An interesting article, by Scott Burgess and published In The Detroit News today, says GM is developing brake rotors that will become standard on most of their cars in 2016. The brake rotors are treated to slow the rusting process and make brakes last considerably longer.
I live in salt country. Brake rotors rust while you watch. I like this idea.
What do you think ?
Also, anybody know of any brake rotors available right now that are less likely to corrode than others ?
CSA, you have touched an automotive nerve my friend. It used to be that rotors were thick enough they could be resurfaced. Why don’t they make the mounting hardware for the pads out of non corrosive material or engineer the pistons so they don’t seize ? We can’t blame the car industry totally, but they sure have lagged when we went to the liquid salt solution that seems to migrate everywhere.
Sorry, politics always enters into it. Mandate that brakes, a safety item, have to last as long as exhaust systems and they will magically find a way to accommodate. This delay is just an example…like the Volt, too litle too late. Until then, brake jobs are a huge profit maker that is tuff to let go. Makes you want to buy an extended bumper to bumper warranty. Not…
"Why don’t they make the mounting hardware for the pads out of non corrosive material . . . "
My GM Cars All Have Stainless Steel Brake Pad “Rail Covers.” Many People Aren’t Aware Of This.
I Absolutely Love This Feature Of GM Brakes. Where I Live The Pads Can And Do Tick And Seize To The Rails On Other Cars.
I do brakes on our family fleet and find that the brakes continue to operate better and pads and rotors wear more evenly on our Chevrolets and Pontiacs. This was just one of many considerations when deciding on cars to purchase.
Rust on rotors has never been an issue with me…even here in NH or when I lived in upstate NY (rust belt). My vehicles usually don’t sit long enough to form any rust. Just driving a car will knock off the little bit of rust. If your vehicle sits for a even a couple of days rust can form…
I do like this idea from GM. While GM claims it’s not costing the customer anything it definitely will. It’ll just be added into the cost of the car. And if every GM car has them…then hopefully that cost will be minimal.
Good idea, but in typical GM fashion, it’ll be tossed and turned and tumbled around from the original idea into something totally different, and 5 times worse.
Actually, what he said was:
“Calabrese coyly deflected questions about how much these new rotors will cost, but said these rotors were not developed as a money maker for the carmaker.”
Yeah, they’ll cost. It’ll be just one more added cost (read: added profit) item that most of the public never wanted in the first place.
My tC lacks a lot of the fancy touches that more expensive cars have. And that makes me happy…becaues it’s one of the LESS expensive cars. I have a good car for short money. That’s all I want.
There are aftermarket stainless steel rotors available if you have the money…You can have ANYTHING you want if you have the money…
Premature rotor wear due to rust is not a problem here and tap dancing around the cost answer is always suspect to me.
A car maker can make all kinds of things much better from stem to stern but that gets into that irritating MSRP issue.
Back in the 60s sway bars and disc brakes (just to name a couple) were an option that most people refused. Now they get those things like it or not and it’s reflected in the higher cost of the car.
common sense answer What do you think ?
Also, anybody know of any brake rotors available right now that are less likely to corrode than others ?..There are ceramic rotors but they come in a set of 4 with a ZO6 Vette mounted to them ( ;
bscar2 Good idea, but in typical GM fashion, it’ll be tossed and turned and tumbled around from the original idea into something totally different, and 5 times worse…remove GM and insert any manufactures name. They all do it, not just GM
What puzzles me is why a company that went bankrupt and only survived with a government bailout is still spending huge cash (engineering and testing is expensive) “fixing” something that isn’t broken. One would think that at least right now they’d be focusing their resources on things more conducive to reducing costs and improving sales. One would think that resourcess spent on pie-in-the-sky projects would have been trimmed.
“What puzzles me is why a company that went bankrupt and only survived with a government bailout is still spending huge cash (engineering and testing is expensive) “fixing” something that isn’t broken.”
It seems to me that GM saw a customer desire and responded to it. Many GM customers may be pleased with changing pads twice and rotors once in 80,000 miles. It is not clear that these new rotors will be so expensive that there are no customer savings. Most car buyers will work on their brakes and the labor to change or resurface rotors half as much may be a good trade.
Rip off brake jobs !! IMO, they are engineered in like a lot of service. Had cars prior, that were driven under the same conditions as the ones I have now. A 96 Subaru I sold at 130k miles had perfectly functioning original never serviced disc brakes with more a third pad wear left. If GM (Toyota pulls this crap too ) today is waving the red flag for down the road service, all they had to do was pull a few older Subarus out of a junk yard and copy their design. Or, wet enclosed in board disc brakes that last the life of the vehicle, that need no power booster !
