You Better Be-Lathe It

Good brakes save lives, and faulty brakes put them in danger.
Vaughn Tweedie
Published on

shutterstock-1198714693 in textPicture this: A family driving down a long, straight, dusty gravel road, sun on the windshield, heading toward the beach to enjoy a hot Sunday together. Up ahead, the straight begins to veer into a corner, so the driver applies pressure to his brakes, adjusting his speed so he can take the corner safely. Below him, the gravel road becomes bumpy and wash-boarded and instead of smoothly slowing the car down, the brakes pulsate and squeal. The wheels lock up momentarily, long enough for the vehicle to understeer its way across the road and into a ditch.

This may not be something that would happen to you, but for many drivers, especially those encountering a gravel road for the first time, this kind of occurrence is extremely possible. The poor driver of this scenario approached the situation correctly, by slowing for the corner, but was unable to react effectively when their uneven, possibly warped brake discs caused their vehicle to respond inefficiently. The brake pads may have been replaced only recently, but the damage to the discs from the last worn pair, plus Disc Thickness Variation caused by the elements, combined with the weight of the whole family and a boot loaded with toys and amenities, may have been the ticket to the ditch. Disc Thickness Variation, or DTV is what occurs when the brake discs are reshaped by continually being tempered by heat, air, rain or snow. DTV is often not noticeable until after 10 to 15 thousand kilometres of driving with it, and is usually not visible to the naked eye. 

We know that when it comes to cars, brakes are important. Good brakes save lives, and faulty brakes put them in danger. We want our brakes to stop in a short distance, to save the life of the child running onto the street, and we want our brakes to be smooth, to keep us from wobbling off the road after overtaking a long truck on a curved passing lane. It may be possible to know your own car, and be aware of how it brakes so you can drive it safely, but continuing to drive on rough or warped discs only increases your chances of being caught out at the worst possible time. But, replacing discs can be costly, and they are susceptible to damage quite easily, from intruding stones, or simply inexperienced driving and DTV occurs simply from using the brakes.

Fortunately, there is an answer, and any smart workshop is capable of providing it. The first thing any good workshop has to offer their customers is their knowledge and expertise. Your customer may have only come in for tyres, but checking his pads and discs while the wheel is off, takes only two minutes, and you can prevent that customer from spending more money down the track, by saving his discs now, by offering the services of your brake lathe. Now that customer is going to leave with value and you’ve increased your bottom line. With the right machine in your workshop, you would be capable of providing that service to everyone who walks in the door. For those with ceramic brakes, a brake lathe machine is a must, as they require machining on every brake job. 

But, if your brake lathe becomes a well-used, essential machine, you want one that will be long-lasting, accurate and efficient, like the Steiner Disc and Drum Brake Lathe. The Steiner comes fully kitted with the essential accessories and is capable of machining all common brake discs and drums, with accuracy and precision. The Steiner provides the most effective option to solve the DTV problem, which is the cause of most braking issues, reducing safety. But -just as you care for your customers' safety, the Steiner helps you care for your own, with its safety cover and built-in LED for important visibility. It will also automatically cut off, when it has finished machining, to prevent accidents. Cared for, the Steiner will smooth discs and drums in your workshop effectively and safely for many, many years.

Considering a huge number of cars in New Zealand live permanently outside in our unique conditions, many have rusted discs on all four wheels and cannot afford to continually replace them. Wear on the discs, leads to rapidly wearing pads, damaged callipers, and can even affect the suspension and tyres. For those that cannot afford new discs in the first place, the additional wear and tear caused by the issue becomes unreachable financially and forces them to drive an unsafe vehicle. Let your services be the end to their woes and their shuddering brakes. Get equipped with Treadway Equipped and ensure your workshop can offer the services to keep all New Zealanders safe in their cars.

So, is a quality machine like the Steiner Brake Lathe a worthy investment for your workshop? 

You better be-lathe it! 

Click here to check out the Steiner Brake Lathe

Contact the team today.