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Hi,

I just returned from the dealership and they suggested that I have my brakes serviced. They said that I have not been using them enough (I've been driving in L) and something is drying up and they will fail eventually...sorry I am not car technical. They quoted me $210.00 CND for front and back repair.

I have read other posts about people being told they need their brakes serviced too. Opinions?

Thanks
 

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Sounds like a scam to me. The service schedule in the owners manual specifically notes that the brake fluid is to be replaced every 5 years, there aren't any Bolts that are old enough for that yet. Did they say specifically what this "repair" was going to be?
 

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Hi,

I just returned from the dealership and they suggested that I have my brakes serviced. They said that I have not been using them enough (I've been driving in L) and something is drying up and they will fail eventually...sorry I am not car technical. They quoted me $210.00 CND for front and back repair.

I have read other posts about people being told they need their brakes serviced too. Opinions?

Thanks
It's time to find a new Chevy dealer that sells Bolts (so they likely service them), but doesn't try to cheat it's customers.

You'll likely never need to service your brake pads, because of regenerative braking. I've driven factory-built EVs for over twenty years, and have never done a brake job (pad replacement) on any of them. Not one.
 

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Completely agree with respect to the pads, but what has your experience been with brake fluid?

I change the fluid every ~2 years in my ICE cars due to thermal cycling and water absorption.

Obviously with regen thermal cycling in an EV isn't nearly as big an issue, but the manual still calls for a 5 year replacement interval.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My Bolt is only 6 months old with 29,000 km
The dealership only has one EV technician, and I believe they said my calipers are dry because I haven't been using my brakes that much.
 

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Try driving in "D" mode for a while which will require you to use your brakes. If they function properly then they're probably fine. You may have some surface rust on the rotors which could cause a slight scraping sound but that will go away once the rust is worn off.
 

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Try driving in "D" mode for a while which will require you to use your brakes. If they function properly then they're probably fine. You may have some surface rust on the rotors which could cause a slight scraping sound but that will go away once the rust is worn off.
If the braking system is operating properly, driving in D or L doesn't matter. The electronics blends the regen with the friction and you will never know the difference. L is just a convenience to allow you to keep you foot on the accelerator rather than switching to the brake for routine slowing/stopping. Put another way, there is no regen efficiency advantage to driving in L. This is one of the things that GM got very right indeed. The only way to really exercise the friction brakes is with hard stops or to charge to 100% on a cold day when the battery can't absorb the regen. You may get a rude surprise if you try the latter as the car won't slow down without using the brake pedal.
 

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The only way to really exercise the friction brakes is with hard stops or to charge to 100% on a cold day when the battery can't absorb the regen. You may get a rude surprise if you try the latter as the car won't slow down without using the brake pedal.
From what I've heard, you can also get up to speed, put the car in neutral, and then hit the brakes. Or neutral and braking on a downhill...
 

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Dealers made about 70% of their profits the service department. BEV's are going to mean big changes for them. So being as you are from Canada, best to be very polite and go somewhere else. No preventive brake service needed.
 

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The dealer said “something is drying up”...

What’s drying up is the dealership service center revenue stream.

EVs are going to put a lot of mechanics out of business, just as they’ll be reducing employment in the auto manufacturing industry. EVs are simply mechanically simpler than ICE vehicles, easier to build, easier to maintain.

I just turned in my ‘17 Bolt at lease end. In three years I made zero trips to the dealer for service or maintenance, and had zero maintenance cost. I expect the same reliable service from my new 2020 Bolt.

”they will fail eventually”...

I can’t argue with that, everything fails eventually, but that eventually is most likely at least 100k miles down the road, more if you have a routine brake system inspection every few years and replace the brake fluid as per GM’s recommendation.

There are parts on any brake system that require periodic inspection and lubrication, but certainly not on any car with low mileage, such as yours.
 

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Hi,

I just returned from the dealership and they suggested that I have my brakes serviced. They said that I have not been using them enough (I've been driving in L) and something is drying up and they will fail eventually...sorry I am not car technical. They quoted me $210.00 CND for front and back repair.

I have read other posts about people being told they need their brakes serviced too. Opinions?

Thanks
Did they describe exactly what sort of service they would perform? Since you're Canadian, I'm guessing you live in a cold and snowy area that gets road salt.

I'm going to disagree with the people stating that the dealer is trying to rip you off. As much as I dislike Tesla's customer service, they have in general been trying to eliminate as much routine maintenance as possible. But check out "Winter Maintenance" under Car Maintenance . Note that right now, Tesla has a huge motivation to get people OUT of their service centers because they're horrendously backlogged and their reputation is suffering as a result.

"Tesla recommends cleaning and lubricating all brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 mi for cars in cold weather regions."

Specifically, within the calipers there are a set of guide pins. These pins are known to be prone to corrosion/seizing in most cars used in road salt regions, and guess what - Using the brakes more frequently will prevent the pins from corroding in place!

