How to become a Brake Mechanic

Brake mechanics diagnose faults, and then repair, replace, overhaul and test the parts of disc, drum or power brake systems used on all types of motor vehicles.

Personal requirements for a Brake Mechanic

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Able to work accurately.

Duties & Tasks of a Brake Mechanic

Brake mechanics may perform the following tasks:

  • Determine faults in brake systems by talking to the vehicle operator and driving the vehicle, noting its performance, or by reading data from the vehicle's computer control system
  • Diagnose and correct anti-lock braking faults
  • Examine brake units (including steel and flex hoses and handbrake cables) for wear, damage or possible failure, and repair or replace as required
  • Measure brake drums and disc rotors to determine if wear or finished size is excessive
  • Test brake units to ensure outputs reach the specified level (this includes electronics now widely used on late model vehicles and trailer or caravan brakes)
  • Repair or replace leaky brake cylinders
  • Attach new linings to brake shoes by bonding or riveting (this is a separate semi-skilled operation in some repair shops)
  • Machine discs and drum brakes where indicated
  • Fit wheels onto hubs and tighten wheel fixings to specified torque
  • Ensure brake systems are filled with correct brake fluid and are functioning correctly
  • Bleed the hydraulic brake system.


Brake mechanics may specialise in light or heavy vehicles. Some brake mechanics specialise in compressed air brake systems used by trucks, buses and semi-trailers.

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