had a warped rotor.

    When I inspected, the inside of each brake disc was not shiny with concentric circles.. they were mottled and grey and blotchy.. looking unused!

    When all pads were freed and lubed and making contact with the disc again... stopping was phenomenally better! And the pulsation vanished. No new disc needed, whew!

    Now when I change over the tires for seasons, I check that all pads can be wiggled in place. That's enough to know they're not stuck. And check the inside of the disc (with a mirror helps) to see shiny surface that matches the outside of the disc.
     
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  16. titaniumdave

    titaniumdave Member

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    Hey there,
    A quick introduction, I'm Dave Levy and I own Cedar Ridge Fabrication, a company where we have been making performance parts for Acura NSX and Lotus Elise/Exige since 2003. I have been making corrosion resistant, light weight rotors for the Roadsters for a couple of years with very good results. The roadsters have a known issue with rust build up on the rotors making for braking problems in panic situations and these rotors have helped address the problem and make for safer cars. I have been wondering if the same solution would be helpful for the S and X models? The plating I have been having applied to the high carbon cast iron discs is the same solution Chevrolet has chosen for their Volt which which was having problems because the aggressive regen-braking made it so drivers did not use their brakes enough to clean the corrosion off.

    For the S and X models the rotors would have the advantage of the safety of the corrosion resistance AND a huge reduction in rotating mass, close to 40 lb.! The reduction in mass will create a measurable increase in range by reducing the amount of energy needed to accelerate your car, not sure if that will be 2 miles or 20 but I think it's a real benefit.

    Here is the thread from the Roadster forum if anyone is interested:

    Now Shipping: Custom Tesla Roadster 2-Piece Slotted Rotors

    If anyone in Portland Oregon is interested in a brake upgrade, similar to what has worked on the Roadster, and would be willing to let me measure their car to prototype a set I'd love to make a set I can produce with the current Roadster batch with will go into production next month. The Roadster rotors cost $1595 for a set of 4, the S and X models are much larger, looks like they will be about $2000 for a set of 4. Just like the Roadster sets, you will be able to buy the friction discs alone IF they ever wear out.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions or are interested.
    Dave Levy
    Cedar Ridge Fabrication
    [email protected]
     
  17. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #17 scottm, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    ...er expensive solution to a simple problem, just press on your brake pedal hard to a stop, couple times a week. Done.

    I just learned: with the stock brake setup, a Tesla can accelerate 0-60 and decelerate 60-0 in equal distances and amounts of time, making it the world's first car to be able to do that.

    The car is traction limited on both ends of this scale.

    In stock form, more than enough brake power for any road. When the pads aren't stuck :p
     
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  18. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    #18 Skotty, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    Typical, really. When you don't ever use something, especially on a mechanical machine, it tends to deteriorate. Things dry out, get dirty, weather, rust, cease up, etc. I don't think there is any fix for this. Just use the brakes a little every once and awhile.

    That said, I would estimate there was a 50/50 chance you didn't really need the brakes fixed, and instead just encountered an overly eager or cautious service technician. Use them a few times, and they would have probably been good to go again.

    If you literally never use them, they could have ceased up in a way that really needed repair. But I know you use them, because you have to when you come to a complete stop. So you had them moving periodically, just not regularly dragging on the disks.

    EDIT: Regarding some folks claiming pads sticking to calipers, why wouldn't regular stop light stops keep things freed up? You usually have to leave something where it is for a pretty long time for it to stick.
     
  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what "unbalanced way" means. I don't understand.

    I traded in my S this year with 62K miles on it and the brakes felt fine. Maybe this "unbalanced way" is not something you can feel while braking? I only use the brakes in a Tesla when needed and that isn't very often, as we all know.
     
  20. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    I think the technician meant that a patchy disc surface might create an "uneven" braking effect, rather than "unbalanced".

    You might feel this as modulation or pulsation on the brake pedal. I think this is what I was feeling when all 4 of my inner brake pads had seized in their calipers.
     
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