CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Armada Brakes (2005)

I have a 2005 Nissan Armada and I have had years and years of troubles with the brakes. There was a design flaw in the 2005s which they recalled and replaced, but it never fixed my problem. The brakes wear out and rotors warp every 25k miles. I am not doing any hard driving, but do drive in a lot of stop and go traffic. Are there any after market brake upgrade systems that anyone can recommend? Are there worth avoiding? Are there any special considerations that should be thought of prior to making a decision?

Just curious, but you say they recalled the vehicle and replaced the brakes. A look at ALLDATA does not show any Recalls or Campaigns for a 2005 Armada but there are several outstanding technical service bulletins for a brake judder and so on.
Were you not charged for that Recall service?

It is possible to go through brakes on a regular basis if the bulk of the driving is stop and go, riding the pedal, and so on.

It’s also impossible to know whether or not the service procedures used in replacing your brakes were the correct ones as the TSB specifies indexing the rotors, replacing slider pins, machining rotors while they’re in place on the vehicle and so on.
Servicing sliders should be part of every brake job and unfortunately, a lot of times this is not done; usually due to oversight or the opinion that it’s not needed for whatever reason.

I might add that in some cases a brake shudder is not due to the brakes at all but is instead relaed to a loose wheel bearing, suspension component, etc. With new rotors the brakes may be fine at first. After a while the rotors may develop a few thousandths of an inch warp which might normally go unnoticed. With a loose bearing or suspenion part it’s possible for that few thousandths of an inch to become magnified and noticeable.
Hope that helps some.

(I do note that there are 4 outstanding Recalls on your vehicle and 3 Campaigns so these should be done if they have not already been performed. One of the Recalls involves a lower control arm so maybe that’s the source of a brake shudder. Campaigns are voluntary Recalls that have time and miles limits as an FYI.)