2001 Acura TL - Front Rotors replaced 3 times in last year

I love my TL and have had the same mechanic working on it for 2 years as I was tired of the dealership trying to take me for a ride with unneeded repairs. About a year ago he replaced the front rotors, after a month I had pulsation again, he machined them and they were fine for 3 months then pulsation began again so he replaced them as they were under warranty. After 2-3 months the pulsation was back. I took it to another mechanic and he said the reason was that the right rear caliper was frozen and replaced it. I then took it back for it’s last front rotor replacement and now after 3 months my brakes are pulsating. As I slow down the steering wheel vibrates and the brakes pulsate. Cleary no one has found the real root of the problem - Help!!!

This is not uncommon with 2nd gen TLs. I replaced the brakes on my '00 3.2TL with Rotora rotors and EBC greenstuff pads which seemed to have gone a long way to reducing brake pulsation - if I have to apply the brakes heavily I get a little pulsation but in everyday driving braking is smooth. Make sure you bed the brake pads properly (light application of brakes for the first couple of miles, etc. - the documentation with the pads will spell it out). Give the EBC greenstuff pads a try - they’re chamfered and slotted and made of Kevlar which are easy on the rotors; they may go a long way to solving your brake pulsation issue. Of course, make sure your rotors are good and true to begin with.

Maybe the problem is not rotor related at all. A loose wheel bearing or suspension component can mimic a brake rotor shudder.

The reason for this is that after a little use a new rotor may develop a small amount of warpage. (say .002 of an inch)
Normally you may not notice this small amount but if a wheel bearing or suspension component is loose or worn, that amount can be magnified and made to feel worse than it is.

As to the symptoms, a steering wheel shake is usually the front rotors.
A pulsation (brake pedal, seats, etc.) is usually the rear brakes.

Really, every 3 months, that seems excessive. I will look into your suggestions. When I bought the car it had 44K miles on it, now it has 145K. So to go all that time with no issues and then have the issue every 3 months seems odd. As I said I do love the car and had planned on trying to drive it to 200K…hope I can rectify this issue.
Again thanks for your help!

Thank you for your reply. I am going to my mechanic tomorrow and will ask him to check the wheel bearing and suspension.

Thanks for all the replies! I just got back from my mechanic. He was on board with ordering the Rotoras and EBC brakepads but then said he would also recommned replaing the front calipers. Then he ? whether I really want to put all that $$$ into a car with 145K. I had been thinking I still had another 50K or so to go on my 2001 Acura TL(currently has 147K miles)!! What are your thoughts?? Is this just the beginning of the car’s deterioation? What big ticket item could be next? Time for a new car?

Not necessarily. First, can you better define "all that money $$$$)?

Secondly, we have a 94 Prizm with 250K miles. It is entirely possible for your Acura to reach that mileage, if the rest of the car is OK. We have yet to do more than replace wear and scheduled maintenance items on it. Besides suspension, brakes, tires, and coil, we have not had to do anything that resembles major mechanical repairs. Needless to say I would spend the big bucks on the brakes if needed.

This car should easily got 300k miles or more and I certainly don’t see any reason to consider trading it off.

I will say that I’m not on board with replacing the brakes yet again because I’m not convinced the problem is actually the brakes after this many repairs.
At 145k miles it could very well be a loose wheel bearing or suspension component as I mentioned previously.

Before blindly assuming the brakes are the culprit and ordering some special high dollar parts that may cure nothing, wheel bearings and suspension should be thoroughly inspected.

Also, one does not have to blindly guess at a brake rotor problem. There are tests can be performed to verify whether or not the rotors are at fault. Micrometers and a dial indicator are 2 of them and if those are not being used to verify a problem then your mechanic is simply wild guessing on your dime.

Thank you - My only question( famous last words)is why has the problem gone away every time (albeit for only a few months) they replace the rotors . At this point it’s been 3 times in the last year.

I replaced my front rotors with a set of Brembo rotors and have had no problems even though I live in hilly Southern CA.