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Thread: WD40 mishap

  1. #1
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    WD40 mishap

    seems that I somehow sprayed it on my disc brakes and now they brake only when i press really hard. I
    tried and washed them with a degreaser but am not seeing any improvement. what should i do next? help please.

  2. #2
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Brake cleaner is available at auto stores.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

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    thx, should I remove the brakes and then spray them or can i just spray the whole mechanism?

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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    I would guess your pads are contaminated. You could try removing them and using some kind of solvent to clean them. Personally, I would just buy new pads, not worth the risk.

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    Try using some dish soap and water, then rinse. It might take a few time but should work.

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    don't be so angry clancy98's Avatar
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    replace pads or bake them
    Irregardless is not a word, and you do not sound more intelligent using it.

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    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If you ever meet a total scuzzball on a bicycle - Teflon-spray does a bang-up job on the rims & pads. Other than this - be very careful around your brake-pads when working with lubricants.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    bm - you want bearings/pivots inside the brake caliper to remain lubed, and you don't want to damage the paint on your bike, so my suggestion would be this:
    1) Remove rotors and thoroughly clean them with brake cleaner; when reinstalling, make sure to (a) tighten the bolts *in steps* (b) *in the crisscross pattern* and (c) to the manufacturer's spec torque.
    2) (with wheel removed) Remove and discard old pads, install fresh ones.
    3) Dispose of your can of WD-40 in a fire!

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    thank you all for the suggestions. I cannot get new pads at the moment, so i have washed the brakes a few more times and I can see improvement.

    @mondoman: with my clumsiness I doubt step 3 would end with satisfaction but rather with 3rd degree burns.

  10. #10
    lungbuster estabro's Avatar
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    Just ride. It will wear off eventually.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Proofide's Avatar
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    Don't dispose of the WD-40 in a fire! Just give it away, and don't buy any more. It has no legitimate purpose other than to deceive people into thinking that it's a substitute for all sorts of other, better things. All your bike needs is kerosene for cleaning, regular auto lithium grease for the bearings and regular auto multigrade oil for the chain. Buy anything else and you're just lining somebody's pockets.

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    It has no legitimate purpose other than to deceive people into thinking that it's a substitute for all sorts of other, better things.
    That's a lie. If you have some water that needs displacing, WD-40 is definitely what you want. Just don't be fooled into thinking that "water displacer #40" is a lubricant or anything else.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Proofide's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should have said "no legitimate purpose on a bicycle." I always understood the WD was for War Department.

  14. #14
    Often on Fritz DanBraden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Just ride. It will wear off eventually.
    Here here! unless of course you got it super saturated, it should wear off within normal riding. Sure they might squeal like a banshee when you first start braking, but that's only for a little bit. If they don't stop squealing, you might have to replace but I'll bet you won't.

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    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    This will clean your brake discs and rims from WD-40 (and most petroleum products). Soak and wash the brake pads until you can replace them.


    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanBraden View Post
    Here here! unless of course you got it super saturated, it should wear off within normal riding. Sure they might squeal like a banshee when you first start braking, but that's only for a little bit. If they don't stop squealing, you might have to replace but I'll bet you won't.
    and how long would a little bit be?

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    Often on Fritz DanBraden's Avatar
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    I would say within a ride, Basically the contamination will be broken down by the heat generated by the friction of the brake pads contacting the disc. So clean off the excess WD-40 and ride for a bit, it has more to do with how hot you can make the brakes and less to do with duration of ride, though these two things sometimes correlate.

  18. #18
    I make stuff up
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    Wrong on both counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Proofide View Post
    Perhaps I should have said "no legitimate purpose on a bicycle." I always understood the WD was for War Department.
    WD-40 is good for cleaning gunked up components, particularly shifters. It will dissolve or thin hardened grease. Many of us have "repaired" brifters with WD-40.

    The War Department became the Defense Department long before WD-40 came along. WD is short for water displacement.

    You really need to get out more.
    It's around here somewhere . . .

  19. #19
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    That's a lie. If you have some water that needs displacing, WD-40 is definitely what you want. Just don't be fooled into thinking that "water displacer #40" is a lubricant or anything else.
    From one Neil to another....

    In addition to displacing water and cleaning pretty effectively, WD-40 IS a lubricant.

    Is it the BEST lubricant? No. It's pretty lightweight (read: short-lived).

    But ... chemically ... it IS basically equivalent to home brew -- mineral spirits + lubrication.

    There's a time and a place for WD. Just learn its limits and stay within them. Use it where you should. Don't use it where you shouldn't.

  20. #20
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPhil View Post
    You really need to get out more.
    He's British ... btw.

    Aside from being very eloquent, I'm willing to let him slide on this one

  21. #21
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    Not to worry. WD-40 is not a lubricant so your brakes will be OK in a few minutes as soon as the solvent dries.

    Just Sayin.

  22. #22
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byte_speed View Post
    Not to worry. WD-40 is not a lubricant so your brakes will be OK in a few minutes as soon as the solvent dries.

    Just Sayin.
    it still leaves behind an oily substance that should be removed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  23. #23
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Let the pads sit in some naphtha-based solvent. I suggest charcoal-lighter fluid. It's cheap, clean, and available all over. This will dissolve the oil in the WD-40. Voila! Now attach the pads and take a ride to check for any continuing problems.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by clancy98 View Post
    replace pads or bake them
    The friction material is glued on to the backing. I would not bake brake pads unless I knew what their max temperature is. 350? 450? who knows?

  25. #25
    Junkmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Just ride. It will wear off eventually.
    This is what I do. The OP suggests that braking hard will have an effect. Well, just brake hard for a while so eventually you won't have to.

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