Introduction- How to Get Oil Off Your Brake Pads
Do your brakes struggle to work properly? If your bike’s brakes aren’t working as they should and you are sure that the brake pads are not worn out, then there’s a high chance that the brake pads are dirty.
You should always be able rely on your brakes to stop as needed for your own safety. To ensure that your brakes are quiet, consistent and in good working order, it is important to keep them clean.
Reasons Why Brake Pads Get Dirty
Brake pads commonly get dirty from leftover grease or oil on the floor after greasing the transmission. Brake pads are porous, making it very easy for them to absorb liquid. This means that it is very easy for oil to enter the pad and create a thick film that will reduce the efficiency of your brakes.
Otherwise, brake pads often get dirty as a result of either brake dust or other road contaminants such as mud or snow/ slush. These contaminants will cause your brakes to stop functioning as reliably and even cause noise.
The grime on your brakes will result in your bike making some pretty annoying sounds when you try to stop. If you hear your bike making strange noises, you should check your brake pads for contamination. If they are dirty, it is important that you clean them immediately.
Here is a video showing how to fix contaminated disc brake pads (credit to Rides of Japan):
Cleaning of the Brake Pad
There are several ways to clean your brake pads, but it’s important that you use the right cleaning materials so that you don’t damage your bike. Specialists agree that using products like isopropyl alcohol or methylated spirits to clean your brake pad are best as they do not leave any residue.
Before you begin cleaning your brake pad, however, you will need to dismount the caliper and remove the brake pads.
It is best to handle your brake pads with clean hands or gloves to ensure you do not stain them during cleaning.
- Start by cleaning the surface layer of the brake pads. Use a wipe dip into alcohol to clean the surface layer.
- Next, begin a deep clean of the brake pad – Use fine-grain sandpaper to rub the surface of the pads uniformly.
- After sanding the dirty layers, use an alcohol-soaked rag to remove the dust.
- Carefully dry the pad using a source of heat (such as a lighter)to evaporate excess alcohol. This will also expand the pad’s pores so that any remaining liquid will drain more easily.
- Using a degreaser, clean the tablets, rinse them, and then dry them out.
- Check your brake discs and the calipers for remaining oil and grease.
- If they are still stained, use another clean rag with alcohol to clean it.
- Once all the components are clean and dry, reassemble the pads and clamps.
- Test out your pads in a controlled environment.
- After mounting the brake pads, do some dry braking. Squeaking should be completely gone, and your brakes will be safe to ride.
Whether they have become unreliable, or just start making annoying sounds, it’s for the best that you have them cleaned before an avoidable accident occurs.