Brake Service Philosophy

Brake Service Philosophy

When someone gets a brake service done, the last thing they want is to come back pre-maturely. Many mechanics complete a job, only to have a customer return a few days later with a complaints. The good news is, there are a few simple ground rules that can help prevent this from ever happening. Whether you are a full time mechanic or a newbie, holding to just a few rules can help ensure that any of your work is done well.

Service Philosophies

As with most jobs, there are several ways to ensure a quality brake service is provided. We strongly suggest abiding by these 2 specific philosophies.

1: Take your time and do it right

2: Do what you can to prevent pre-mature re-visits.

Mechanic working on tire

Doing the Brake Service Right

But it is absolutely essential that you know what you are doing. Always make sure you have the necessary knowledge to complete the job, then take the time to do it right. Try to think of it this way: If you take an extra 10 minutes to do it correctly, you’ll save yourself the time and headache of having to redo the entire brake service later. By ensuring a job well done, you also ensure the happiness of customers and the trust you build with them will remain strong.

One way to ensure you know all necessary steps to complete your brake service, is to do research. All across the internet you can find tutorials for specific car models and issues. By taking advantage of these resources, you will not only do the job right, but you’ll be able to complete it more quickly as well. Some common websites/mechanics to learn from are Eric the Car Guy, various Youtube channels or check out our videos. You can even social media groups like Mechanic Mafia to interact with more experienced Mechanics. Always remember, when in doubt, search it out.

Smiling Mechanic

Preventing a Re-do

As you work on a vehicle, try to think of everything you can do to help keep it out of the shop. This is why taking the time to do job right is so important. As you keep a sharp eye for detail and refrain from rushing, you are more likely to catch other issues. Don’t be afraid to bring up any new issues with the customer. Doing so will benefit you by providing more work, and further building a bridge of trust between you and your customer. By always striving to keep cars out of the shop, you can provide the best service possible.

Time – Invest it now or waste it later

Problem: Time is one of those things that you cannot get back once it is gone. This is the same for you as a shop owner or mechanic as it is for your customers. Cause: Many times, customers come in and we want to get them in and out as quickly as possible. This means...

Reverse Fluid Injection – RFI

Problem: Low activating brakes and spongy brake pedalCause: Air trapped in hydraulic system Solution: RFI is a patented process from Phoenix Systems. The Phoenix Injector has been designed to perform RFI as well as pressure and vacuum bleeding. To perform RFI follow...

Brake Pull Diagnosis

Problem: Vehicle pulls to one side during braking Cause: There are many causes of brake pull. here is a list of possible causes: Friction problem Rotor friction surface problem Caliper problem Restricted brake hose Hydraulic restriction higher than brake hose Rear...


Brake System Troubleshooting Tips THINK SAFETY!! Don’t attempt working on your brakes if you aren’t experienced with brake systems. These troubleshooting tips assume a person is familiar and equipped with jacking and supporting safety stands, brake tools, seal and...

Brake Lathe Arbor – Checking & Correcting Runout

Problem: Bench lathe induced runout is a leading cause of runout induced DTV pulsation comebacks. Cause: There are three main reasons for bench lathe induced runout. They are: Arbor runout Adapter condition Not verifying accuracy of setup This tip will cover checking...

Checking Shoe to Drum Contact

Problem: Inadequate rear braking on drum brake equipped vehicles Cause: poor shoe to drum contact Solution: There is a quick and effective method of determining brake shoe to drum contact. Using a ball point pen make a crosshatch pattern across the face of both brake...

Wheel Tightening Procedures

Problem: Reoccurring pulsation compliant due to runout induced DTV (disc thickness variation) Cause: Wheels installed using incorrect tightening procedure. Solution: The process of installing a wheel involves 2 key steps which when done properly will eliminate wheel...

Rotor Indexing

Problem: Determining and correcting the source of installed runout. Cause: Excessive installed runout can be caused by any combination of the following: Rotor has runout Hub has runout Hub to rotor mating surface is not clean Solution: Performing a process known as...

Wheel Cylinder Inspection Tips

Problem: Wheel cylinder misdiagnosis Cause: Not performing the necessary steps to determine proper function and attributing non-wheel cylinder symptoms to wheel cylinder conditions Solution: Perform correct inspection on wheel cylinders and know how to interpret the...

Rust and Runout

Problem: High speed pulsation, usually above 35mph, occurring shortly after brake job or tire service is performed (usually between 3,000 and 6,000 miles). Cause: One or more of the rotors installed with excessive runout. Generic specification being used by domestic...
Copper Check Press Release

Copper Check Press Release

Copper check

Lower Pricing

The same industry standard brake fluid copper test you are used to from Phoenix Systems, but now at a lower price.

