Frequently Asked Questions
How to Search for Your Brake Parts
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First Time Orders
For your security, first-time orders can only be shipped to the cardholder’s billing address or a corporate work address which we are able to verify independently. To avoid delays to your order, please ensure that your billing address matches the address on your card statement, and that the cardholder’s name is written as it appears on the card. Please also ensure that your contact details are filled in accurately so that we can contact you if necessary.
Brake Sizing Information
Brake sizes vary considerably and it’s important to ensure the product you are purchasing is recommended for your vehicle. Please read the product description carefully to confirm fitment and sizing. If you are unsure, our customer care team is available to offer expert advice on sizing and fitment – simply Contact Us.
If you are not entirely happy with the brakes you have purchased, DON’T PANIC – simply exchange or opt for a full refund – HASSLE FREE.
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We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro and JCB cards. You can also choose to pay with PayPal. When selecting this option at checkout, you will be directed to the PayPal site to ‘Log In’ and review the amount shown before clicking ‘Pay Now’. Once this transaction is complete, you will then return to Empowered Auto Parts. Payment is only debited from your card at time of dispatch.
FREE Shipping Conditions
How does FREE Shipping work
95% of our product/s include shipping, some areas or regions are excluded if heavy freight costs are incurred (discretion is on a case by case basis) we send via a number of carriers based on your location and availability. If you are NOT at the specified delivery address outlined on your order at the time of delivery then the driver will leave a card. You will then have to collect your order from their depot as we DON’T cover the cost of re-delivery. In any case that we are unable to delivery your goods due to your location being remote or rural you will receive 100% of your MONEY BACK.
We suggest that you provide an address where somebody will be available to sign for the goods during working hours. A street address is recommended for larger orders as these cannot be made to Post Office boxes.
FREE insurance up to $500 is included on all our items, so all shipments are sent via a signature required service. We can instruct the courier to leave your order without a signature at your request, however this voids any insurance coverage, we cannot take responsibility for orders that are lost or stolen either before or after delivery. If you wish to have your item delivered without a signature, please let us know in the comments area during checkout, we reserve the right to accept an order or decline it, if we decline an order we will wholly refund your money via PayPal or similar method as the money/order was received, send us an email at Sales@EmpoweredAutoParts.com.au if you need any clarification on any of our terms & conditions.
Signature on Delivery
All orders require a signature on delivery, so unfortunately we cannot ship to P.O.Boxes. If you have a PO Box on your order, we will contact you for a physical address.
Can I Pick-Up My Order
Empowered Auto Parts premium packaging
All of our orders are packed and shipped with premium package materials. We strive to have your items delivered in perfect condition. Our high standards of packing and shipping ensure our customer satisfaction.
Your items will come with a picking slip, but no invoice. The invoice is provided to you online. If you require an additonal invoice please contact us.
Signature on Delivery
All orders require a signature on delivery, so unfortunately we cannot ship to P.O.Boxes. If you have a PO Box on your order, we will contact you for a physical address.
Where is my order?
We aim to dispatch all orders within 24 hours. Estimated delivery times are to be used as a guide only and commence from the date of dispatch, Empowered Auto Parts is not responsible for any delays caused by freight forwarding clearance processes.
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Images of Parts
Images of parts are for illustration purposes only and may not always be identical in look between different vehicle and fitment types.
CHANGE OF MIND: If you are unhappy with your purchase and would like to return it, we can only accept returns for items that are unused, undamaged, and in original packaging, otherwise a 20% restocking fee may apply or your return may be rejected on the basis of the product being used and not in new condition as received. We do not cover ANY return shipping costs. Please contact us before leaving feedback, we are happy to help you and resolve any issues you may have. Any initial freight costs to receive your order are also NON REFUNDABLE.
All Brake products from Rotors & Drums Australia are covered under a extensive 12 months 20,000 Km replacement warranty.The product is not covered when used in off road, competition or club racing purposes and is designed for normal street use only. Parts are not covered if incorrectly fitted.
