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New brake pads on scarred rotor

I needed brakes cause I could hear metal 2 metal grind. Bought on-line parts @ nice discount. Problem is that they don’t fit. Diameter is same on rotor but it seems that the bolt alignment is fractionally off. Is that possible?

Is there a left vs right rotor. Don’t use Craigslist mechanic unless this is how you want to learn.
Craigslist dude put new pads on one chewed up rotor. How long do I have to swap out the rotor b4 pad is thrashed. Thanks.

Suggest you post your car’s make/model/year.

Until you drive the car.


What parts did you buy?

Easy enough to get wrong parts on line. My mini van has 2 different part #'s listed for front pads. The set I got on line were cheap, did not fit, had to send them back. The return shipping cost wiped out my savings. I went to local parts store and took old parts to match up and got the right ones. Once the rotors are scored they need to be replaced, some folks will try to resurface, but they are so thin to start with you may end up with very thin rotors that will warp quickly. Check out ‘Mechanics Files’ at the top of this page to find a local shop that other folks have recommended.

Mounting new pads on a chewed up rotor is never a good idea. You need new rotors.

I don’t understand why anyone would order brake pads from Craigslist. At your local auto parts store, they’re not very expensive, and you’d be fine buying the cheapest pads they offer. A set of front brake pads for my car can be bought from Autozone for $9.99, $14.99, $22.99, $32.99, or $34.99. If I was strapped for cash, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the $9.99 pads or the $14.99 pads.

There is not a left vs right rotor. If your rotor doesn’t fit, it’s because it’s the wrong rotor for your car.

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The so called Craigslist mechanic did just what he was hired to do apparently and that was to replace pads. Now that you have cost yourself money trying to save money find a brake shop and have it done right and you will also have some type of warranty.


+1 to @VOLVO_V70’s post. Get it to a brake shop.
I try to save money by buying store brand groceries, or work shirts at Goodwill. I NEVER try to skimp on my brakes.

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Since it happened, clearly it’s possible.


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No, I got the labor from CL. Parts came from internet at half the price. I’m not being cheap, I’m being broke.

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Pads and front rotors. Both were wrong.

thought it picked that up from profile. 04 malibu 2.2 L Z body

There are two different front brake rotors available for this car, the difference is if the car has rear disc or drum brakes.

Not to put too find a point on it, but I can identify with being broke. However, I still can’t fathom using CL for parts or labor. There comes a point where trying to save money costs more money, and I believe you’ve crossed it.

Replacing brake pads on disc brakes is one of the easiest jobs you can do on a car, so if you can’t afford to take it to a mechanic, watch some YouTube videos to see how the job is performed on your car and do one side at a time so you can refer to the intact side if you need to. It would also help to find someone who has done brake work before to help you.

Replacing the rotors is another issue. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes you can’t take them off without repacking the bearings. If the YouTube videos make it look easy, and the rotors pop right off and slide back on, you can install them yourself. If they require repacking of the bearings, you’re better off hiring someone to do all of the work, including the pads, but please find a reputable shop to do the work. Also, if you buy new rotors, you might also have to pay to have them machined before you install them, depending on how they come.

The great thing about buying new parts at an auto parts store is that you can take the old parts with you so you can compare them to the new ones and make sure they’re nearly identical. When you order them online, you roll the dice, and often have to pay for return shipping if you want any of your money back.

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Just pads and rotors.

It sounds like you just got some bad luck there OP. Trying to get the most for your dollar makes complete sense. I’m down with that. But sometimes what seems like a frugal plan doesn’t always work out as expected. Assuming you prefer to let a mechanic do the work rather than do it yourself, I think once you decide which mechanic to use, CL or otherwise, you might be better off just to let the mechanic buy the parts for you. Or if he won’t, ask for advice as to what is a good, high sales volume medium priced brand, and just buy the parts the mechanic needs at the auto parts store. Brake pads and rotors usually aren’t overly expensive. When I do this, I usually ask my parts store what’s available, and they’ll show me 3 or 4. I’ll arrange them by price, and choose one of the mid-priced versions, not the cheapest, and not the most expensive. I try to choose a make/model that the parts store sells a lot of. That method has always worked for me. I do sometimes get the wrong part, doesn’t fit, but I just take it back and get the right one. Frustrating and inconvenient, true, but not a weeks long wait to get the problem rectified.

I’ve used new brake pads on scarred rotors several times without any problems, but I have to qualify it.

I often get lifetime pads from nearby auto part stores. When one of my vehicles approaches its last year or two of life, I begin to cut corners on maintenance. If I get scored rotors, I will often just replace the pads, since they’re so easy to replace and because they’re free. Other than shorter pad life, it’s never caused a problem.

I once did something similar. When I bought a 1984 Mercury Marquis from my grandmother in the mid 1990s, I discovered the rear drum brakes were so worn out that the bolts that hold the pads on the shoes had worn groves into the insides of the drums. I mounted the shoes and reinstalled the grooved drums (because I couldn’t afford new drums at the time), but the next time I replaced the rear brake shoes, I also installed new drums.

That’s brilliant. Thanks to all for the help. I have to say that I have felt a little inadeqquate as a man for at least not being able to do my own brakes after all these years. They really are simple as I have learned now. I’ll just leave a quote of a message I sent bout my rotor since it sums up why I had some of the misfortune:
Arrrg. I apologize if I’m not coming across clearly. I was sent a 10.94" and it doesn’t fit(seemed 2 large). Can you confirm that the 10.86" that you have does. 04 malibu 2.2L Z body-Not the classic but the 2nd one they made that year. The new body style. Thanks.
I can do freakin pads and rotors now that I’ve had the car apart a few times. I’m A Manly Man! Yeehaw.
Still not finished but brimming w/confidence.
Thanks for all the input fellas.

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