Fluttering Front Brake

1 1/2 years ago my front brake pads were replaced and rotors turned on my 2002 Cadillac DeVille at 95,000 miles. In the last couple months the right front brake “flutters” when braking at speeds above about 30 mph. I now have 116,000 miles on the car which otherwise runs great. Any suggestions? You guys are tops! Thanks

Sounds like it may be time for new rotors, not just turning the old ones. Couldn’t hurt to replace the pads at the same time, although they may have plenty of life left in them after only 21K.

In the future, replace the rotors instead of having them turned. The cost is about the same. The rotors start out on the thin side, after turning they are often too thin and will warp.


It sounds like a case of warped rotors. Turning rotors is rarely effective for very long, simply because the rotors are thinner after being machined, and thus are now even more prone to warping than they were previously. Shops that try to save money for their customers by machining rotors, rather than replacing them, are actually costing their customers more money in the long run.

Step #1: Machine rotors
Step #2: 10k or 15k later, charge the customer to replace the rotors

Have the rotors replaced!
The next time that a shop suggests turning your rotors, ask for a price comparison between turning and replacing. You will see that replacing them the first time around is not much more expensive than machining, and is WAY less expensive than machining and then replacing them.

Also–NEVER allow a shop to tighten your lug nuts with an impact wrench. This is one of the leading causes of warped rotors. Demand that a torque wrench be used, and that they reference the correct torque for your particular make and model.

Sir Tardis, thanks for the excellent response and recommendation. The brake repair work was done by a rather large (24 locations) dealership headquartered in Appleton, WI. Surprising that they did this??? I’ll have the rotors replaced next week. Many thanks.