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Nissan Quest Brakes

On my 2004 Quest SL, I just replaced the front rotors and pads, and the rear pads. The work was done at 33k miles. My van had the steering pulsating problem during braking for the last couple years. I never had the dealer turn the rotors because think the problem will just come back (especially after reading other owners experience).

I ended up getting the Frozen rotors for the front and Raybestos QS ceramic pads for all fours. With the new rotors, the pulsating problem is no longer there. I have put only 1k on it so far, so I will let you guys know how it is as I accumulate more miles. One thing that surprised me the most was the rear pads did wear down much more than the front. The rear had less than 1/8" on it and the warning tabs broke off. The front had a little over 1/4" on them. Got it done just in time.

I was wondering if other Quest owners had to do a brake job at around 33k or maybe earlier than that.


  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I think most owners of 2004 Quests had brakes replaced before 40k miles. Most had the rotors replaced as well.

    The Quest has electroic brake distributin (EBD). During hard braking, the computer applies the forces over each brake to avoid the nose dive effect and allows the van to stop shorter. This also means that your rear brakes are working more than in a car without EBD. So the rear brakes will wear quicker than you are used to. Also the rear rotors in the 2004 are smaller than the 2005.
  • I had mine done around 35k. Nissan replaced the rotors at their expense (no cost for us!). They said that it went to fast
  • We have almost 39k on our 2004 Quest SE. We have not replaced the brakes yet, but, at the last service, the dealer said that the rear pads were almost ready for replacement. We have had no brake problems.
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    If you able to get 39k on the first set of pads for the 04 model, I think that is very good. I think if our van wasn't so heavy, the brakes would probably last much longer.

    As for dtownfb's have a very nice dealer and you should stick with them.
  • garycoxgarycox Posts: 59
    I've posted messages before which are now in the read only quest forum...

    I'm going to post again with an update and see if anyone has any ideas...

    I bought brand new a 2004 Nissan Quest. At just over 6,000 miles I had to have the rotors machined due to steering wheel shake. It went fine until 29,000 miles when it started again and I had to have the rotors machined (turned) and brake pads replaced. Since that 29,000 miles it has been a constant repeat of warped rotors.

    Every 5,000 - 8,000 miles I start having steering wheel shake again and the rotors must be turned. At about 6,000 miles ago I had the front rotors replaced and at about 4,500 the problem started again where I just now had it repaired again.

    The vehicle has 48,000 miles on it. In all fairness I must say the dealer and Nissan has eaten some costs in repairs but the problem is that the problem keeps coming back.

    They even flew an engineer down this last time and he looked at the vehicle. He checked all aspects of the brakes and everything was within specifications and working correctly except the rotors had to be machined again.

    He was unable to explain why the rotors keep needing to be machined.

    My thoughts are if everything in the brake system is at factory specifications as verified by a Nissan Engineer then it must be a design problem? They claim they have no history of this being a problem in the 2004 quest and that it meets government standards for safety and so on.

    I'm not a mechanic but it seems to me for the rotors to warp and to need machining it must be heat causing the rotors to warp. The only thing that can cause heat is for the pads to be pushing on the rotors such as while braking. Since the pads have been verified as running as they should and not draging so the only time heat can be generated is when I brake. I drive with just one foot, not both and I have even tried driving with the thought in mind not to use the brakes. I also assume that it is not just the heat but the cooling back down of the brakes is when they begin to warp? So I do not even wash the van when I've been driving it, only when it cools down although going through a rain storm is a different story...

    It's been suggested non Nissan pads and rotors as a possible solution but that's not a manufacturer solution which I've been pushing for.

    If only a few other 2004 quests are having this problem then perhaps I have a lemon although all of the braking system is within specifications so I wouldn't think so based on that.

    So it still points to a design problem from the information that I have but why are not more people complaining or are people just living with steering wheel shake? How did I go from 6,000 miles to 29,000 and now I can't go hardly 6 or 7,000 miles before a problem?

    It's been suggested the brakes on the 2004 quest are undersize for the vehicle... Did they improve that for the 2007 Quest?

    Any ideas or comments are welcome... Thanks... Gary
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    It's been suggested the brakes on the 2004 quest are undersize for the vehicle... Did they improve that for the 2007 Quest?

    Actually, yes. My folks traded in an '04 on an '07, and the rotors are substantially larger.

    If you want to keep your '04, I would buy some slotted Brembo rotors and new pads all around, then call it a day. Minivans are notorious brake eaters.
  • tjshantjshan Posts: 28
    WE have a 2006 with about 10K miles on it now. We did have the brake shake at the first service, and the dealer did replace the rotors (though not the pads interestingly enough) however I have to say we kind of expected it. I had heard brakes were a problem with this is large and heavy and I frankly find the braking to be odd. when you first step on the brake, it does not seem to slow at the rate you would expect, apply more pressure (now you are getting close to needing to anyway) and it seems to slow too quickly. I have driven many vehicles through the years, sports cars to trucks...I just can not get used to the braking on this van. answer your question, yes I think the brakes are probably undersized for the application. Sure they will stop the van...but they wont last while doing it. Is it a design flaw...more like a compromise. The stock brakes on my Porsche are super...but expensive and pads wear quickly...Is it a design flaw?

