Top 10 Bad Brake Images

Safe Brake is a repository of brakes pads, calipers and rotors gone bad. Here are the top 10 most tortured brakes from the site and the stories behind them.

Cheap Pads=Cheap Results

This picture came from Reddit’s Just Rolled Into The Shop subreddit and was posted by user SwitchedSmoke2. This issue with the brake pads is not an issue with the person who installed the brakes, but a clear case of some aftermarket manufacturers cutting corners to save money. Either the friction was not the right shape or not properly aligned on the backing plate. But, the rotor could be a little too small for the application (it looks like the OE rotor). Some replacement rotors might be a smaller diameter to save costs. Both issues are caused by low-quality manufacturers either not doing the proper research+development or field testing on actual vehicles.

Brake Pad Seizes in Caliper Bracket

The user said that the pads were only two months old when one side seized in the caliper bracket.

BAD BRAKES: The Caliper Is Dragging

This comes from Reddit’s Subreddit Just Rolled Into The Shop. I have no idea how this can happen and neither did the poster who said the car was serviced by another shop. Some of the best comments were:

“That shop must not be of very high caliper.”

“Brakes are dragging a bit.”

“That’s the anchor for when you need to stop in puddles.”

Caliper Bracket Bolt MIA

If you forget to tighten the caliper bracket bolt, this can happen,

Spot The Mistake!

This picture was posted on Reddit’s Just Rolled Into The Shop Forum by Vocril. The owner claimed his buddy did the brakes and now they just need to be bled to get the pedal back.

Rusty Brakes

According to Tuna79 from Reddit’s JustRolledIntoTheShop subreddit, these brakes were from a salt-water boat trailer. The best comment from the post was: Technician notes: “Unable to complete work. Haven’t had tetanus shot.”

How Could They Not See This?

In my experience, the inboard side of the rotor wears first due to a seized caliper. On this Chevy, the rotor is worn on the outboard side and in clear view of the driver and has been grinding for a long time.

The Brake Pedal Felt Funny

This shows what can happen to an economy brake pad that has minimal corrosion protection. The corrosion has worked its way between the backing plate and friction material. This has caused the friction material to delaminate from backing plate. At least 25 percent of the friction material is missing. This is a significant loss of braking power. The user who posted the picture said the driver brought the vehicle in because the pedal felt funny.


This driver pulled in the parking space next to me. I heard the grinding brakes first. The stain on the side is not mud, it is the metal from rotors and pads sticking to the side of the van and rusting!

Case of the Bends

This “economy” brake pad had a thin backing plate that deformed under the pressure of the caliper piston.