Bad Wagner rotors?

I drove around this morning, then stopped and felt the disc and caliper on each wheel. They are hot, but not unbearably hot. I didn’t feel there was any one hotter than the others. Maybe I should drive a little more and check again.

Over the years I had new brakes installed on at least 2 other cars at the same shop, and didn’t experience any problem. So I can only assume they know what they are doing.

I guess the lesson here is to know not only the brand but also the location the part is made.

hehe. You got lucky - don’t feel the disc or caliper, feel the wheel itself. If a caliper is stuck and you feel the disc, you’ll get burned. I’m guessing your calipers aren’t stuck, which suggests that Keith’s idea is quite plausible.

The guy at the shop did mention that driving through water may cause rotors to warp because of the sudden cooling. But we don’t recall ever driving through water deep enough to affect the brakes unless driving through puddle or in the rain also have the same effect.

The name Wagner on the box means nothing nowadays.

For as long as I have been doing brakes (nearly 40yrs.) I have always placed new drums/rotors on a brake lathe to check them before installing them. This of course will not prove out the material longevity but is an inital quality check. In the past few years we have found more and increasing problems with Wagner and other “US” brands. Some of the worst examples have been made in USA parts. We never reccomended “China” rotors to customers but some brought them and we have tried them on personal cars / trucks first. We have found less proplems with them and “Mexico” parts than Wagner in particular and some other “trusted” brands, at least in the inital check. We have not had any difference in comebacks due to warping or cracking rotors in the past few years comparing the name brand “US” rotors vs. non-USA or non-“name” brands. The only brand that has never needed some work out of the box has been Zimmerman, not one has ever needed turning out of the box.

Thank you. After reading all these informative posts, I realized there are probably hundreds of things can cause warped rotors.

One would think that everything you and other mentioned should be in a standard brake installation procedure that every ASE certified mechanic has to follow.

Whew, guess I really was lucky. I will drive a longer period of time, then check again on the wheels.

No quite, since they vary slightly from car to car, but the instllation basics are all the same.

What’s not normally given to clients is the break-in information they really should follow. It’s normally ignored anyway, but hey, we have to try, right?

Based on the shop’s track record, I am inclined to believing they installed the parts as promised.

I called Federal-Mogul and asked their rep to call the shop so that they can know whether there is a quality issue. So far I haven’t got any news from the shop or Federal-Mogul.

From reading all the replies here, I learned there are so many things could cause the rotors to fail.

I must say that I have never been told the break-in information. Is that the bed-in procedure others mentioned? I found the bed-in procedure hard to follow in a metropolitan area due to the rarity of a stretch of road clear of traffic.

yes, bed in, break in, same thing.

I’ve never used the term bed in, but in Europe, it’s always break in…for everything. I guess they’re always thinking about houses, I don’t know. :slight_smile:

Improper lugnut torque can also warp rotors. My brake guys will retourqe the lugnuts for free after any of my free rotations at the tire dealer, to prevent warped rotor problems.

Yes, there are many cheap, poorly made products and some are actually counterfeit parts put in name brand boxes

Lug nuts do need to be properly torqued.High temp grease should be applied to the brake pads at the top and bottom slide areas.This keeps the pads from sticking or getting cocked causing problems.

Break-in of the pads should be 20-30 gentle stops.Tire pressure should be maintained.

Having said that, most brake problems are created by the driver who goes flying up to a stop sign or traffic light and then slams on the brakes.

Aggresive driving habits are the number one culprit of warped rotors, besides a mechanical problem like sticking calipers or brake hoses collapsing internally.