    Braking is such a subjective thing, if the engineer drove your car for 8K miles would he warp the rotors? possibly not...maybe it does have something to do with your driving style. I have to say I am suprized Nissan has stood by you this long , a 2004 I would have thought they would try to bug off of.

    I had not heard the 2007's brakes were larger. Are they retrofittable?

    Please keep us appraised of how it turns out.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I've been following your brake plight. I think I have mentioned to you that my mechanic (independent) replaced my rear rotors with Wagner rotors. That was 12,000 miles ago and no problems since. Definitely not Brembo but good quality rotors. If you are handy, you can order rotors online and install them yourself or have an independent shop do it for you. I jsut hate to see you suffering like this. Nissan can't put on anything except OEM. Maybe one of the mechanics could do you a favor.....

    Good luck and keep us informed.
  • garycoxgarycox Posts: 59
    I've thought about my driving style and have tried to modify it. Since the last brake job where the front rotors were replaced I actually tried not to use the brakes as often as possible. It didn't seem to do a lot of good.

    The engineer who looked at it couldn't offer an explanation as to why they warp as he said the van was within factory specifications except for them being warped.

    Thanks... Gary
  • garycoxgarycox Posts: 59
    I've thought of replacing the brakes with another brand but the vehicle is under 60,000 mile warranty. It would be giving up or giving in to discontinue pushing Nissan on the issue when it's their problem and not mine. Then if I had some issue while under warranty they could say it was bacause of non-Nissan parts. 100% of all work as been at a Nissan dealership so they can't point any fingers.

    I'm not suffering alone, many people at Nissan really hate hearing from me I'm sure...

    While it has been some work and many trips to the shop they have covered most of the costs so far which is a plus. Sending an engineer was a surprise. The dealer has done a good job in the work they have done and ate some costs themselves. Still they can only fix something as to how it was designed and only with their parts...

    If the 2007 does have larger rotors it would seem someone at the company identified the need for them and made the change.

    I wish I could identify how many people are having this problem...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Very smart in having all your work done at the same dealership and if the work is covered by warranty, they keep doing it. After warranty, different story.

    If I remember right, the Quest and Armada had issues with the rear rotors. And they are definitely larger now.

    My only issue I have is the stupid rattle in the driver side sliding door. I believe that has to do with one of the TSBs. right now the door does not fully seat. It does not trigger any flashing lights but it leaves a slight opening between it and the driver door. In cold weather I get lots of rattling and excessive air. Also I had the door freeze shut because too much moisture gets in. I'll have them address it at the next oil change. I've noticed the service manager is more sympathetic to my problems then they were a couple of years.
  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    I have a 2004 SE with 39k miles on it. We have yet to replace the brakes. Last time tires were rotated they told me I'd need new brake pads on the rear. I'm wondering....the SE has electronic brake force distribution, meaning that more braking power may be sent to the rear, since mine are wearing faster there, it makes sense. Those of you having front rotor problems, are they the S or SL model? Does that model have electronic brake force distribution? If not, that could be the reason for the front wearing first, or, overheating and warping. If they do, maybe that's not working correctly. Are the rear pads wearing normally? Hum....

    Anway, we love our Quest and would buy another (SE) in a heartbeat. We haven't had any 'real' issues.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    All Quests have ABS with EBD. The front brakes seem to wear fine as long as the rotors don't warp. I had my front rotors resurfaced at 8k miles and never had another problem with them until I needed to replace them at 40k+. to me that is in line with past experiences with front brakes.

    I really like our 2004 Quest S except for the driver sliding door rattle. that has to do with the door being slightly out of alignment. I'll get that taken care of next month when I get the oil changed.
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    We just replaced the brakes on our 05 Quest at 45,600 miles. They weren't completely worn out but it was a convenient time to get them done.

    We just replaced them on an 05 Accord at 40,000. It looks like my Subaru will need them before 40,000. So Nissan is winning.
  • bkempbkemp Posts: 6
    I have a 2004 SE with nearly 50k. I replaced the brake pads with ceramic and machined the rotors as well and about 3 months ago the "shimmy" started again. I've pondered taking it to the local nissan shop but after reading the stories of other owners I will probably try to find some drilled slotted rotors online and replace them myself. I don't want to waste my time at the dealership getting a temporary repair. I love our van in spite of a few problems i.e. brakes and crappy factory tires. I would buy it again for the style and functionality for our family.

    I hope you get some resolution Gary. I think I'm going to just bite it and buy the drilled slotted rotors and hope it keeps them cool enough to stop the warpage.
  • plashenickplashenick Posts: 165
    We had our rotors replaced last year (35k miles). Yesterday, after 7 months/ 7k miles the rotors we starting th thumping again. Nissan resurfaced at no cost.

