Our 2004 Subaru Forester (with 45K) just had new rotors installed, as the old ones were warped. What gives? It’s true that most of our driving is a couple of miles to work and back, and that there are a couple of large hills involved. But it still seems awfully early.
It’s common now to replace discs with brake jobs. Just make sure the wheels were tightened correctly. 45k miles is reasonable.
Repair shops can’t make any money installing a $15 set of brake pads. So now EVERYONE needs new rotors too…
It’s quite possible for rotors to warp even sooner than 45k miles.
There are 2 ways of doing a brake job.
The driveway, DIY method in which the owner of the car does not have to stand behind the work. If a problem occurs because the rotors were not serviced there’s no one to blame but themselves.
The proper, by the book method is servicing the rotors and is the only way of assuring that a new brake job will not shudder, squeakk, or squeal.
Considering Suburu’s history of brake rotor noise and vibration I wouldn’t even consider touching a brake job on one of these without machining or replacing the rotors.
Six years and 45k miles is actually quite good. Pat yourself on the back for making them last that long. Throwaway rotors have become the norm these days. In exchange for having to replace your brake rotors at every brake job (in most instances), you get a lighter, quicker, cheaper, more fuel efficient car. If this is your only gripe about the car, you’re doing really good. Just keep in mind that you probably have a timing belt change in the near future if it hasn’t been done (timing belt is basic maintenance. It’s expensive, but doesn’t mean the car is a money pit. Per mile, it’s about as much as keeping the oil changed).
Modern rotors are intentionally designed lighter, as it improves handling and ride. However it means you need to replace them more often. The up side is you don’t need to have them turned at each brake job. You come out about even.
I concur that this is nothing out of the ordinary.
If you are not used to replacing rotors when brake pads are replaced, then you should get used to it, as it is needed in very many cases. Alternatively, you could have had the rotors machined for just slightly less cost than replacing the rotors.
The problem with this “cost-saving” approach is that the machined rotors are then thinner and more prone to warping, with the result that you return to the mechanic in 5,000 miles with brake pulsation problems. At that time, he would replace the rotors, thus leading you to pay twice–first for machining and subsequently for replacement of the rotors–in a fairly short period of time.
Ergo–it costs more in the long run to machine the rotors, rather than simply replacing them the first time around.
The rotors can be machined however sometimes the price approaches replacement.
My WRX has problem free rotors with no work done just pads once over 75k miles. Our Legacy has had rotors machines warped twice and pads replaced twice in 87k miles. I would have replaced the rotors the 2nd time as they were badly warped but each new rotor runs $90/each for parts due performance version of Legacy. Machining all four was $150.
Somebody must have forgot to tell Ford about this…The rotors on my '98 Crown Vic, 165K miles, third set of brake pads, have NEVER been replaced OR MACHINED!! Not a trace of vibrating, shimmy or rumble…