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Common Brake Disc Information
Brake Disc Runout
Discs do not warp or run out of their own volition. When run out occurs, it is invariably caused by incorrect fitting of the disc, or inconsistencies in the calliper/piston.
When fitting or refitting discs at any time it is vital that the mating surfaces of disc and hub are scrupulously clean. The tiniest speck of rust, swarf, or dirt will cause run out after 3 – 4,000k’s.
Similarly securing bolts/nuts should be torqued correctly and equally. Calliper pistons should always be checked for equal performance/movement. Sticking pistons are sure to cause distortion and poor brake performance.
All the discs we sell are carefully boxed and each box carries detailed fitting instructions and checking procedures – PLEASE READ
Justifiable warranty claims on our discs are very rare indeed!
Brake Disc Problems and Cures
After many years experience in selling and fitting automotive brakes, we have accumulated some interesting statistics and information about why brakes shudder. First of all, eliminate the reasons
not connected with the pad and disc combination, that cause shudder.
These are imbalanced tyres and wheels, loose steering linkages, sticking caliper sliders or hydraulics, sticking master cylinder will give rise to brake shudder.
The remaining reasons for brake judder will be down to two disc related problems, which are DISC DISTORTION or LACK OF PARALLEL.
Disc Rotor Distortion
First of all we have to assume that when the disc is mounted to the hub that it is measured with a dial gauge and runs out perfectly true for the first day of installation. This is a critical element to how long the disc will last before problems arise, far more critical that most mechanics realise. The maximum run out acceptable on a disc is 0.15MM.
If run out above this figure is detected, remove the disc clean the hub again of any rust scale or grit and rotate the disc one bolt hole and re-inspect. This procedure of checking for run out has a critical effect on other disc problems, which will be described later.
Even torqueing of the nuts is absolutely essential. Uneven torque can twist or distort a rotor by a considerable amount and can result in disc run out and eventual thickness variation.
In today’s commercial world very few manufacturers sell heat-treated discs. These discs, even if mounted and checked for run out within the above limits can distort during use over a period of kilometres and give rise to vibration. This has an incident rate of about 1 in 140 discs sold.
It is sufficient for just one disc of the pair to become distorted before vibration is noticed.
It is interesting to note that rear wheel brake vibrations are normally felt through the brake pedal on application of the brakes and front disc distortion is shown up as steering wheel flutter.
With certain vehicles, using “wide bank” brake pads, which have a tall profile, this design of taller pads promotes a condition of “dynamic distortions”. Brake shudder is detected under heavy braking but at low speeds the shudder goes away. This is because of differential heating of the disc between the outer and inner due to the differential rubbing speeds.
The only way to avoid or minimise this problem is to use a pad with a higher thermal conductivity, i.e. a semi metallic (EBC Red grade) or EBC latest V4 (Green) brake pad with high copper content. The effect of the higher metallic content stabilises temperatures by drawing heat away from the disc, which gives rise to the fact that many German manufacturers which use these wider band pads use semi metallic pads (in spite of their huge dust problems) for original equipment.
Lack Of Parallel
Lack of parallelism of the brake disc occurs, when the discs are fitted with excessive run out or that generate run out, during their lifetime. Because the pad is always touching (or first touches), the disc at the highest point maximum deviation of the run out, it gradually wears the disc thinner at the point where the pad is most often contacting. This has the effect of causing a lack of parallelism (thickness variation) of the brake disc of very small dimensions, which are sufficient to show up as violent brake shudder. Again either front or rear, depending on whether the vibration is detected on the steering wheel or the brake pedal respectively. More abrasive pads will accelerate this phenomenon, such that the lack of parallel and shudder, are detected at around 1000-15000 kilometres. Less abrasive pads may prevent the shudder being detectable for up to 6000 kilometres
Lack of parallel or thickness variation will also cause one set of pads on the axle to wear faster than others and promote dust generation. The constant rubbing of the pad on the disc even at the lightest or zero pressure will cause on set of pads to be constantly heated, surface carbonisation occurs and dust is generated.
