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Chronic Warped Rotors on a 2010 Odyssey

We bought a 2010 Odyssey in November of 2013. It had about 40k miles on it. By spring of 2015 and a little over 50k miles, we had a shimmy when braking at highway speeds. A mechanic replaced the rotors with OEM rotors and new pads. In November 2015, about 3k miles later, the shimmy was back. We took it back to the same mechanic, who gave us a handout on proper braking techniques :face_with_raised_eyebrow: and resurfaced the rotors.

Within six months, the shimmy was back again. We tolerated it for a few months and then brought it to the Honda dealer service department. The service advisor said he sees this a lot on heavier Hondas, and suggested drilled and slotted rotors. He said this would solve our issues. Within another six months, the shimmy had returned. Again, I tolerated it for a while, because I was so frustrated with the Odyssey by this point, and we had already spent close to $1k on rotors in less than two years. I called the service dept. and spoke with the advisor who had ordered the drilled rotors. I wanted to bring it in to have them investigate and replace the rotors, which were still under warranty. He told me not to bring it in, that he couldn’t do anything for me, and to call Honda directly to discuss the issue with them.

I called Honda, who took down all of the information and then said, “Sorry, we don’t have any service bulletins about this issue. It doesn’t appear to be a problem for very many people.” I had done research on the web and found it was, actually, a problem for quite a few Odyssey drivers, but Honda wasn’t admitting to it. Maybe not enough people have complained? I brought it to another independent mechanic. The brakes guy there said it was among the top worst cases he has seen for a warped rotor shimmy. The car shakes when braking from 75-60, worse from 60-40, and even when coming to a slow stop, has an uneven rolling motion. His suggestion is premium rotors (NOT drilled and slotted) and pads (~$370), and replacing the front struts ($1080), and rear shocks ($300). He said the calipers are fine and the rear brakes are doing their job, so he can’t think of any other issue that could be causing this except for possibly bad struts. I am hesitant to throw close to $2k on a van with only 80k miles on it that has given me repeated issues, without any sort of guarantee that it will solve the problem.

I drive about 8 miles each way to work daily, on surface streets and for a couple of miles on a highway. It’s all relatively flat and easy driving aside from one stop I have to make that is a left turn off the highway. It’s at a street light that is consistently red, so coming from 75 mph to a full stop with not a ton of room to slow down. However, this issue started before I got that job with that commute and that stop light.

So… any experience with this? Is replacing the struts and shocks an important part of this? Any other things we should have checked out before we drop a ton of cash hoping to fix this for longer than six months?

This is common problem on mini-vans with under-sized brake components.

Manufacturers don’t take into account of the weight of the vehicle (which is heavy), or what might be loaded in the vehicle.

So even if you’re a soccer mom who drives sensibly, the weight of the vehicle and what’s in vehicle puts a great strain on the brake components.

Ask anybody who drives a Chrysler mini-van.

Tester

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A service writer told you that drilled and slotted rotors would solve your problem and sold you ones with a warranty and then told you not to come in, he couldn’t help you? You just went away? Why didn’t you insist on him honoring the warranty? My next step would have been the owner of the dealership, the company that waranteed the rotors, the local news stations and small claims court, in that order.

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My 2008 Honda Accord was plagued with chronic warped rotors.Brake pedal pulsation was my symptoms

@Tester is probably correct about minivans carrying too much weight for essentially a car chassis. I had the same.problem after I had the brake pads and front rotors replaced after 40000 miles on the 2011 Toyota Sienna that I owned until a month ago when I sold to our son. I just put up.with the pulsating in the brakes. At 91,000 I took it to the Toyota dealership for the problem. They recommended nee front rotors.and estimated that I still had about 7000 miles left on the pads. I went whole hog and had the rotors and pads replaced on the front and new pads on the rear. That seemed to clear up the problem. I wanted the van in top-notch shape before it went to our son.
Interestingly, I never had this problem on the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. I had over 60,000 on that minivan before it needed new pads. The 1990 Ford Aerostar I once owned was on a truck chassis and the brakes held up well. I don’t like the idea of a minivan on a car chassis, but apparently this is what the buying public wants. I wish Ford still produced the Aerostar, because I would certainly own one. Consumer Reports didn’t particularly care for the Aerostar because it was too “truck like”. CR preferred the minivans that drive like a car. I am of the opposite point of view. I want a.minivan that is more like a truck. I think this brake rotor issue proves my point.

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Do you have one of those infrared thermometers? I’d check the temperature of the rotors after each drive that you take in the near future. If you find that one rotor is significantly hotter than the one on the other side, then you probably have a sticking caliper or a collapsing brake hose.

It wouldn’t hurt to make sure your wheels are always properly torqued, although that’s probably not the issue for a recurring problem like this.

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The seller of the slotted rotors needs to be contacted before anyone else messes with the brakes. Also is it possible that someone is riding the brake pedal while driving.

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Okay, I’m asked! I drive a Dodge Caravan that I bought new 22 years ago. I have ABS.

We agree here…
I did notice the small brake pads the first time I replaced them at 70,000 miles. I believe that I noticed the part number of the pads was the same as the pads on my Dodge Intrepid at that time.

