CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Front or rear brakes?

I have a little dilemma with my 2007 Honda Civic. Several months ago I had service on my front brakes. The rotors and pads were replaced by an independant mechanic, and everything was fine.



A couple months ago, I had the rear brakes serviced by a Honda dealer. They turned the rotors and replaced the pads.



Beginning a couple weeks ago, I noticed that i get serious sterring wheel vibration when braking at highway speeds. It’s fine at lower speeds.



I think I need to take it back (I’m by no means qualified to service my own brakes).



The fact that the steering wheel vibrates makes me think front brakes. But the problem started after the rear brakes were serviced.



So who do I take it back to?



Thanks in advance for your help!

My guess is your front rotors are warped, Did they do a tire rotation when they did the rear brake service? I ask because improperly torqued lug-nuts can be a cause. Who can you blame, who knows, who will pay, probably like the scarecrow in the wizard of oz each one will point to the other, I would try the people that did the front brakes and see if they will do anything for you.

The front brakes work much harder than the rear brakes. That alone means that problems like this are more likely to show up with the front brakes than the rear.

Yup
The front rotors are warped.

Whether they became warped by someone who used a torque wrench to mount the wheels, or whether they became warped by overheating on a long downhill grade, or for whatever reason, they are now warped.

You can try having them machined, but since most rotors nowadays are very thin to begin with, it may just be better to replace the rotors. As to who pays, you will have to discuss that with your mechanic.

The rotors are warped, no question.

I imagine you’ll have a bit of a fight to get the shop to pay for it. Do you brake hard? Lots of hills where you are?

In any case, rotors usually aren’t all that much at all.

Actually, there are significant questions as to if what we are calling warp is really warp. No matter, the result and the solution is the same.