I'd disagree on the dealer trying to rip you off on this one, the service in question, if it is what I think it is, is something I plan on doing at the end of the winter season on my Bolt to prepare the vehicle for the next season.

I may be extra sensitive to this since the second to last failure of my Outback prior to the exhaust system rusting out was the front brakes both rusting out.

Edit: Note that if you want to "exercise" the brakes, you don't really have to exercise the pad friction surfaces much. Just pumping the pedal a few times at low speeds to make the brakes slide along the pins is what's beneficial here.

For a bit more, see How to Test Brake Caliper Guide Pins

Also see #1 and #2 of Top Ten Brake Job Mistakes For Pads, Rotors and Calipers - Safe Braking - an EV used in a road salt environment won't be any better than an ICE here, and in fact could be worse due to the mechanical brakes being used far less.

Note: As to arguments the Bolt is low mileage, if Chevy is like Tesla, they're not lubricating/greasing the guide pins for vehicles shipped to regions where it's necessary. They're following the lowest common denominator.
 

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From what I've heard, you can also get up to speed, put the car in neutral, and then hit the brakes. Or neutral and braking on a downhill...
Yeah, that's the only surefire way to make sure you're really using the hydraulic brakes. You get just as much regen in "D" mode as you do in "L" mode, so unless you're braking really aggressively the hydraulic brakes won't be used. And even if you do brake really aggressively, the hydraulics won't be used nearly as much as you think because regen is in there adsorbing a lot of the momentum.
 

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I'd disagree on the dealer trying to rip you off on this one, the service in question, if it is what I think it is, is something I plan on doing at the end of the winter season on my Bolt to prepare the vehicle for the next season.
This is where it's invaluable to have an independent service guy that you trust. If the dealer sprung this on me, I'd take the car to my independent guy and get his opinion. It's not like you need a trained Bolt technician to work on the brakes.

Heck, even if you don't trust the independent guy it might be worth taking the car to him without telling him the dealer diagnosis and see if what he says matches what the dealer says. And to see if he's going to charge as much.
 

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This is where it's invaluable to have an independent service guy that you trust. If the dealer sprung this on me, I'd take the car to my independent guy and get his opinion. It's not like you need a trained Bolt technician to work on the brakes.

Heck, even if you don't trust the independent guy it might be worth taking the car to him without telling him the dealer diagnosis and see if what he says matches what the dealer says. And to see if he's going to charge as much.
In the case of an independent... I'm not sure if them not recommending it is a huge negative sign or not. In the case of Tesla, the brake service is region-specific routine preventative maintenance, not a failure repair - and it may be that any service center not familiar with EVs might not realize that the very different usage patterns of an EV may lead to very different modes of failure. I suspect that caliper guide pins are less likely to seize on ICE cars precisely because the brakes are used so much, so it's less likely they'll get stuck in place.

As an FYI, the Tesla brake service seems to be variable in cost - some people get hit with $175USD each for front and rear, some people get hit with $175 for all four wheels. Apparently Tesla doesn't even bother charging for the grease and brake cleaner, it's 100% labor charges.

(Perhaps in addition to asking the dealer exactly what the brake service entails, ask for an itemization of parts vs. labor. If it's the service I'm thinking of, the parts cost should be really small.)
 

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...it may be that any service center not familiar with EVs might not realize that the very different usage patterns of an EV may lead to very different modes of failure. I suspect that caliper guide pins are less likely to seize on ICE cars precisely because the brakes are used so much, so it's less likely they'll get stuck in place.
It only takes a minute to explain to the service rep that it's an EV, the brakes are hardly ever used, and treat them like the car's been sitting in a garage for a couple of years. Heck, that's what I do with my guy when I take my van out of storage.
 

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It only takes a minute to explain to the service rep that it's an EV, the brakes are hardly ever used, and treat them like the car's been sitting in a garage for a couple of years. Heck, that's what I do with my guy when I take my van out of storage.
Yeah, that's the closest match... Although in this case, while sitting in a garage for a few years leads to no movement, it also means that there isn't salt water splashing on it all the time.

For this particular situation, probably a worst case scenario. Which might be why Tesla's routine maintenance recommendation is the first time I've ever really seen this sort of thing highlighted by anyone as a routine thing to do.
 

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Yeah, that's the only surefire way to make sure you're really using the hydraulic brakes. You get just as much regen in "D" mode as you do in "L" mode, so unless you're braking really aggressively the hydraulic brakes won't be used. And even if you do brake really aggressively, the hydraulics won't be used nearly as much as you think because regen is in there adsorbing a lot of the momentum.
FWIW my car was delivered to me with transport mode enabled. In this mode the car can be driven, but regen is completely disabled. All braking will be done by the brakes. Instructions on how to enable/disable at the bottom of the first post:
 
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