The dealership replaced the brake pads @ 95,000 miles. Said the rotors looked OK. Today, at 101,000 miles, I replaced the tires and the tire guy told me the rotors were deeply gouged. In fact he’s never seen such a badly damaged rotor. My question is this: Can improperly installed brake pads cut groves into a rotor? Is there any other way a rotor could get damaged in just 5,000miles? The car has not been off-road or driven hard.
Rotors should always be machined or replaced when doing a proper brake job.
If this problem is present on both rotors (assuming both fronts here) then that would point to a problem caused by previously worn out pads and a moron doing the brake job.
It’s possible sometimes that someone can inadvertently install an anti-rattle clip, etc. wrong and these can dig into the rotors, but you’ll usually hear this problem right off the bat and noise may occur even when the brakes are not being used. This is also noticeable by clips (if used) that are mangled up or scraped.
I’m kind of leaning toward the former because at 95k miles they screwed up anyway by not servicing the rotors at that point.