Our findings re that there are no way of avoiding disc thickness variation and brake shudder unless rotors are mounted perfectly true to begin with.
It is sad to say, that in all the instances that we have inspected and monitored mechanics fitting brake discs, that hardly a single one bothers to clean the abutment face of the brake hub free from rust, scale and dirt adequately and that is quite common for mechanics to allow 0.1-0.25 mm of run out to be present, when the vehicle leaves the workshop.
This is a recipe for disaster and will almost guarantee that violent brake shudder will be the outcome within a short number of miles even if, from the workshop, the shudder was not noticed (as can often be the case) due to the run out.
Brake Squeal and other Noises
Gringing Sound and Brake Squeal
Brake squeal is a common problem and is the nightmare of all pad manufacturers. It is caused when the pad “bounces” in a calliper and the squeal noise is resonance between the back plate and the piston. The grinding noise that is sometimes heard (more frequently with semi metallic not Asbestos pads) is somewhat unnerving and sometimes tends to sound as though the pads are completely worn out. The third noise, which can come from the brake system, is after the fitting of grooved or drilled brake rotors, which can be a whirring or aeroplane type sound.
We have found that the fixes for all of these problems are as follows;
Applying plastic shims to the rear of the pad can dampen this, but these are expensive and to fit them on every pad where the incidence of brake squeal can be only 1 in 10 is false economy. These are however, available, as a low cost accessory item. We definitely do not recommend the use of general workshop greases, especially Copaslip on the back of brake pads as these are a friction reducing agent being applied in the area of the only part of your vehicle which is designed to produce friction – the brakes. There are however, some “paint on” anti squeal silicone/rubber based materials, which are viscous enough to stay where they are placed and are useful in reducing brake squeal.
On certain BMW and Audi calliper fitments, we have found that applying a 5mm or 1/4 inch chamfer at the front and back leading edges of the pad has the effect of completely reducing the squeal. (Many OE pads ARE chamfered in this way). This is a fix, which needs to be done by a knowledgeable workshop mechanic if the problem arises, but the measurements above should not be exceeded. As our pads are TOTALLY ASBESTOS FREE, there is no health hazard with the dust generated bearing in mind our dimensions mentioned above are maximums and a normal dust mask is advisable.
One of the MOST PROMINENT REASONS causing brake squeal on used cars is poor disc condition. Pads will often make a noise due to vibration whilst bedding in. The worse the condition of the disc obviously the longer it takes to bed in and the longer the noise continues. Pads that have not achieved a 90% SURFACE AREA CONTACT with the disc will ALWAYS squeal.
We have seen plenty of examples where pads just sit on a small lip on the outer and inneredge where the used disc was badly “troughed” and was not replaced or re-skimmed.
Turning or skimming of rotors is also recommended if not replacing discs as this removes the glaze and polish from the surface of the discs, which can also promote brake squeal.(Always observe the disc minimum thickness, which is in our published catalogues for safety reasons and to avoid disc overheat).
Graunching or Grinding Sounds
Can be down to the material itself, happily we have had very few complaints of this on our pads. We have found that by putting a centre line groove in the pad, this can contribute to reducing this noise. We have therefore adopted a programme of centre line grooving on a large number of pads to reduce the incidence of this problem. The addition of the centre line groove also totally eliminates any pad cracking in the centre surface area of the pad where maximum heat is generated and “bulging” can occur.
Brake Rotor Noise
Created by rotors with holes or grooves, this sound is usually at its loudest when the discs are first installed and does drastically reduce after a few hundred kilometres, when the pad becomes flat and seated on the disc. This is not a warrantable situation and is normally “part of the programme” as we say and has to be accepted by customers ordering grooved and slotted discs.
