How to Remove Brake Glaze

Updated July 20, 2017

Excessive starting and stopping can cause a distortion of the brake pad or brake shoe material, known as a glaze. This condition will increase the distance it takes to stop your vehicle. Steps should be taken immediately to remedy this condition.

Use the service manual to determine which type of brake mechanism your vehicle has. There are two kinds, disc brakes and drum brakes. These have different procedures for exposing the brake pad material. In either case, jack up the vehicle & remove the wheel, observing all safety precautions.

For drum brakes, locate the "window" on the back side of a drum brake and use the flat tip screw driver to turn the brake adjustment wheel counterclockwise until the brake hub is free to come off the brake assembly.

Remove the hub using the same procedure for both wheels on the axle.

For disc brakes, find the appropriate-sized socket from your set and attach it to the ratchet. Locate the disc brake caliper by using the service manual for your year and model of vehicle.

Turn the ratchet counterclockwise and remove both caliper bolts. Pull the caliper off the rotor. Use the bailing wire to keep the calipers from hanging from the brake hoses.

Position the C-clamp over the brake caliper and the centre of the brake pad and turn the adjuster clockwise until the brake pads are flush with the caliper.

Apply your mechanic's sand paper to the brake surface and make swirling motions until the brake material is free of glaze. Use this process on both types of brakes.

Replace the hubs on the drum brake assembly and use the flat-tip screw driver to adjust the brake adjustment wheel until there is a slight drag on the brake hub when it is in place.

Line up the brake caliper on your disc brake assembly with the caliper bolt holes and reinstall the bolts.

Use socket and ratchet to tighten the bolts by turning them counterclockwise until tight and then remove the bailing wire.

Test drive your vehicle to make sure the brake system is functioning properly and the stopping distance is in line with the service manual.


It is important to use the bailing wire to hold up the caliper and not put pressure on the rubber brake hose. The hose is made of rubber and wire filiments that may break if put under too much hanging pressure. If the glaze is so deep that you cannot remove it all by sanding, replace the brake pads or shoes.


Wear safety glasses throughout this procedure to avoid eye injury.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 roll mechanic's sand paper
  • Service manual for the year and model of your vehicle
  • C-clamp
  • 1/2" drive torque socket set
  • 1/2" drive socket wrench
  • Large-bladed flat-tip screw driver
  • Bailing wire
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About the Author

Paul Vaughn has worked in the auto and diesel mechanics field for 10 years and as public school automotive vocational teacher for five years. He currently teaches high school auto tech, covering year model vehicles as old as 1980 to as new as 2007.