Finds Broken Brake Fluid

No other brake fluid test finds broken brake fluid faster than Copper Check. Copper Check is reliable, repeatable and 100% accurate.

revolutionary copper check finds broken brake fluid fast

Copper Check, a revolutionary diagnostic test strip used to determine when to change a vehicle’s brake fluid, is soon to be available to the automotive aftermarket. This test strip helps automotive service technicians quickly find and replace corrosive brake fluid.   

(PRWEB) August 26, 2020 – Automotive diagnostic technology has come far in past decades, but even the modern technician is still left to guess on when brake fluid should or should not be changed. Copper Check puts a stop to this guessing by providing an industry standard copper corrosion test strip that reveals the age and condition of DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 brake fluid. With the introduction of Copper Check to the automotive aftermarket, technicians can now find broken brake fluid in less than 60 seconds.  

Copper Check uses medical grade colorimetric test strip technology to discover the copper ion contamination within brake fluid. Nearly 50% of the used vehicles on the road today have enough copper corrosion contamination to no longer pass a DOT corrosion test. Copper corrosion within brake fluid is created when oxygen and heat are introduced through the master cylinder cap, rubber hoses, and overheated calipers. Brake lines are coated with copper inside to make them seamless, problem is, copper is the first metal to corrode. Once copper ion levels reach 200 ppm they begin to attack iron components and cause frozen calipers, malfunctioning ABS units, and leaking master cylinders.

Copper Check is ideal for service centers who want to utilize the most up to date technology when diagnosing a vehicle brake system. This test is repeatable, reliable and 100% accurate. In today’s ever changing environment it is vital to provide accurate proof for the services a shop recommends. 

Copper Check will be available to purchase early Q4 of 2020. Please contact Jeremiah at to obtain more information about pricing and availability.


About Copper Check 

Copper Check is owned by the leading authority in brake fluid testing, Phoenix Systems. Phoenix Systems pioneered the technology of using copper ions to determine when to change brake fluid. Copper corrosion testing brake fluid is included in the MAP/AMRA EUICS service codes and trusted by the majority of all large chain service centers and owner operated shops in the United States and Canada.


download press release

CLICK HERE to download Copper Check press release and 300dpi images.

Reverse Bleed Your UTV

This cry for help sound familiar? 

“I’ve spent at least 12 hours trying to bleed the brake lines on my UTV, but the pedal still goes to the floor. Today I went to the store to get a vacuum pump. I must have run 3 bottles of fluid through the system and still nothing. What am I doing wrong?”


Getting a perfectly firm pedal is a must have when out exploring new trails and flying through your favorites at top speed. Many people are having a hard time getting all the air out of their lines using traditional bleeding methods leaving a mushy pedal.  There is really only one proven way to get that perfect pedal every time and that is by reverse bleeding the brakes.  Reverse bleeding was originally designed for tough-to-bleed cars and trucks but recently it has been reveled as the only way to go with the fast growing UTV market. 

Reverse bleeding pushes the trapped air, that can be so hard to get out with the abrupt curves in the brake lines, up and out the master cylinder.  The air is naturally trying to rise and trying to pull it down when it doesn’t want to go that way can sometimes feel impossible. Working with this flow, as opposed to against it, results in a one man 5-10 minute process instead of potentially endless shenanigans. This reverse bleeder is perfect for UTV techs and weekend warriors alike. 

Click Here to learn more about reverse bleeding process.

Are you a Technician or Part Changer?

Are you a Technician or Part Changer?

Brake Technician


Part Changer


What happens when you diagnose a problem by trying to throw parts at the car to fix it instead of diagnosing the issue correctly? Does this happen in your shop with some of your technicians? What is your customer’s reaction when this happens?


The majority of people servicing brakes have obtained most of their knowledge on the job. While hands on experience is sometimes the best teacher, it cannot always provide the knowledge that is necessary to understand the inner workings of the various brake parts and systems. Without this understanding, accurate diagnosis can be extremely difficult if not impossible.


In the eyes of most technicians and consumers, the brake system is relatively simple. Disc brakes in the front and drum or disc brakes in the rear. “Throw” a set of pads on it and it will be fine. This oversimplification of the brake system leads to many of the problems that are encountered. 

The brake system is a complex system. It has many components which are dependent upon one another to function properly. The key word is “system”. They work together to stop the vehicle. When one part of the system is not working properly, then other parts of the system will be affected. There is a direct relationship between how good a technician is and how much they know about how each part in the system works.

Accurate brake system diagnosis depends on having a clear understanding of:

How does each part work?

What can go wrong?

What will that cause?

Many technicians servicing brake systems do not have a good enough handle on the first point listed above, how each part works. Without this the technicians will be faced with replacing parts to try and correct a problem. This is the definition of a “parts changer”. Brake technicians have a clear understanding of each part in the system and how it relates to the overall system operation. This gives them the ability to understand what can go wrong with the part and what it will cause. They use this in applying a logical approach to the diagnosis of the various brake problems they encounter.