I’m not buying this BS. Car makers engineer service in for profit to a level tolerable by their customers. Motor and transmissions, NO. Brake jobs you do easily and charge high prices on systems you can scare the owner into dealing with; then blame the local road crews…SURE. That’s how GM is repaying the loan ! They are not alone in this brake job scam.
“meaneyedkatz” you’re reading my mail !
Back To Current GM Brakes. As I’ve Said, I Like The Current GM Brake Set-Up That Utilizes Stainless Steel Covers On The Caliper Slides. Where I Live In Salt Country, These Give Me More Drable, Better Functioning, Longer Lasting Brakes Than Competitors Offer. Sure, It Costs A Few Cents More Per Vehicle, But It’s Worth It.
My GM cars have good brake hardware and brake design. I almost enjoy replacing pads on my cars. Give me the longer lasting rotors to go with my longer lasting pads. I’ll never know if I’m being charged for them. Just roll it in there. GM cars represent one of the best automotive values, anyhow. I’m certain that will continue to be the case.
Sounds good as long as I can still buy regular rotors for a decent price if/when the new kind finally does fail. For some of us, installing new rotors and pads is relatively easy.
Who’s To Say The Cost Will Difference Will Be Very Great ?
Also, I’m Sure The Competition Will Offer Them And Many Manufacturers Are Probably Developing Them, Now.
I’d Bet That After Market Versions Will Be Available At Reasonable Prices. I Do My Own Brakes, Too.
The industry is overdue for this upgrade.
“Rip off brake jobs !!”
Manufacturers can engineer cars that last a lot longer than they do now, but the cars will cost more. Making them sturdier will have a penalty in weight or cost (expensive high strength alloys). It’s no coincidence that carbon fiber bodies are only available on expensive cars. Carbon fiber hoods are twice the price of fiberglass hoods, which are about twice the price of metal hoods. You can have anything you want as long as you are willing to pay for it. Wanna pay $50,000 for a Corolla?
Manufacturers can engineer cars that last longer then they do now…at very little or in some cases, NO additional cost.
The list includes stainless steel exhaust systems which increase the cost by hundreds of dollars, saving the consumer, thousands in exhaust repairs over the life of the car, mandated, not volunteered. I have repaired cars with misplaced brake shields, open cell FOAM moisture holding body gaskets, exposed brake, electric cables and suspension parts on 4 wds made of materials that Radio Shack wouldn’t be caught dead using.
Car paints on many cars are so poor according to body people, they wouldn’t even qualify as toy touch up sold in hard ware stores. Body drain holes that were eliminated from one model year to another. Rotors so thin, in the interest of whom, to save money, they can’t be resurfaced and reused. Elimination of replaceable parts on alternators mandating entire body replacement when they reach their designed in life expectancy. And on it goes…A good welder in a minimal time can reroute and strengthen the undercarriage components of trucks to vastly increase it’s working life expectancy…the place I work does it routinely.
More engineering is often put into design changes for the sake of change and style then longevity it seems.
“More engineering is often put into design changes for the sake of change and style then longevity it seems.”
Sexy cars sell to most of the public. That’s who all the manufacturers are selling to. And concerning a few hundered extra dollars, they really do sweat a couple of percent cost difference. It may be the difference in making money and losing money. Toyota sold over 1.7 million vehicles in 2010 - a bad year. At $300 differential price for the exhaust system, the stainless steel exhaust for all cars sold costs over $500 million more than a carbon steel exhaust. There is real money at stake. If their competitors don’t follow suit, Toyota is left trying to justify a $300 price increase. It might go over well and it might not. I imagine it won’t; price is king, even with a car brand with a good reputation.
“price is king” Absolutely “jt”. But just as important is turnover ( love the rust belt) while maintaining revenue from maintenance and repair. Just like the free satellite dish to get you into the monthly contract, selling new cars to get you into the maintenance fold is as, if not more important than profit realized at purchase time. Gimme the brake jobs, and I’ll show you a bigger profit for the dealer over the life of the car then that made on initial sales for that service ALONE. From what I understand, the majority or cars sold are serviced by their dealer by the initial owner. That, financing and used car sales is where the significant profits for the dealers are made.
Tell me the incentive to make maintenance free brakes…which, even with brutal use, my tractors have had For decades compared to cars.
I bought a 1990 Corolla in MD in 1996 and drove it until 2006 through PA winters, including in the city. I never had to replace the rotors. I only did the pads once. Have things changed since then?