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Mechanics putting drivers in danger over confusing brake pad repairs

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 in the UK. Equally frustratingly, many will potentially be wasting money on brake pad replacements 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 per cent), with many manufacturer technicians favouring a traffic light system. Independent garages gave a mileage reading in 25 per cent of cases according to the investigation of more than 100 workshops across the UK.

Showing the percentage breakdown of brake pad measurement methods adopted by UK garages*

To help improve the safety of cars 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 its customers a metric that means little or nothing when it comes to brake wear. Telling drivers that they have, say, 30 per cent 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 six 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 five per cent off manufacturer servicing on the MotorEasy website, use the code: LOST5