SHORT BRAKE-DISC LIFE

Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

I bought a Nis­san NP200 two years ago and re­cently took it for its se­cond service at 21 000 km. Later, I re­ceived a phone call from the dealer to in­form me the front discs and pads needed to be re­placed and that would cost an ad­di­tional R3 800 over and above the stan­dard service. I told them not to re­place them, as I can­not be­lieve the discs were fin­ished af­ter only 21 000 km. I don’t have a prob­lem re­plac­ing the pads but surely you shouldn’t have to re­place discs ev­ery time you re­place pads?

I phoned the Nis­san cus­tomer care num­ber and ex­plained to it is not ac­cept­able to re­place the discs five times over a 100 000 km pe­riod. Ac­cord­ing to Nis­san, this is nor­mal wear and tear in­flu­enced by driv­ing style and cy­cle. ALMERO DU PISANI Pre­to­ria

Nis­san has a point re­gard­ing driv­ing style and cy­cle, be­cause both el­e­ments im­pact the life­span of such com­po­nents, but 21 000 km does sound like too short a dis­tance.

If you’re sure driv­ing style and cy­cle are not to blame, it would be best to de­ter­mine why Nis­san wants to re­place the discs. Com- pare the discs’ thick­ness to those of new ones, as well as the rec­om­mended min­i­mum spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Also check for any ex­ces­sive ridges on the outer edge of the discs. If all is within spec­i­fi­ca­tion, there is no need to change the discs. If those parts are in­deed worn down to a level where they are a safety haz­ard (and the drive style and cy­cle are not to blame), it may point to a man­u­fac­turer de­fect with the parts. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s dif­fi­cult to prove a man­u­fac­turer has been neg­li­gent in its construction of wear-and-tear com­po­nents.

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