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Brakes

I have a 2003 Acura 3.2 TL. I had a brake job done last year. They said they turned the disks and replaced the pads. After a few months the brakes starting vibrating. The vibration is gotten worse. I took it back to them once and they told me that they didn’t know why this was happening. But, they adjusted them and it was fine for another three months. I went to another mechnic and they told me that I need new disks. This car only has 60,000 miles on it. How do I know that I am not getting riped off again?

Over torqueing wheels could play havoc on wheels and discs. Also most modern rotors are not manufactured with enough meat on them to allow very much cutting without making them so thin that they are more succeptable to warping due to less ability to dissipate heat. Even if they are above the min. specs stamped into the rotor, cut ones will warp easier than new ones. I’m not sure what the shop “adjusted”, but my money is on bad rotors.

Yes, you do need new rotors. In the future, if you don’t have vibration, don’t get them turned. If you do have vibration, or if the shop insists on turning, then don’t waste your money, just go ahead and get new rotors.
My general rule-of-thumb: New rotors every other brake job.

I think turning the rotors is not the problem and is necessary with new brakepads unless the rotors cannot be turned and need to be replaced, but warped rotors are probably due to improperly torqueing the lug nuts.

I suppose it depends on the car. My experiences have been with rotors that are too thin from the beginning.

Before you spend any money, try a couple of hard stops from about 60 mph, don’t lock them up, just short of that and don’t come to a complete stop. You want to get down to about 10 mph so you don’t overheat the part of the rotor under the pads. It may solve your problem.

I found this to be true, too, the pads are used gingerly and then you get a gummy residue that is similar to warped disc, I found that a regular hard application of teh brakes…pls. be sure you don’t have someone behind you when you do this. will burn off the residue. I get 60K plus out of my Highlander brakes, so I am not very aggressive in braking.

When the brakes were “adjusted” they probably cleaned off the residue as described in a couple of posts. There is not much adjusting you can do on your disk brakes.

You drive about 10K miles a year so you got about 50K miles from your brakes if this was the 1st ever brake job on the car. You didn’t say whether you bought the car new or used. If you are a light braker then the residue solution makes sense.

At the same time you are at 60K miles on rotors that have been turned once. Now it may not be the residue, now the rotors maybe warpped. New rotors at 60K miles is not unusual.

If you get the new rotors and keep the current pads it will take some time for the pads and rotors to “mate” by wearing in together. Turning the rotors provides a flat surface that match the flat surface of new pads so braking efficiency is high immediately after the brake job. If you change pads but not rotors, or rotors without new pads; then one surface is flat the other is scared and uneven. Braking efficency is less and noisey brakes are common and need to be expected until the surfaces wear into each other.

I don’t think you got ripped off by anyone. It is easy to measure rotors to see if they are within spec or not. To be sure you are getting straight answers take the car to another shop, perhaps a brake specialty shop, and get another opinion.

While there are exceptions, most modern cars are designed with one time rotors. The new rotors are thinner and lighter. They work fine, but they don’t have enough material for a good second life. Even with minimal turning, they are then marginal. Considering the difference in price for machining vs replacement I would, and do, choose replacement.

The additional cost is just far too little for such an important part to cheap out.