Technicians must constantly seek out new sources of information. These tips and blog posts are examples of where to get the kind of information necessary to allow accurate diagnosis of many different brake problems. Other resources include trade publications, seminars, webinars, and the internet (many resources here with YouTube, Facebook, Automotive Forums, etc…). With the constant advancement of vehicle technology, the learning process will never be over. We hope that you will keep coming back for our Tech Tips Blog Posts.

Are you selling a “Phony Flush?”

Are you selling a “Phony Flush?”

Are you selling a “Phony Flush?”

Changing Brake Fluid is an important service for the safety and longevity of our vehicles. However, it can be difficult to determine when the right time is to change the fluid. Many service centers offer a “Phony Flush” by recommending an un-needed service.  Or they send customers home without properly diagnosing worn out brake fluid which does need to be changed.

Common unethical methods used to validate a need for changing brake fluid:

Looks Dirty

Rubber brake lines and fittings will often discolor brake fluid in a brand new vehicle. Changing brake fluid based upon color is too subjective and unethical. This includes using bottles, trays and paper to show the color of the brake fluid.

Smells Bad

I don’t believe many of us know what brake fluid should or should’nt smell like. The smell is surely not a good reason to change brake fluid.

Has Moisture

Moisture does not equal boiling point. Most brake fluid with up to 3% moisture will Not fail a boiling point test. There is No standard for changing brake fluid based upon moisture content. Moisture pens are known to fail brand new brake fluid.

Because I Say So

We realize there are master mechanics with an unlimited amount of knowledge, however science can now take the subjectivity out of a recommendation. It is time to get up to speed with today’s testing technology and make a proper recommendation.

Valid and ethical reasons to change brake fluid:


Different vehicle manufacturers have different intervals for changing brake fluid. Most Ford, Chrysler and GM models have No interval for brake fluid, while most European and many Asian manufacturers have an interval of somewhere between 15K to 24K miles. Making a recommendation to change brake fluid based upon an OEM service interval is a valid reason for service.

Boiling Point

Moisture does not equal boiling point. The best method for testing the boiling point of brake fluid is to use a boiling point analyzer. The DOT FMVSS standards state that DOT 3 brake fluid should not boil below 284° F. On average less than 4 % of vehicles on the road will have a boiling point below 284° F.

Copper Testing

Using copper testing technology to determine when to change brake fluid has become the most used and recognized standard to determine when to change brake fluid. Up to 50% of vehicles on the road today have enough copper corrosion in their brake fluid to keep them from passing the DOT FMVSS corrosion test. Testing brake fluid copper levels is part of the AMRA EUICS standards and helps a shop comply with the Automotive Repair Act of California. Copper testing brake fluid is also part of the inspection process for Firestone, GoodYear, Monro, Tire Kingdom, Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, AAA and many other service centers.

Recommending a brake fluid service based upon copper content in brake fluid will:

 #1 Deliver the most ethical and legal method to determine when to change brake fluid.

#2 Provide a much greater level of opportunity than any other test.

#3 Give a better experience for the customer to see and understand why they should change their brake fluid.

Click Here to learn more about copper testing brake fluid.

Brake Service Done Right with Brake Fluid Test Strips

Brake Service Done Right with Brake Fluid Test Strips

Brake Service Done Right with Brake Fluid Test Strips


One of the major problems and concerns with servicing brake fluid is the issue of customers returning to the service center because the job wasn’t done correctly. Not only is this a huge problem for the customer, but it’s a problem for the service center. Avoid this problem by using brake fluid test strips.


The root cause of this problem can be traced to not having the proper tools to make sure the brake fluid was tested and changed properly.


Brake fluid test strips are designed to make services center more efficient, and increases customer satisfaction with their brake service. The Brake fluid test strips made by Phoenix systems are called BrakeStrip.

BrakeStrip is a 60-second test that identifies serious brake system problems before they occur – thereby ensuring your customers’ safety while earning their trust and loyalty. BrakeStrip also uses Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) guidelines for brake fluid test results. Plus, BrakeStrip is recommended by manufacturers like Bendix Brakes and Raybestos. No other brake fluid test finds bad brake fluid as often as BrakeStrip.

Learn more about BrakeStrip.

How to use brake fluid test strips:

Show customers you really stand behind your work, and use BrakeStrip to give them proof that their brake service was done right. BrakeStrips are easy to use. First dip the BrakeStrip into the brake fluid.

Next compare the brake fluid test strips to the color chart. Then change the brake fluid, re-test and provide the customer with the brake fluid test strips and result card. This will set the customers mind at ease knowing their brake fluid was serviced correctly.

Purchase BrakeStrip


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