Torquing Wheels and why it is so Important
Torquing Wheels And Why it is so Important
Brake pedal pulsation may be caused by improper machining of disc rotors, normal wear, rust on the mounting surface or by improper torqueing of wheel nuts.
In reality, most brake pedal pulsation problems can be traced to improper torquing of wheel nuts, which distorts the disc rotor, and causes runout. Runout of .07 mm or .003 inch may cause DTV (‘Disc Thickness Variation’) after 5,000 to 6,000 kms on later model motor vehicles.
DTV is caused by the disc pads scalloping out the high spots on a rotor with runout, as they continue to rub along the swept surface area of the rotor, while the brakes are in the off position. Once DVT develops brake pedal pulsation will become a problem. To check for runout use a dial indicator. Also check that the rotor does not have a runout problem because of scale build up between the ‘hat’ section of a hubless rotor and the hub area.
Remember it’s the original torquing of the wheel nuts that caused the rotor runout that then caused the DTV that finally caused the pedal pulsation problem!
To prevent this always, and we repeat ALWAYS, tighten the wheel nuts in a star pattern, to the correct torque specification. There are a variety of tools available to assure proper torquing of wheel nuts (always refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s manual for torque specifications).
A quick and easy method of assuring that the wheel nuts are torqued correctly is by using a torque wrench that is rated for the correct amount of torque specified in the manufacturer’s manual. However, it is possible to get an incorrect torque when using these torque wrenches, which is usually over torquing rather than under torquing of the wheel nuts.
This over torquing is possible if you hold your hand on the shaft of the torque wrench while applying pressure through an impact gun. By holding onto the shaft you may dampen the vibrations, changing the built-in torque limiting properties of the torque wrench.
Finally, after you have torqued the wheels correctly, be sure to explain to the vehicle owner the importance of torquing wheel nuts correctly. In most cases when the vehicle comes back to your workshop with brake pedal pulsation and you are satisfied that you have not distorted the disc rotor, you’ll find the wheels have been removed since you worked on it, possibly to have tyres fitted and they have incorrectly used an impact gun and created the problem.
In cases such as this, the customer returns the vehicle to your workshop, not understanding how having the tyres fitted can create the brake pedal pulsation. It is also good customer relations to let them know how much trouble you went to so as to do the job correctly.
Brake Fluid Information
What is it and Why is it So Importatnt
Brake fluid is the means by which foot pressure on the brake pedal is transferred to the brake pads and discs to slow or stop a vehicle. The brake fluid lives in a pressurized world within the master cylinder, brake hoses and brake caliper. The pressure placed on the brake pedal is transferred by the master cylinder compressing or forcing the brake fluid along the brake lines to force the brake caliper to close the disc pads onto the disc rotor. Brake fluid is an easily neglected critical safety area of any motor vehicle. We check tyre pressure, oil levels and other fluids at regular intervals and so we should do the same with the brake fluid. Because our brake fluid operates in this pressurized world it is imperative that the fluid level should not alter. If it does, our pressurized brake system becomes unsealed and therefore its performance is reduced. Brake hoses being made of rubber; deteriorate over time, as can the rubber seals and fittings, leading to a softer brake pedal, more aggressive foot force to stop or even brake failure.
Not only should we monitor the level of brake fluid, we should regularly replace it.
How often? For optimum performance – annually.
Why? Brake fluid breaks down over time and absorbs water even though the system is sealed. Fresh brake fluid when new has maximum compression characteristics, but over time and uses it loses compression though changes in its composition and make up.
How is this possible in a sealed environment you ask?