    Dealer told me that if they need another rusurface and it would leave them too thin they will replae at no cost. The only time they will charge me if the brakes are gone too.
  • bkempbkemp Posts: 6
    Cirrus, can you give us an update on how your Frozen Rotors are doing? I'm looking into buying those for our 2004 Quest.
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    bkemp...I now have 3000 miles on the Frozen rotors and they are still working very well. I haven't noticed any vibration during braking. It feels just as solid as the day I put it on. As for the Raybestos ceramic pads I used, they seem to require a little more effort when applying the brakes. The van does stop without any problems (I think Ceramic is just a harder compound). These pads are suppose to reduce brake dust but I haven't noticed much difference. I am quite happy with the new pads and rotors.

    Note: I only replaced with Frozen rotors in the front and left the factory rotors in the rear. All 4 pads were replaced with Raybestos ceramic QS. If you decide to replace the front rotors yourself, make sure you have an impact wrench!!
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    By the way...if you want to see some photos of the brake below

    Nissan Brake
  • value911value911 Posts: 15
    I just got my 5th set of rotors at 44K miles. Nissan would not pick up this round. Dealer wanted $1,035 for front, rear and pads around. Was ready to go the frozen rotor route, or slotted and drilled, but got dealer down below $600. They guarantee for 12 months/12,000 miles, which means they should be replacing them in about 8 months - my normal failure cycle. After they replace those, I should be approaching the 60K and then go the frozen/slotted route. Also - recently put tires on, before the same size Yokoma's came out. I went with Hercules to stay away from the crappy GoodYear. Will let you know how all pans out. Also changed the in cabin air filter --- good site - has good pictures.
  • gord3gord3 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Quest with 36000 kilomters (22500 miles0 on it. Was just in for service and was informed that rear brakes only have 30% left and front 70%. Seems to be very poor wear at this milage. Understand the rear rotors are smaller that the front, and with abs this is reason for wear. Also understand that the size of rear rotors was increased on the 2006 models. If so has anyone had experience with Nissen covering brake problems under warranty for the obvious design error.
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87 must be a Canadian with the km...I use to live in Vancouver. Anyways, the reason the rears are wearing down faster than your front is because of the electronic brake assist system on our vans. This system is meant to assist you during hard braking, and also when braking with a heavy load, and prevents the front diving forward. All this leads to more brake use in the rear.

    As for the dealer covering the brakes under warranty. I highly doubt it unless you have a very very very nice dealer. It's all considered regular maintenance item. Most manufacturers will pretty much cover everthing the first 12 months of a new vehicle. There is no TSB or recall on our brakes, so the owner will have to pay for the brake job. As to 'design error', the dealers favorite saying is 'it's within Nissan's spec'.
  • bkempbkemp Posts: 6
    I went the slotted drilled route with free replacement for life if anything goes wrong with the rotors...we'll see how it goes! I've got my fingers crossed that they last for at least 10k. Cirrus, what kind of ceramic pads are those in the pictures?
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    bkemp...the pads I am using is Raybestos QS (Quiet Stop) ceramic pads. They are not any kind of high performance pads but very good for daily drive. I have used Raybestos on all my cars for the last 10 years and like them a lot.
  • bkempbkemp Posts: 6
    cirrus! Thanks! Those are on sale at my local auto parts store...gonna put them on this weekend with the new rotors and give it a try!
  • ezblueezblue Posts: 4
    I bought an 07 quest 3 mon ago along w/a titan. In reading about both autos in the forums 04MY did not seem like a good year for Nissan. Hope this is all in the past.
  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    Thanks for the pictures! I'm taking my Quest in tomorrow to have rear pads replaced. Not too bad for 44k miles.

    2004 Quest SE
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    Our '04 Quest has 80,000 miles and is coming due for brake pads all around. All rotors seem okay, with no pedal hop, so I'm leaving them alone. I'm seeking people's experience with ceramic pads, especially used with stock rotors? i see one person here used ceramic with stock rear rotors, how are those working for you? Thanks.
  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    I put the Raybestos QS ceramic pads on my Quest, and have now put on 6k miles on them. I think they work quite well. Ceramcis pads are suppose to reduce brake dust and reduce brake squeal. These pads provide good firm braking. I don't have any problems with them. Depending on the manufacturer of the pads, the formulation of the materials and the amount of the ceramic used will cause a difference in performance. I am sure that these Raybestos pads contain both ceramic and organic materials to provide optimal performance for most daily drivers. Some high performance pads might require optimal performance at a specific temperature range - if they are cold, they might feel sluggish.

    The first few days of getting them, they felt a bit soft but that's with any new brake job because they need to be bedded in properly. After that, it has been good.
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    Thanks for the reply, cirruss. I put Raybestos ceramic pads on the front of my Ranger pickup and have been very pleased with them, and agree that they are likely a compound developed for every day use. I've been down the road of using "cheap" brake pads, and have had them wear out after a year / 12,000 miles, so never again. I'm after pads that won't be harsh on the rotors yet give more life than the standard Nissan design pads give, and these Raybestos seem to be a fair bet.
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