Auto Service World
News   August 23, 2019   by Allan Janssen

EyeSpy: Nothing but broken brakes!

Brakes are a key safety item on any car, but you wouldn’t know that by the way some motorists take care of them!  Here are just four recent brake-related EyeSpy photos, sent in by readers of CARS magazine.  Enjoy the craziness!

Paul Kelly, part owner of Fall River Service Centre, a Napa Autopro shop in Waverley, N.S., sent in this study in total neglect. “The customer was complaining about a wheel bearing noise,” he writes. The customer wanted a motor vehicle inspection done. Despite the disrepair, he insisted that the car’s brakes felt normal. Ultimately, the car needed too much work and was towed away for scrap.

Denis Brisebois of Ici Pneu in St-Laurent, Que. didn’t have to do a lot of work to discover the source of some noisy rear brakes. Pulling the wheels, this is what they found.  Where to start!

Dennis Vanderzwaag of Whistler Automotive calls these the scariest brakes he’s ever seen. “The customer said he *thinks* it needs brakes!” Dennis writes. This happened from the customer running the brakes on his 2001 Ford E-150 metal-on-metal for so long enough that they ground the disc off the hub and the caliper piston popped out.

“The scary part is that in B.C. there is no mandatory  inspection or safety check when a vehicle changes hands, so people buy these vehicles and just start driving in this condition.”

Vik Krishna, lead technician at Trail Tire Auto Centres in Edmonton, Alta., worked on this 2014 Ford F-150 that came in for a routine service interval. “Upon entering the vehicle and driving off, I noticed something drastically wrong with the brake pedal!” he says. “So I gently eased the truck in my bay and started my inspection. Looking at the master cylinder and ABS pump for leaks came up negative. Lifting the vehicle up I could see something dangling behind the left rear wheel. On closer inspection, I found the caliper was hanging off its bracket, both the inner and outer pads were missing!”

He says the actual braking was done by the caliper piston… for a short period of time, until the caliper pins fell off!

“When I asked the customer if they were experiencing any difficulty braking, she said everything felt OK. So I showed the customer and her jaw fell to the ground!”


That’s just a small sample of what techs are finding under the cars they work on every single day.


Want to add your findings to the EyeSpy collection?  Send a high-res picture and lots of explanation to


Or follow this form:

Eye Spy

  • I acknowledge that photographs and videos submitted to EyeSpy may be used without restriction in the automotive publications of Newcom Business Media -- CARS magazine, Jobber News, and L’Automobile -- and its affiliated websites.
  • Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Max. file size: 8 MB.


Print this page


1 Comment » for EyeSpy: Nothing but broken brakes!
  1. Bob Ward says:

    These are perfect reasons why we should lobby for mandatory biennial safety inspections. Remember these vehicles are being driven daily. All levels of government have a public safety mandate. These examples we see on eye spy are just the tip of the iceberg.

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *