Have you recently switched from a gas-powered vehicle to an EV, or vice-versa? A national TV broadcast network would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by 12/5 for more details.
Are you a current or prospective Tesla customer who is having a change of heart about the brand? A national news reporter would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by 12/5 for more details.




  • kann2kann2 Member Posts: 1
    I have had the front and rear rotors on my Firebird resurfaced at 24K, and now the front rotors were resurfaced again at 34K miles.
    The first episode required new front pads as well. The car vibrates when stopping and this was my only warning to take it in for service only to hear the rotors needed resurfacing. The dealer says the frequency of my rotor problem is not unusual and that there is not any defect that could cause excessive rotor wear. However, the NHSTA has 30 consumer complaints for 99 Fire birds on their web site and 19 of those are about rotor wear. If anyone has any information about what the source of this problem could be I would very much appreciate it. Without automotive knowledge, I am at the mercy of the dealership who says maybe the brakes just got real hot and then I hit a wet spot. Yea right!!!!
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    gasburner, an inherent problem with disc brakes is the tendency for the to build up a layer of corrosion when they sit for a length of time in moist or salty environments. Get in the habit of pumping the brakes to 'clean them off' for the first couple of miles and they should be fine.

    You are driving a heavy vehicle and it requires a powerful braking system that may not operate quietly all the time. A light squealing sound as you come to a stop might be slightly annoying but is usually not anything to be worried about. Just as long as you have plenty of material on the pads (be sure to check the inboard pad which wears faster than the outer) you should be fine. OEM brakes are usually the best (quietest, lowest dusting, longest lasting) but I've had good luck so far with Raybestos and Spectra One (Ferodo).

    kann2, the trend these days is to make the rotors thinner which not only cuts down on vehicle weight but also unsprung weight at the wheel. The result is that warped rotors, pretty much unheard of 15+ years ago, is becoming common. Still, your car may be one of those more prone to this than some others.

    Is your car an automatic? Do you drive in stop-and-go traffic then sit at a light with your foot mashed against the brake pedal? all that pressure applied to only one spot on a hot rotor can warp them.

    Also, torquing down improperly on your lug nuts can cause warping of the rotors. Torque them gradually in a star pattern. And, to be extra cautios, torque them to factory specs using a torque wrench.

    --- Bror Jace
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    kann2, resurfacing a warped rotor rarely works well. Most lathes merely follow the bad contours of the warped surface. Also, as you take more metal off the rotor and make it thinner, they seem to be more warp-prone in the future.

    --- Bror Jace
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You may have to go to heavier duty aftermarket rotors. Many cars these days seem under-engineered for braking...they just can't handle the car's speed and weight.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    "Many cars these days seem under-engineered for braking...they just can't handle the car's speed and weight."

    Shifty, you may be right but that's really odd. Except for SUVs and a handful of special examples, cars tody are LIGHTER than they ever have been and I really can't believe that people are driving much, if any, faster than they did 10 or 20 years ago.

    I wonder if it is because traffic is more of a problem than ever before? All that built up heat from stop and go driving?

    --- Bror Jace
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227
    I've found a nice enthusiasts service and repair manual for my '96 E320. There is only one drawback...it's in German. Let me know if you want to know the details.

    As far as the brakes go, I'm talking about the post '95 body type, there is really nothing special, except the brake pad thickness sensor that needs to be removed before taking off the brake shoe. But this is very simple, you should see it when you look at your brakes.

    Other than that, the caliper pistons should move just plain in and out for the post '95 model, at least according to the documentation. I'm still on the first set of brake pads.
    What Mr. Shiftright said is correct though, MB uses softer brakepads.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Give these guys a call. I put them on a friends 'bird and it made a huge difference. I did not see a model for you '99 but they do list '98. Don't know if there is a difference. They also have really good pads too. Here is the web site- give them a call to find out pricing ect...http://www.gtrotor.com/products.html . Let us know what you find out.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsMember Posts: 508
    Thanks for the info on the manual. Unfortunately the only German I know is "Beck's" ...!! If you ever run across the English version of it, please let us know.. I think someone suggested that MB won't issue general public repair manuals until the original warranties run out. Well, that means the the 96 manual should be available right about now.. ???

    I went ahead and plunged into the front brake job last week and it was one of the easier disc brake jobs I've done so far. The way the sensors are designed, they give you about a 5,000 mile warning before the pad metal would hit the rotor. But if you wait that long, the sensors would be history too and that would cost another $12 each. Seeing as how I got 38K miles out of the "soft" Benz pads, I guess I shouldn't complain about losing another 3-5K miles..
    Once the weather warms up I'll do the rear pads also. Any hints on those due to the hand brake connection ?

    Thanks for the info...
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227
    Yeah, the sensors should be way easy, you are right. How much did you pay for the pads, btw. ? They should be pretty cheap, anyhow. And they do work well.

    Oh, did you open the bleeder valve to protect the ABS while depressing the brake caliper to insert the new pads ? My manual doesn't mention it, but it is a standard precaution for cars with ABS.

    I don't remember the section about the rear brakes too much, but I think the parking brake is a small drum brake completely separate from the actual disk brake of the main system. (Working on the parking brake is actually not trivial and requires a proprietary tool, which you could possibly make yourself.)
    However, I will verify that it is essentially the same procedure, and translate if necessary.

    But I'm wondering, with the front brakes absorbing approx. 70% of the energy during the braking process, are you sure the rear brake pads even need to be replaced ? Or are you just playing it safe ?

    Yes, good old "Beck's" on the banks of the Weser river in Bremen, Germany. I was actually born just a couple of miles downstream. (Not that it would have anything to do with brakes...)
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227
    Okay, while the handbrake still uses the inside of the rotor as a drum, you can nevertheless replace the rotors without adjusting the handbrake. Unlike one of my other cars, the handbrake assembly is not compromised by removing the rotor.

    The only main difference that I see compared to the process of changing the pads in the front are the two pins that are used to mount the brakeshoe vs. two hex/torx bolts. So you'll need a long screwdriver or a set to remove and place these pins.

    Also, if the handbrake does not fully engage after ten clicks on the handbrake pedal, you might want to adjust it, which can be done easily through a hole in the assembly.

    If you want to have some real fun however, you can replace the brake elements of the handbrake. Then you'll have to remove the rear seat/bench to access the self-adjusting mechanism for the handbrake, release it and then open the handbrake assembly with MB tool 040.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsMember Posts: 508

    I called Clair and got a price over the phone that sounded very close to what some of the websites were offering. So since I live about 20 miles from Clair, I decided to go there and pick up the brakes myself. Lo and behold it turns out that they claimed that the price I got over the phone could not possibly have been for the E-class but must of been for the C-class. Yet I distinctly told the phone person that it was an E320, 1996. They didn't make a C320 in 1996.
    So wanting to get the brakes done that weekend, I paid the price; $82 for the front pads and about $40 for the rear. Cost me nearly $40 more total than from one of the websites.

    I realize that the rears tend to wear a lot less than the fronts but when I say that I will do them when it warms up, that won't be anytime too soon. After all I'm in central Mass. It's cold here until late April. So sometime in May I'll do the rears and they should have another 6-8 K miles on them by then. And they appear to be thinnner than the front pads too..

    That's good to know that the handbrake is separate. I used to hate doing rear drum brakes on most cars because of the handbrake cable and mechanism.

    I did remove the fluid reservoir cap and in fact actually removed some fluid before I started so there would be no chance of getting fluid on any part of this fine auto... I guessed pretty close; only had to add back about an ounce at most. (yes, NEW fluid!)

    Thanks for the info...
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227

    actually, I was referring to the bleeder valve on the brake shoe, not the reservoir cap. The idea is that you don't want to push any contaminants back into the ABS unit when depressing the brake caliper. If you open the bleeder valve on the shoe, you force some brake fluid directly out of the system, not back into the reservoir. (But be careful not to get air into the brake system.)

    It's really more of a precaution than anything else and is not mentioned in my maintenance manual.

    Thanks for letting me know about the price of pads.

    What other kind of maintenance are you doing on your E320 ? I've adopted a somewhat lazy attitude. I do the stuff that I like, and let the Mercedes dealer do the rest. They've proven to be quite flexible.
    They recently mentioned that my water pump was getting noisy, so I'm debating if I should spend the time to do it myself. It seems to be a straightforward enough job.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsMember Posts: 508

    That's a good point on the bleeder at the caliper. Well, next time I'll do it that way.

    Since mine is still under the Starmark warranty, I don't have much of an inclination to do much of the mainenance myself. However, I was going to try to do the plugs and wires myself. So I bought a set of wires (very expensive - about $65 wholesale through a friend) and lo and behold, it only comes with THREE wires, not six. Before I rip apart the top of the engine I need to know if this is the way it was designed or did I get shortchanged or what? Can you help with that? Does the manual show any of that?

    I've done water pumps before on other cars and it is straightforward unless the timing belt is involved. Then it can be really tricky..
  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227
    Actually three wires sound right. When changing the plugs you'll have to remove the air intake tunnel (from the air filter to the air intake), take off the black plastic cover that covers part of the valve cover, so that you'll expose the ignition coils....and then you'll see why.

    The inline six engine has three coilpacks, with each coilpack sitting on one of the sparks. The wires then connect the coilpack to one other 'free' spark. Hence the three wires. ;)

    I'm not sure why they didn't use one coilpack per plug, it would have made sense to me. Not having high voltage spark plug wires would have cut down on maintenance and would eliminate the 'retarding' of the ignition current due to the coaxial wire acting as a capacitor. Ah well...

    Well, actually...the E320 doesn't have a timing belt, it uses a chain...but that's probably what you meant. We won't have to remove that to change the waterpump, only the fan and the v-belt will have to go. I will probably order a proprietary tool to hold the viscosity clutch of the engine fan. (If in fact the mechanic told me the truth. I will probably compare the noise of my waterpump to the one of a friend's E320.)
  • gasburnergasburner Member Posts: 31
    Your explaination sounds reasonable. I'm in New Orleans where its real humid, so I was also thinking that the brake pads might be getting an oxidized film on them when not in use. However, I've driven several Explorers that don't have the noise and initial grabbing that my vehicle does. So something must be different & I can't figure out what it is, everything I have is stock. Any ideas? Anybody else know about excessive noise from and grabbing of Ford brakes.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Gasburner, every braking system and application is a little different. The way the caliper is situated, the weight and distribution of weight on the vehicle, the front-to-rear brake bias, the size and shape of the pads, the size, position and number of pistons, the composition of the pad linings, etc ...

    So that's why some cars that appear to be similar, can have greatly different brake feel, performance and lifespans.

    In your case, I bet the composition of the lining is the biggest difference. One tends to grap more than the other and one could be cleaning the rotor better at a given temperature, preventing corrosion etc ...

    It's really hard to say.

    Oh, and I've never been a fan of Fords after working on Dad's Mercury Grand Marquis. It goes through rear pads like crazy for some reason.

    --- Bror Jace
  • sollyssollys Member Posts: 1
    Someone, "livesey", on Nov 17, 2000, asked a question about fading brakes on a Lumina. I didn't see an answer except response by pat455 suggesting he look in Brake section. I didn't see anything their either. Can anyone help? I am having similar experiences as livesey. It has happened to me twice (a year between the incidents) so far on my 93 Lumina (83000 miles). Without a warning of anything amiss, when I try to use the brakes, the pedal would go to the floor as if there was no fluid in the system. Pumping three to four times restores reasonable braking power. Everything is fine after the car has been sitting for a while. Just like livesey, everything checks out fine.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    Wonder if anyone has experience with this. Best friend has a '94 Ford Tempo. We replaced the rear drum brakes. One side worked just find. The other side is binding. Number one, he installed the cylinder. He says it didn't just fit into place like the other side did. We loosened the 2 screws and retightened. There is a tiny gap at the top of the cylinder, but it is tight. Everything seems to be perfectly in place. The brakes bind ever so slightly. Funny thing, they were sticking as we turned the wheel, then we turned the wheel in reverse, and it turned more freely. Hmmm, any ideas? He's driving on it. He asked me the worst that can happen. I said overheat, which could mean we'd have to replace those parts again, and worst case blow a gasket, like the cylinder, due to overheating fluid. Oh, and compressing the brakes by driving and mashing them did not stop the binding.

    Is it possible the hub itself is bent? (I'm not sure what you would call it, the hub?) The last set of brakes were completely gone, I mean for over a year.

    Some talk about turning in this group. I hate the idea of turning. I mean, I only hate it for some of these newer cars, like Mr. S. mentioned, that have so little meat on the brakes. (Great weight saver, brilliant. NOT!) My previous Integra had wimpy rear disks. (Couldn't turn them once even.) They has some serious grooves in them. I installed new pads, mashed the brakes a few times, and smoothed them right out. It was temporary, they didn't last a long time as they already had 30,000 miles of hard wear (worse because of the metallic pads.) But I don't like to replace expensive rotors just because these huge chain stores, and the dealer say "they're shot." Bah! Put some pads, lube the calipers, and you're okay for a while. Unless rotors are thin enough to explode, right?
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    sollys, It's GOT to be something in the hydraulics ... like a bad/leaking slave cylinder, brake booster, etc ... or a leaky vacuum line going to the brakes. Check for leaks on the firewall under the master cylinder/booster area.

    --- Bror Jace
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    A pinched steel brake line or pinched flex line will also do this. Not likely the hub isn't round, but the brake shoes could be not matched to the curvature of the hub. So you'd have to have the shoes ground and fitted (it's called "arcing").

    Also, you could check the part # on the box for the wheel cylinder. I get wrong parts all the time.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    How could the pinched line cause this? Does it prevent pressure release? That short length of line probably IS pinched. We realized in the middle of the job we should replace it, but simply didn't know ahead of time that the small length was there. (First time on this car.)

    Yea, we kept looking at the cylinder part numbers, they were one part different (left vs. right). Without our own reference, we don't really know.

    Thanks, I bet replacing that line will do it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, exactly, a pinched line causes less pressure release at the wheel cylinder.
  • paulg4paulg4 Member Posts: 1
    Stop light switch: I just replaced the stop light switch on my 67 Plymouth Fury. The brake lights are still staying on sometimes, so I figured that the switch in not adjusted properly. What is the right way. Should I tighten the nut just when it hits the brake pedel or back it off some? how much?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The pedal should push the switch when the pedal is released. Sounds like you don't have it adjusted far enough to contact the pedal in the release position. Push the switch in by hand and see if the lights go out...if they do, then you need adjustment. If you push the switch in by hand and the lights stay ON, you have another problem, maybe in the switch itself.
  • gerry16gerry16 Member Posts: 2
    I have a Toyota Supra Twin Turbo (owned from new, over-maimtained, everything perfect condition) BUT I took it to Toyota dealer for brake check just because I got to 50,000 miles. They replaced all pads and all new rotors. Brakes squeal on low speed forward and banshee noise on backing. (Never happened before brake job!) Dealer has spent 5 days replacing???, etc?? etc?? still squeals back and forward. All pads now appear glued to calipers by clear caulk - I don't know what to do and I'm sure the Dealer knows less than I do -----ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    There is a brake compound that you put on the back of the brake pads, and that can eliminate some noises. The stuff at the store is blue, it is possible they have a clear one. "Disk brake quiet" I think is the stuff in the store.

    Are all wheels squealing? Or can it be one particular wheel?

    Brakes are not rocket science. Do you have another Toyota dealer to go to? It certainly sounds like your dealer is clueless. I would check to see if another dealer would guarantee this dealer's work. Or maybe contact Toyota, and tell them you are going elsewhere, and expect to be compensated. I would not let them make you return to these bufos, no matter what they say. You need to get this done properly.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    Well, we redid my buddy's Ford Tempo's brakes.

    First off, my buddy had pulled all 4 shoes out of the same box. I had never done drum brakes on my own, and I wasn't there when he pulled them out, to think to ask him if the shoes were symmetric. He did not know that one shoe was 1/8" longer. One wheel we got right by luck, and the trouble wheel we got wrong. So we reversed the pads.

    The cylinder on the binding wheel did not seem like it was sitting right when we first did it, so he got a new cylinder. He also bought new lines. Good thing, the line on the trouble wheel broke off. Here's where it gets good. We bent the new line, and installed it. The nut on the line is very soft. And it took all our effort to screw it into the cylinder. Even using the proper open end wrench, the nut was stripped in no time. Then we used the ol' favorite: vice grips. But guess what? We could not get the fitting far enough into the cylinder to get it to seal, and stop leaking under pressure. BROKE THE CYLINDER. A piece of that cast part just flaked off. I thought that our bend was not perfect 90 degrees, and maybe that strained the cylinder. He just thinks the cylinder was dropped at some time, and had a fracture. So, we had no choice, and we put the other cylinder (new but questionable dimensions) back on. Tried installing the same line, it wouldn't seal. Had one line left. We bent it, installed it. Again, took forever to tighten it down. All the time we worried about breaking the cylinder. We got it down to 2 threads left showing, it was sealed. Brakes worked great. I was ECSTATIC when Jeff told me that we were not doing brakes again. Just takes too many custom tools, and even with them, often involved a lot of hard labor just to remove or assemble parts. And our hands were pure black. It didn't matter what he said, I told him even if he did brakes again, I wasn't helping!

    My Celica GTS has ABS, and I'm really too afraid to mess with those. So, I really won't be doing brakes, even disks, for a long time.

    Had such a migraine last night, as we finished at 11:30, I didn't eat, just took painkiller and went to bed. Ah, a beautiful spring day today to help me forget!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Argggh! A typical car repair horror story.

    As my friend once said when I asked him if he's afraid to tackle certain jobs on cars.

    "No. Everything bad has already happened to me."
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    I understand! As a PC geek, everything bad regarding computers has happened to me. I cannot go through the same thing again with cars! Ahaha :)
  • peddlerpeddler Member Posts: 6
    We have a 2000 s-40 sedan with 17000 miles. The brake light came on. The dealer said, without looking at the car, "you need rear pads---$150." We had them check first. Rear pads were nearly shot but front pads had twice the thickness left. Dealer said new softer materials wear faster. Even if this is so, rear pads wearing twice as fast as front indicate a system problem to me. Replacing any brake pads in 17,000 miles is unheard of in my book.
    Any comments?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    New pads at 17K is possible, depending on the car and driver, it could very well be. But having the rear pads wear before the front, that is very unusual, yes. Sounds like the emergency brake is sticking or rear calipers are malfunctioning.

    Obviously the dealer knows something. Have you checked for TSB (Technical Service Bulletins) on this car? Visit Edmunds Home Page for more info on TSBs.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I know it's odd, but I've found that rear brakes waer MUCH faster than fronts on cars equipped with 4-wheel-discs.

    Most of us know that front brakes do most of the braking work ... sometimes as much as 80% on a front-wheel-drive car which is why many manufacturers are content to keep using drums on their cheaper and/or lower-performance cars.

    I've had an Integra and my Dad drives a Mercury Grand Marquis (very different automobiles) and BOTH cars went through rear disc brake pads long before the fronts wore out. I'm not sure why this is the case ... other than the rear pads are often smaller.

    --- Bror Jace
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hmmm....that's interesting...maybe others can jump i here and give their opinions. I'm really at a lose to comment why this would be.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    I had the same experience with the Integra. The front disks are much beefier. Also, with the expense of rear disks overall, I might guess the front brakes are of higher caliber parts. (Don't know that for sure.)

    As far as Volvo goes, I would think they'd have a great design that would even out the wear period between front and rear.

    All I know is my Celica GTS stops 20 feet short of my Integra. Due to the initial grinding, I bet they are metallic pads. Great combination. I cannot wait to see how long these last. OK, maybe I CAN wait.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I just thought of something. Most of the rear discs I've seen were solid and not vented. This might allow more heat to build up and shorten pad life.

    I'm talking about the channel running between the friction surfaces ... not cross-drilling or slotting.

    --- Bror Jace
  • 5spd5spd Member Posts: 38
    There is a little noise coming from the left rear wheel whenever I *release* the brake pedal. It also happens whenever the parking brake is released.

    What could it be ?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Make? Model? Year? Disc or drum? If it's rear drum brakes the noise is probably dry contact pads on the backing plates where the shoes sit. If so, and the contact pads are substantially grooved, the backing plates will require repair or replacement.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    If it is the contact pads, usually is on drum brakes, pull the shoes away from the backing plate and put some anti sieze compound on them. This will act as a lube and prevent the noise from returning for quite some time. I do believe there are other typs of lubes that will do the same thing, ask at your local parts store.

    P.S. Make sure that the shoes are properly adjusted while your in there. It will make a dramatic change in the way the pedal feels, and will take a lot of the pedal travel out as well.

    Good Luck
  • dennistntdennistnt Member Posts: 1
    My daughter has trashed her front rotors on her front wheel drive eclipse. What is the trick to removing the axle nut? I've tried everything but an air wrench.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The torque spec for the axle nut is 188 ft/lbs. An impact gun or a long pipe on a breaker bar are your 2 options. What year Eclipse is it? Most Mitsubishi rotors slip off or have 2 small screws holding them on to the hub from the outside. Mirage and Precis require removal of the rotor/hub assembly (needs a puller to push the axle out of the hub), and a press with tool MB991001 or equivalent to separate the rotor from the hub.
  • leomortleomort Member Posts: 453
    what indications/warning signs of wear on these two items. Can you tell by how they sound whether the pads or rotor need replaced?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No, unless you mean by "sound" the warning device they put in pads. But once totally worn pads touch the rotors metal to metal, it's all over. If you hear grinding, it's too late.

    The rotors themselves should be mirror smooth, but in fact a few small grooves is not a reason to replace or even resurface them. Many large grooves are not a good sign. Also, the rotor must be flat, so any "run-out" has to be measured with a special gauge. If the rotor is smooth, that doesn't mean it's okay, it could be warped. Last of all, severly burned rotors need to be inspected carefully for warpage and cracks.

    As for turning the rotors, you don't have to do this for every little hairline scratch you see in the surface. Some shops oversell on this point.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    Thieves! The dealers especially want to grind down your brake parts, including pads, at every opportunity. What a great way to sell replacement parts more frequently.

    I am not a mechanic, and thus don't condone this. But on my Integra, the rear disks had a great deal of grooves after 30k miles. I put on a new set of pads, and rode the brakes hard for a couple days. Took the wheels off and inspected, and the rotor was perfectly smooth. The rears are not very beefy, so they probably couldn't take a cut anyways. And replacing the pads was cake. Like I said, not condoning this as maintenance, but on the right car, at the right time, it bought my rear brakes a few miles before any parts had to be changed, and they worked perfectly.
  • leomortleomort Member Posts: 453
    that when you hear "grinding" noise that this is a sign of worn rotors and they need to be replaced. I noticed that when I hit my brakes hard that I hear some grinding but not during normal braking.

    I currently have 160,000 miles on my car. I had rotors put on at 137,500 miles and pads at 152,736 miles. I just had the car inspect this week and mechanic said everything was fine. I'd think rotors would last at least 30,000 to 36,000 miles. My car is a stick so I downshift to slow down and use the brakes less than in an automatic.

  • haspelbeinhaspelbein Member Posts: 227
    Okay, just $0.02 from somebody who does his own brakes...

    Unless you brake hard or live in a mountainous area, you really shouldn't need new rotors at 36,000 miles.

    If the brake was grinding, metal to metal, you would know ... believe me, it's an awful sound and you'd recognize it immediately. (I once had that pleasant experience riding in my brother's car.)

    If in doubt, I would really take off the wheel and have a visual inspection of the brakes. (Since your mechanic just inspected them, you're probably fine.) One can easily see the brake pad thickness, but you need a micrometer screw and a dial indicator to measure the rotor thickness and run-out (flatness).

    One more thing. Please be easy on the car during the down-shifting. The wear that you save on the brake can show up on your clutch. Brakes are usually cheaper.
  • leomortleomort Member Posts: 453
    Oh, I don't downshift like that. Meant that since I drive a stick that I gradually downshift when coming to light or stop sign which saves on braking.

    Had some maintenance work done and had them check the rotors and pads. MEchanic said that since they were aftermarket pads that they were metallic pads which are generally more noisy. Answer that question. Thanks for your help.

  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    I didn't know that aftermarket parts would change the consistency of the pads, from regular to metallic. I assumed these parts would necessarily follow the manufacturer's specs. Hmmm.

    I had thought metallic pads might be your problem Leo, but I didn't know the above. Knowing that, I think your rotors won't last as long. I don't KNOW this for fact, but metallic pads tend to wear the rotors quicker.

    You may notice a greater grinding when you first apply the brakes in the morning. The metallic flakes in the pads actually rust slightly. The first grinding is this pad cleaning itself, then the grinding tapers off somewhat.
  • leomortleomort Member Posts: 453
    The Toyota mechanic told me that toyota pads use brass as their metal in the pads. Brass metal is relatively soft which allows it to be quiet but it will also wear faster. Apparently there are many different types of metals you can use/have in brake pads.

    I too would think that my current metallic pads, while they last longer, will also wear my rotors quicker.

  • jlukasjlukas Member Posts: 1
    I've replaced the brakes all the way around on my 1989 Buick. Problem is I have discovered a hole in the rear brake line. I am unable to break the line free because of the rust. I've tried rust penetrant, light taping, even heat to break these free. Any other suggestions before I take it to a shop and pay a bopping 75 bills. help
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    We cut the line at the ends and use a socket on the flare nuts. The replacement line MUST be double inverted or ISO flared on the ends. The wheel cylinder bleeder screw and the opposite front caliper bleeder screw must be loosened, if front wheel drive. If rear wheel drive, both rear bleeders will have to be freed up. By the time you buy the flaring kit, tubing cutter, and steel line, then snap off a bleeder screw and have to replace the wheel cylinder it'll probably be cheaper and a lot less aggravation to let a shop do it.

    Btw, if attempting yourself don't be surprised if you can't get a brake pedal after trying to bleed the system. The first time the pedal's depressed it'll bottom out the master cylinder pistons in their bores, into the pitted and corroded areas where the pistons haven't previously travelled. Usually tears one or both of the piston rubber primary cups, requiring master cylinder replacement. More of a problem with composite aluminum master cylinders.
This discussion has been closed.