However, we disagree here…
I have never had any brake problems with the vehicle and it has always stopped smoothly without any shimmy!
CSA

"He said the calipers are fine…"
Whoa, Nellie! Hold it right there.

How fine? Since replacing brake pads and rotors doesn’t seem to help much (What is that called when one does the same thing over and over, expecting different results?), I’d be paying a little more attention to the calipers.

There are a couple of major functions of those calipers that must me considered. Of course, there’s the operation of the pistons and checking for sticking, dragging, etcetera, but there’s more.

Calipers must be able to “float” properly on hardware designed to allow that to happen. I’m not sure what set-up this vehicle has, but I’d be closely examining the guides, rails, pins, bushings, boots, etcetera, that can make or break the calipers’ ability to move. Those are serviceable items and their servicing/replacement is mandatory, especially when a shimmy problem exists.

If a caliper is restricted in movement it can “telegraph” any minute, normal variation or run-out in the rotors directly to the car chassis and the driver will feel a shimmy or shake.

Do you know if…
… all the caliper hardware was properly serviced or replaced?

Do you know if…
…the used pads that were replaced showed fairly even wear thickness when compared?

Do you know if…
…this vehicle came from (before you bought it) or is used on roads where road salt is applied in winter?
CSA

My Honda used to get warped rotors. I removed the wheel covers to get more ventilation to the brakes and try to keep them a bit cooler. Eventually, a new set of rotors warped as well. I’ve thought about trying drilled rotors, but in the end, I discovered they only warp when I hire someone else to do my brake jobs, and they use “expensive” brake pads. When I do my own brake work, and use cheap parts, the rotors never warp.

So, Honda should have issued a TSB for chronic brake shimmy that advises technicians to remove and discard any wheel covers and install cheap after-market brake pads? :thinking:

I wonder if the Honda folks thought of that? :laughing:
CSA

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My 2012 Camry wears out brakes much faster than my Chrysler or Plymouth minivans ever did. in 45000 miles I hvae done 2 rear brake jobs and one front, all rotors have been replaced and one caliper. each time new hardware was used and the rust buildup on the caliper slide surfaces under the stainless steel hardware was removed and coated with silicone lube.

Where I live we measure our salt usage in tons per lane mile.

The brake pads used were Toyota, Wagner and the last ones were Wearever Gold from advance so I don’t think the quality of the pads is causing the problem. The original Toyota rear pads only lasted 18,000 miles, the replacement Toyota rear pads 24,000,

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@hgkk1218. I’m going out on a limb here and suggest that you are very easy on your brakes, that you don’t do hard stops very often if at all. You plan your stops so you only need light pressure on the peddle.

This type of driving, which is good driving in my opinion, can cause your issues, especially with non OEM brake pads. I don’t know all the chemistry involved but it has something to do with a transfer of resins from your pads to your rotors. Two things are involved, the type and/or amount of resins in the pads and the fact that you don’t stop hard enough on occasion to burn off those resins as they build up on the rotors.

First, find a safe place to do this and do a hard stop from about 60 mph. Don’t go to lockup (skid) but just short of that. Also don’t quite stop, release the brakes at about 5 mph and get back up to speed and repeat. After two of these, your brakes should start working smoothly again as you will have just cleaned up the rotors by burning off any accumulations.

You may need to do this as often as every 5000 miles. When you replace the pads next time, use either factory pads from the dealer or OEM quality pads like Wagner Thermoquiet or Raybestoes heavy duty pads. Get ceramic pads if you can.

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How many times can you do that in a van before the rotors are warped? I’m not going to try that with my car, you are getting the brake rotors very hot, they will eventually warp.

Where would one find a 75 MPH speed limit with a stop light. Where I live 75 mph is only on the turnpikes and the exits at the end are reduced to 60 mph.

As posted above it might just be a cross you have to bear with this heavy vehicle. But have your shop measure the rotor’s temperature after a freeway drive without much braking. If they’re really hot, the brakes may be on slightly all the time for some reason. Improper wheel mounting technique can warp rotors. Ask the shop to do an experiment, only use hand tools to tighten the lug nuts and torque them to the correct values, in the correct order, in rounds of 3. Using Honda’s oem pads and rotors might do the trick too, if you are using any after market parts.

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A brake shudder does not necessarily mean the rotors are the cause of it. A loose wheel bearing, worn steering component, or suspension component can also cause a brake shudder.

If they’re going to chronically blame the rotors I would hope at some point they would measure the rotors and not make this a guessing game.

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Yes. I know, I know. I was so frustrated I didn’t want to go back… but I will be contacting them to complain. I’m not sure the company that warrantees the rotors could have done much considering this was the second set (of a different brand) in a relatively short time that had warped. It doesn’t seem to be an issue with the rotors themselves.

Every place I have taken it - three so far - has blamed the rotors… This last place is the only one to suggest replacing the struts, it’s just so darn expensive. I could get three new sets of rotors and pads for that. (Which I will probably end up needing anyway…) :roll_eyes:

Speed limit is 65mph on a highway leading out of town. It’s a left-hand turn, so you have to stay in the “fast” lane until you get to the light, and it’s a short braking period from there. I slow to 60-65 in advance of the light but I’m usually tailgated the whole way.

This issue began before I worked at this job and had this commute.