Brake Rotors

civic
honda

#1

I had my rotors turned and pads replaced 2 years and approx. 11k miles ago, now I have a violent vibration when I brake. The new mechanic is saying the rotors are warped. Can this be so? I’m very easy on brakes…really. The car is an 2005 Honda Civic with 74k miles. Any thoughts? Did I get ripped off by the last mechanic?


#2

After 2 years you did not get ripped off and you have not specified if only one end of the car was repaired or both ends.

In 2 years time a brake caliper pin can corrode and stick which can lead to vibrations. A loose wheel bearing, worn balll joint, or worn tie rod/tie rod end can also cause a vibration that might appear to be brake related.

Warped rotors do not have to be a guessing game on the part of the mechanic either. If he provided a rotor diagnosis based simply on the complaint then he’s guessing.
Ask him if he owns a micrometer and a dial indicator. If not, then ask how he checked the rotors.


#3

You might be too easy on your brakes and not getting them hot enough to burn off any residues from the pads. Try a couple of hard (not wheel lockup, but close) stops from 60 mph and see if it clears up the problem. It often does.

Do this in a safe place.


#4

I never turn rotors. It makes them thinner and more prone to warp. New high quality rotors are cheap.


#5

Honda rotors are prone to warp without being turned. Once turned, I’m not surprised if they warp. but try @keith 's recommendation first.


#6

I agree with the comments about turned rotors warping more quickly the second time.

If your lug nuts were overtightened when your tires were rotated or other work was done, that can warp rotors as well.


#7

Yep, I always just replace my rotors. Turning them these days with thin rotors is asking for warpage in my humble opinion anyway. Plus whenever a tire shop puts a wheel on, I always retorque the nuts when I get home.


#8

Like keith said, a lot of brake shudder isn’t from warping, but just from an unevenness on the rotor surface from pad deposits. It can be worse with cheaper pads too. If you try the hard braking, don’t just come to a stop and then sit with the brakes on. One way to start things going downhill with rotors is to do a hard stop and then sit with the brakes clamped on. The rotors get very hot and then cool faster outside of where the pads sit. So do some hard “slows” - say 60 to 10mph hard and then drive another minute to cool the rotors and then go again. You’ll need a somewhat desolate backroad.

And like ok4450 said, shudder while braking isn’t always from the brakes. Or if you have a little bit of a rotor issue combined with a front end issue, then things can really get to shaking.