First Time on the Mazda

Grease MonkeyThis weekend was a fun-filled one in which Balthazar was introduced to automotive repair. He really enjoyed it, which means at age 6 not only will he be mowing the lawn, he’ll be changing my oil too.

My goal was to replace all of my brake pads this weekend; a goal, which in reality, turned out to be futile and more preparatory in nature. The problem I encountered was due to the recent service regarding four new tires at VIP AutoCare in Oakwood. The paltry lug wrench that came with the car was unable to twist off lug nuts tightened down by a million ft. lbs. of hammer-torque. As a result, I headed out to purchase an impact wrench. It was an exciting thing to do and I walked away with a complete kit of impact wrench, air ratchet, a blower with different nozzles, and an assortment of sockets. A great deal if I do say so myself. The wrench I purchased weighed in at under 300 ft. lbs. and was unable to budge my nuts (tee-hee). I estimated that the wrench used at the service shop was probably a 500-600 ft. lbs. unit. Bummer. So I did what any reasonable power tool owner would do. I tweaked the power and got some extra effort out of the increased pressure. Albeit a dangerous level to the tool, I thought I’d return it promptly if it should break in the first day of misuse. However, I was able to remove the nuts and the wheel. It was at this point that Balthazar came out joined me to see the bare rotor and misplaced wheel. He was perplexed and amazed. “Daddy! Daddy! Wook, daddy. It’s broken.” So we fixed the car, but not before I had realized that my pads were actually in dandy shape for another few months at least.

Back when I had my tires installed, the shop mechanic had warned me that the inside pads were worn almost completely through. The outsides were at 50%, so I thought it strange. For the new pads that I bought, I purchased the more expensive cermaic pads in hopes to fix this problem. But when I got a closer look at the inside pads, I could see that there was 40%-50% pad left there too. So either the mechanic didn’t know what he was talking about or he just wanted to get a little extra money out of me. I’m partial to the first idea because having seen the pad and its assemby on the rotor, it was impossible to assess the pad’s thickness without removing it.

So I didn’t need the pads, but I have a set of front and rear when I do. I’ve also disassembled the front wheel and brake assembly. I’m prepared to do this right when the time comes. And I think Balthazar can help me out sufficiently. Time wasted? Not completely.

1 comment

  1. That is a great picture! He probably thought that was the greatest thing in the world helping you. Its amazes me how many things I do with my son that I think are mundane and he finds to be a great adventure! Gotta love it.

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