Just had my car inspected (in Pennsylvania, where inspection is privatized). Was told my front rotors are delaminating, that resurfacing could not address it, and that when rotors are replaced of course new pads should also be installed. Was told it is not an emergency and does not impact inspection, but if left as is too long, then the calipers could get damaged. Was quoted “about $300 to replace front rotors and pads”. Upon visual inspection of the outboard surface of the rotors, they appear normal to me. I though rotors were made of solid material and therefore delamination isn’t something that could happen to them. What can you tell me about this? I bought this car new and it has 34,500 miles, of which about 15,000 have been cross country trips (twice to Arizona and twice to Florida). Brake pad thickness was reported at 8mm and tire tread at 8/32nds so you can get a feel for how this car has been driven. Thank you.
Cast iron rotors do not de-laminate. They do, however turn to rust, especially in rust belt states and especially internal to the cooling vanes - what you can’t see well. What you see is the friction surface. It could look crumbley at the outer edge, though. Your mechanic may be using that term as descriptive if not exactly correct. Rusty rotors will reduce your ability to stop and accelerate the pad wear. I’d get a second opinion.
I think somebody’s looking for an upsell . . . ?
Thanks for your response. I have done DIY brake jobs on previous cars, and will be pulling the wheels to get a closer look at these rotors. When I asked the shop rep what a delaminating rotor looks like he said “some material flakes off the braking surface and there is rust”. I saw none of this, but only looked thru the wheels thus far. This car has under 35,000 miles and is 3 years old. In my 40 years of driving, I have not had to replace rotors this young before. Thank you again.
Agree! A second opinion is definitely in order. I just had the front brakes done on my Toyota at 60,000 miles, nearly all city and urban driving. The rotors were somewhat thin and since I was replacing the pads it made sense to do the rotors too, since the labor cost is high.
No delamination whatsoever on the rotors however.
Rotors don’t delaminate. Pads do. Are you sure they didn’t mean your pads? If they meant your rotors, they’re either crooks or incompetent.
Rotors commonly rust. I get a layer of surface rust on my rotor just parking it in the garage overnight when it’s wet out. That layer of surface rust gets scraped off in the first couple of brake applications when I drive it in the morning. It’s absolutely not a reason to change the rotors, especially since the new ones will rust just as much unless you get something exotic like carbon-ceramic, which you don’t want to do.
Agreed. Rotors do not delaminate. Jeez, do they think they’re made out of fiberglass???
Eight MM of pad thickness is also nothing to worry about. Avoid that shop.
Just curious, was this a chain repair shop or a dealership? In Philly, back in the 80’s, getting a car inspected was a matter of finding the lowest bidder for the necessary “repairs” to pass. I suggest getting a second opinion from an independent shop.
It’s at a chain - Kost tire in NE PA. They did say this wasn’t required to pass inspection, that it could wait, but not too long.
Thanks for the response, that was my inclination.
Delamination unlikely, but the surface of the rotor can get uneven, cratered, if surface rust has been a constant problem. Presumably the advice was just fyi, so little reason to believe you are being played. You’d have to get a second opinion to know for sure. You could post a photo of the rotors here if you want. A shop would look carefully at both sides of both rotors to make an assessment. If the rotor surface is bad enough it could damage the pads, or cause the brakes to makes noises, or increase stopping distance. $300 to replace the front pads and rotors seems reasonable, if that’s necessary. Suggest to get a shop opinion from somebody who’s brake knowledgeable.
I had a set of Raybestos pads recently that started to delaminate (detach from the backing plate). Raybestos replaced them free of charge under warranty and I haven’t had any further problems. I have never heard of delaminating rotors. It should be impossible since they are solid iron and don’t have a second layer that could literally delaminate from the first one.
Just one more example of why the supposed superiority of the privatization of governmental functions rarely–
IF EVER–saves money for the rank and file citizen.
Yeah, that’s where my head is at. Thanks.
Definition of non sequitur:
1 : an inference that does not follow from the premises.
2 : a statement (such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said.
You really need to see the inside surface of the rotor. I live in the rust belt and if rust has stopped the rotor from sliding, the piston side of the rotor can be all chewed up while the outside looks ok.
Absolutely agree there VDC. Good point.
There was either a miscommunication here or the mechanics is full of BS. Since rotors are cast and not laminated to begin with, they can’t delaminate…
except perhaps the carbon rotors on race cars, which cost thousands of dollars per wheel and to the best of my knowledge don’t delaminate even when they’re hot enough to be glowing bright orange-yellow.
Get a second opinion. And be sure you understand what the mechanic is saying in detail. Post back.
For the record, I’ve long seen a problem in NH where inspections are done by private shops, wherein some less-than-ethical shops use the activity to generate revenue for repairs that may not be needed. But I’m inclined to trust privates overall better than I trust state inspection stations. I wouldn’t trust state inspection stations because they don’t care about their reputation… and state employees can and often do become complacent.
He is trying to tell you that the rotors are too thin to be resurfaced