If you are new to the world of electric vehicles, brake cleaning seems like a joke fashioned by die-hard ICE (internal combustion engine) enthusiasts. Well… not quite. If you own a Tesla in the “cold weather region”, it’s recommended – by Tesla - that you get the calipers cleaned and lubricated every year or every 12,500 miles.
So why does your Tesla need brake cleaning? Because EVs use brakes infrequently. Most of the braking is done by the energy recovery system, and so your brake pads don’t get used much, and are likely to last around 100,000 miles. Awesome – you say - we save on brake pads replacement. True indeed, but as a result, brake pads, calipers, and brake rotors get very little exercise, and so if you live in a climate with snow, salt, year round rains, brake rotors are going to rust, get gunky, and calipers might get sticky. Internal combustion engine vehicles do not face these issues, because brakes are used hard every day.
Since we live in the Bay Area, our exposure to snow is limited to winter trips to Sierra Nevada, and our roads are not salted on regular basis. As a result, you can probably go for a couple of years without having brake cleaning. At Adams Autoworx we recommend that you bring in your Tesla for brake inspection every two years – the good news is that your Tesla needs to have its brake fluid replaced every couple of years or so. Thus you can combine brake fluid replacement with brake inspection, and brake calipers cleaning and lubrication if necessary. You could, of course, do the brake cleaning yourself – there are videos on YouTube showing how to do it and the number of tools you will need is limited – or you could leave it in the hands of the professionals. Brakes are crucial to your safety, so making sure they are reassembled correctly is best left to those who work on them every day.
At Adams Autoworx in Castro Valley we offer Tesla brake cleaning, brake fluid replacement, and other services. Make an appointment online, on our website, or simply call the shop. We are looking forward to working on your Tesla.