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Fried Rotors on Honda Minivan

Caller stated his wife had run through three sets of rotors on the minivan in only a couple of years. Assume that the rotors were intalled properly. See if she drives with a foot on each pedal. If so, she is riding the brakes all the time.

3 sets of front rotors in 50000 miles ? Something else is going on here. Have someone check the rear brakes - yes, the rear brakes. I went through 2 sets of front rotors on a new Saturn in 30000 miles. Finally, the service department got smart and discovered that the shipping blocks put on the rear brakes had never been removed before delivery of the new vehicle to me. Thus, only the front brakes had been working.

I have no idea why any type of blocking device would be attached to any vehicles brake system and I have prepared hundreds of cars for delivery, never removed any brake blocking device (because none was installed) Now I have removed plenty of suspension travel limiting blocks, very common.

I too have burned through five sets of front rotors on my '00 Odyssey in the last 4 years. One set was because of the rear brakes not set properly. Now I’m running on fancy, grooved, stainless ones but still have the shakes when braking hard at highway speeds. So I live with it now. My mechanic has checked everything a couple times and can’t find the cause. And for those of you that heard the show, I picked this van out for me to drive. Wife drives a Prius. And I’m not beating on the van because I’m jealous … I have the '72 Pontiac convertible. Anyone have any ideas. No ideas supposedly from Honda either.

I submit that the driver may not be at fault. Is the service technician using the proper torque specs to tighten the wheels down? Over-torquing or uneven torquing of lug nuts can cause a problem. If the mechanic is not using the proper torque/ torque sequence, the rotors could have a lateral runout condition that becomes a thickness variation over time, as the “high spots” on the rotor are warn by the riding against the brake pad… also, if the hubs have any runout in them, the same thing can happen… I’d be interested to know if the same mechanic works on the Lexus and the mini-van… My guess is they’re taken care of by different shops. Occasionally the dealerships I worked with as a service engineer for General Motors would have customers come in after 10k miles, complaining of a repeat brake pulsation. If the rotors were measured, often the runout was excessive. Indexing the rotor could get some of the stackup runout out of the assembly, but ultimately a full-contact shim is the only way to correct for a really bad runout condition.

I had a problem with my 2005 Ford Focus needs rotors every 30,000. After 2 sets they did a test drive and still felt the shimmy - took it back to the shop and tore it down and found that I had a bent axle on the passenger side. Axle was 46 bucks, seal was 10 bucks and 50 in labor. Have driven 60,000 miles since then and they checked my brakes at the last oil change and everything still looking good. The called didn’t say if it was just one of the rotors that was bad or not.

3 things, first, I don’t know where the boys get the idea that warped rotors on a Honda are rare, they are common, painfully common. And usually painful, as they typically have recessed retaining screws that like to seize or some the case of the older Accords, involve removing the whole hub assembly and pressing them off.
Second, it’s not hard to warp a brand new rotor by being dumb and in a hurry and over-torquing the wheels and/or using an inappropriate torque pattern.
Last of all, I’ve never seen a factory installed shipping safety on a brake system before but if the rear drums (assuming this is one of the ones so equipped) were way way out of adjustment, filthy, or otherwise not up to snuff, that is asking the front brakes to stop a lot of mass by themselves. Wonder what the pads look like when the rotors get replaced and if they are even checking the rears.