One of brake fluids most important characteristics is in fact its ability to absorb water! It is designed to absorb water! Diffusion allows moisture in the air to permeate microscopic pores in the rubber brake hoses and the various seals in the hydraulic brake system. This moisture would then rot out the internals of our brake system if it wasn’t absorbed by the brake fluid. In extremely cold weather it also stops this water/moisture from freezing in the brake system. This feature comes at a cost, which is, that water contaminated brake fluid reduces its performance. But brake fluid composition and therefore its effectiveness can also be altered by its working environment, because the brake system generates extreme temperatures, some of this is transferred off the disc pad and rotor into the brake caliper holding the disc pad and this heats up the brake fluid that flows within the brake caliper. To give you some idea of this in action, should your brake system have 3.7% of water trapped within its brake fluid, the boiling point level of your standard brake fluid is reduced from 205 degrees Celsius to 140 degrees Celsius a thirty percent reduction! So we now know that moisture will reduce the effective boiling point by almost 1/3. There are many different types of brake fluids with many differing effective temperature ratings to handle this event.
So apart from changing my brake fluid regularly should we look to upgrade the fluid to one of these with a higher/greater temperature tolerance?
The rating of the fluid your car was delivered with should be maintained unless you upgrade the internal components to handle this upgrade. All seals, brake hoses and fittings are designed and tested relevant to the chemical composition of the brake fluid to be used. Simply replacing with a higher grade brake fluid (replacing Dot3 with dot 4 for instance) gives rise to the impact the slightly different composition (the borate ester) might have on your braking system. The viscosity difference (thickness) can effect the wear rates on seals etc and cause squeaks to develop. So it’s best to stay with the same brake fluid type, but maybe go for a higher operating range within the same dot fluid, rather than jump up to a higher dot rated fluid.
What do the various ratings of brake fluid mean?
There are three main classifications of brake fluids which are known as “Dot 3, Dot 4 and Dot 5” The Dot stands for Department Of Transport and is an American based standard and runs to 14 different requirements, both physical composition and operating, under which each must be made. The most important is the measurement of its boiling point characteristics and these are measured within two ranges, being its dry boiling point and its wet boiling point. Dry boiling point is the point at which the fluid boils when first used out of the bottle and wet boiling Point is a measurement based on 3.7% water absorption in the brake fluid and at what point it starts to boil. As we know from above, water is absorbed into the brake fluid by design and it traps a lot of heat from the brake operation. These two events alter the effectiveness of the brake fluid and the minimum operating temperatures as described by the Department Of Transport regulations ensure the fluid is still capable of functioning safely.
DOT 3 – Usually glycol ether based with a minimum dry boiling point of 205 degrees Celsius and a minimum wet boiling point of 140 degrees Celsius (with 3.7% water content as discussed above).
DOT 4 – Also glycol ether based with a touch of borate esters to increase it’s immunity to water absorption. Dot4 must have a minimum of 230 degrees Celsius dry and 197 degrees Celsius wet.
DOT 5 – Silicone based and must have a minimum boiling point of 265 degrees Celsius dry and 180 degrees wet. Being silicone based this type of fluid flows more easily through the pressurized braking system Giving greater braking performance and thereby reducing heat build up. The disadvantage is that by it’s nature being more compressible it allows more room for air to be present within the fluid (air becomes trapped within its molecular structure).
There is a fourth classification of brake fluid being DOT 5.1. Recent innovations has lead to the development of a Glycol ether based fluid that now meets the characteristics as required under the industry standard DOT 5. It has the same dry and wet minimum boiling points and is basically DOT 4 fluids with higher boiling points. Also being Glycol ether based it doesn’t share the negative feature of silicone based fluids or dot 5, as air is not trapped within the silicone. These are also known within the industry, sometimes, as dot 4 plus.
DOT 5.1 is therefore the best of the best but it comes at a cost differential to DOT 3, 4 & 5 fluids.
Why should I buy brake fluid in small containers and not in bulk like engine oil?
Buying brake fluid in small containers and not using leftovers is paramount to having a safe and Effective braking system as once opened, the contents are drawing moisture and air and losing its compression and therefore its optimum performance characteristics, the same as if sealed within your hydraulic braking system as described above.
Bleeding your brake system.
