Asbestos concentrations were measured during the different operations of brake maintenance of passenger cars, trucks and buses in 24 Finnish workplaces. The estimated average asbestos exposure during the workday (8-hr time-weighted average) was 0.1-0.2 fibers/cm3 during brake repair of trucks or buses, and under 0.05 f/cm3 during repair of passenger car brakes when the background concentration was not included in the calculations. The background concentration was estimated to be less than 0.1 f/cm3. During brake maintenance of buses and trucks, heavy exposure, 0.3-125 (mean 56) f/cm3, was observed during machine grinding of new brake linings if local exhaust was not in use. Other short-term operations during which the concentration exceeded 1 f/cm3 were the cleaning of brakes with a brush, wet cloth or compressed air jet. During brake servicing of passenger cars, the concentration of asbestos exceeded 1 f/cm3 only during compressed air blowing without local exhaust. The different methods of decreasing the exposure and the risk of asbestos-related diseases among car mechanics are discussed.