Brake Pad Replacement - Low Mileage - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Brake Pad Replacement - Low Mileage

Looking into something for a coworker with I believe a 2018 Giulia Q4. Not too familiar with these yet.

A little over 12,000 miles and the dealer told him it needs brake pads. He has the dash light on as well for “service brake pads”. We may pull a couple of wheels off tomorrow to inspect as well.

Is this wear normal for these cars?

Anyone replace pads yet, and is it pretty straightforward?

John
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L, 1993 Ford 5.0L Mustang
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 04:51 AM
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I have just over 20,000 miles on my ‘17 and no brake issue yet.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 06:36 AM
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More likely to be an electrical fault than worn pads at that mileage. Brake pad sensor wires are unreliable enough as to be functionally useless. The mark 1 eyeball is the better sensor in this situation.

Another much less likely cause might be a seized caliper on one wheel. The telltale for that is excessive brake dust on that wheel.

If the Giulia still uses the brake fluid level in the MC as part of the pad wear sensor system then possibly that is the cause of the warning light.

Otherwise the only other explanation would be very aggressive brake pedal riding while accelerating or cruising or crazy track use (which would more likely result in burned up brakes than excessive pad wear per se). This would of course be obvious to the driver of the car as being the primary cause.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Looking into something for a coworker with I believe a 2018 Giulia Q4. Not too familiar with these yet.

A little over 12,000 miles and the dealer told him it needs brake pads. He has the dash light on as well for “service brake pads”. We may pull a couple of wheels off tomorrow to inspect as well.

Is this wear normal for these cars?

Anyone replace pads yet, and is it pretty straightforward?
Doubt the pads are worn.

This is not normal. My pads are hardly worn at 13K miles.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 03:08 PM
Del
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Some don't know ow to drive in a manner which doesn't do damage or extreme wear. I met a guy who complained that Alfa clutches just didn't last, he having to have a new one every 6 months. turns out he always rode the pedal, letting the clutch slip at high revs whenever he was driving slowly. Carlo used to just laugh, but was happy to take his money, lol.

Still, I suspect the warning light may be defective, and the dealer is happy to take the money regardless.

BTW, for the miles and years with my 91S, the brake pad wear system has worked just fine, and when a pad became excessively worn, the light came on when it should. Installing new pads (yes, the pad was worn enough) put out the light. Only trouble I did have once was, the wiring plug for one of the pads cracked or something and so lost contact, causing the light to come on once in a while. the new pads eliminated that. The system otherwise works well. Of course, it only covers the front pads.

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Last edited by Del; 08-22-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Inspected the outer pads visible through the wheels, and it doesn’t look as bad as he was told. Definitely more worn in the rear though. We got a rain delay as soon as I started to unbolt a wheel. Should get a better look tomorrow.

Fluid in the reservoir was fine.

Will update if anything looks weird. Just funny that the tech said it and he also gets the dash light. The light I’m told is intermittent.

John
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Well, passenger rear inside pad was worn to the sensor wire. So looks like the mechanic and the sensor were both honest!

Wonder if there’s a calibration issue with those rear caliper motors. Never had to deal with those before on any car.

He’ll be taking it to a mechanic.

John
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 12:44 PM
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Some stability control systems use the brakes. If the person who owns the car tracks it, or aggressively drives on a consistent basis, the brakes will wear quickly, even though the driver isn't the one using the brakes.

I aggressively drove and tracked a vehicle with that kind of system and had to wait for a couple of weeks to get pads as the model was new and pads were not yet in general circulation.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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No track use or aggressive driving according to him. Don’t know his regular driving habits and haven’t been for a ride in it though.

Here’s the worn pad. Driver side had a few mm left.
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John
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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This was the drivers side rear. Quite a bit of difference in the clearance between the sensor wire and the rotor compared to the previous photo where it was in contact.
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John
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 04:10 PM
Del
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Is there a poorly mounted hand brake cable which can hang up on that side as with the 164? That can wear that pad in a short time.

BTW, all 164 owners should check that right rear cable as to how it is mounted on the arm. The stock mounting arrangement puts a couple of sharp kinks in the cable just ahead of the caliper, causing potential breaks in the housing and letting water and dirt to get in on the cable itself, allowing corrosion to freeze the cable in place. After I had trouble with that right rear cable locking up due to that corrosion at the open kinks, I disconnected those mounts, straightened the cable, used plenty of PB Blaster, worked the cable free, and tied the cable in a different straighter manner on the suspension arm to avoid any further damage. works fine now. Still have to do the LS before it gives me any trouble.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6

Last edited by Del; 08-27-2019 at 04:25 PM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Electronic as far as I’m aware. There is a motor on each rear caliper. I imagine for both the parking brake and stability control as Bob mentioned.

John
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L, 1993 Ford 5.0L Mustang
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 08:58 PM
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Not to be any more trusted than the standard old time cable, IMO.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 07:18 PM
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A little over 12,000 miles and the dealer told him it needs brake pads. He has the dash light on as well for “service brake pads”. We may pull a couple of wheels off tomorrow to inspect as well.

Is this wear normal for these cars?
It is common on cars without the mechanical LSD differential, which are driven somewhat aggressively.

In this case, the car is using the rear brakes as an electronic LSD which wears the rear pads quite rapidly.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I’ll follow up to see how the car was spec’d out.

I’m going to have to get a ride with him to see what he thinks is “aggressive”.

John
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L, 1993 Ford 5.0L Mustang
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