This is the method by which fluid is replaced within the pressurized brake system and air is eliminated. Replacing all the brake fluid throughout the lines, cylinders and calipers must be undertaken with extreme care as any trapped air will decrease significantly the operating performance. The objective here is to obtain an air-free brake system.
Performance and racing / summary
There is not a brake fluid available that will allow you to run indefinitely without periodic changing or bleeding. When racing or doing laps the brake fluid should be replaced both before and after the days racing (each event would be better) and using a cool down lap before stopping, will assist greatly in preventing boiling, as it will avoid the heat soak when the airflow stops. The brake fluids job is to provide you with a consistent stable performance and regular bleeding and replacement, will ensure optimum operating performance and eliminate the possibility of brake failure, when you need your brakes the most- that all important emergency or hard braking situation.
Bedding in of Pads
One area we are still seeing some reluctance, to change from the old ways, is in the bedding in procedure.
Some fitters believe the best way to bed in brake linings is to apply the brakes heavily a few times to the point of an emergency stop. This is a left over from the past, whereby pads where made in a “green state” and needed the gases burnt out of the pad material, thereby curing the compound. Nearly all modern manufacturers have cured pads in the box, whereby the gases have been burnt off already and the old method of bedding-in, only causes the pad material to glaze up, leading to customer complaints of brake noise and hard pedal feel.
An exhaustive review of recent warranty claims, has shown that this, is the single main cause of product problems and the education of all is a long term plan, that needs to be accelerated to the improvement of all involved in the friction industry.
Over the past 5 years there have been more product development and changes in brake pad material than in the previous 50 years of motoring and common sense tells us all that fitters need to take on board these technology changes and embrace new methods.
The removal of asbestos as an ingredient in brake material, has been the main driver of all the recent material changes and development and the importance of changing the bedding-in procedure to allow for this, cannot be understated.
Our recommended bedding in method as shown on our boxes and fitting sheets is as follows again;-
When a vehicle has had both new rotors and/or just new pads fitted, there are two processes or objectives, to getting the brake system to operate at optimal performance.
The first step is to make sure the disc face is clean of all oils/anti rust or any foreign matter like previous brake pad material. If the rotors are not being replaced, then it is imperative that the disc is machined, prior to the fitment of new pads- without exception.
The second step is heating (not cooking) the brake rotor and pads, to transfer the pad material evenly, onto the rotor face.
This step involves performing a series of stops, so that the brake rotor and pad are heated steadily, to allow the transfer of pad material onto the brake rotor friction surface. The friction surface should be clear of all oils, which are used to stop the rotor from rusting, before being fitted to the motor vehicle. Whilst these will be burnt off, they risk transferring and possibly polluting the brake pad material and will definitely lead to a longer bedding-in process. Whilst performing a series of brake applications to transfer the pad material, care should be taken to not come to a complete stop, as this can lead to the transfer of pad material unevenly on the disc at the point where the pad comes to rest on the friction surface.
A typical program of 8-9 brake applications, from 60km down to 10km p/hour, without any cool down in between would be sufficient.
For performance pad materials, a further two sequences of ten stops will be required after a cooling down period between each cycle, to ensure that the pads have reached the required higher operating temperature to allow for the pad material to transfer effectively.
At all times during the bedding in process, care should be taken to not apply the brakes in a harsh manner or decelerate from high speeds, as this will corrupt the transfer of materials and lead to uneven material build up on the rotor surface, which in most instances will require machining to regain a flat rotor surface for optimal operation (Disc thickness vibration-DTV-which leads to brake judder or vibration
How to Measure PCD
To calculate the P.C.D. of a three stud wheel or hub measure between two holes next to each other (as with five stud below) and multiply by 1.154.
Four or Six Stud
The P.C.D. of any wheel or hub with an even number of holes can be measured from the inside of one hole directly across to the outside of the hole opposite.
To calculate the P.C.D. of a five stud wheel or hub, measure ‘X’ from the inside of one hole to the outside of the next hole and multiply by 1.7012. The table below is a reference guide for some common sizes.