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Unsure if I neew Rotors and/or brakes?

j34x35j34x35 Member Posts: 1

I have 2010 Accord Coupe (4cyl) with about 17,144 on the odometer. When I come to a stop on the highway from 55 m.p.h, I am begining to feel some "feedback" or a small vibration in the steering wheel area. The front 2 wheels were balanced and the front brake pads, I was told, are abrout 50% worn. The car is leased and is due back 4/13. My questions are as folows:

a) Can the rotors wear out before the brake pads do?

b) Can the rotors be re-surfaced the first time around, or will the rotors continue to warp if they are re-surfaced?

c) Can the rotors be re-surfaced or replaced with-out changing the brake pads?

d) What is the price range for both rotors and pads in the Long Island, NY area?

e) If I present the car to a repair shop do I have them road test the vehicle at 55 m.p.h to see if they can duplicate the problem?

f) Lastly, I was told that "warped" rotors can't be seen visually...is that correct?


  • Options
    jmillerjmillerjmillerjmiller Member Posts: 113
    edited December 2011
    Below are my opinions, others likely know far more.

    a) Not typically. Rotors on most cars are good for 2-4 resurfaces before going below the min thickness and requiring replacement. This is assuming that the pads were not allowed to be metal to metal for any period of time (aka no friction material left, backer to rotor) - which could cause very deep grooves requiring more material removal to smooth the rotor.

    b) While not required, darn near every shop will want to turn the rotors (resurface) when doing a brake pad replacement. Mainly this is to protect themselves from any odd wear on the rotor causing the new pads to make noise, and add some profit to an otherwise very quick and inexpensive job of pad changing. Warping is usually attribute to improper lug nut torque, combined with the heating of the rotor during braking allowing that to distort it.

    c) see above - most shops want to do both at the same time.

    d) dunno. But a resurface of the rotors and new pads shouldn't be over three hundred, IMO. New rotors shouldn't be needed unless this is the third or fourth brake job, or some type or major brake issue happened.

    e) It's always best to try and give the shop any information to help them t-shoot a customer complaint - as sometimes the cause of an issue isn't what is expected (though the service writer seems to dump it all these days). If it's a common complaint, there may even be a factory bulletin on the issue.

    I've had vibrations of this type come and go on my accord, which seems odd, so some of it is due to the tire/heat/road conditions, not just brake rotors. ALSO, don't discount having the wheel lug nuts evenly and properly torqued. It has an effect on the rotor warping - especially if they are very uneven.

    The factory tires on mine are very susceptible to flat spotting in cold weather when parked, and that takes a few miles of moderate speed driving to go away. So unless you are getting major steering wheel shimmy, or chassis shake under braking, it may not be worth pursuing. I went through two tire replacements and three road force balances on the new car, and it still had some shimmy in the wheel under some conditions, got stuck living with it.

    f) warped (out of round) rotors cannot usually be seen visually.

    Under braking like you are noticing this vibe, it can still be tires, or other factors causing some of it.
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