New rotors every time i need brakes?

I have a 2003 Ford Escape. It has 65,000 miles on it. I have only ever had the brakes replaced twice, most recently, a couple of weeks ago. Both times I needed both new pads and new rotors. When I complained, the dealer has told me both times that this is normal for this era Escape, Ford designed the brakes with a very hard pad and they always have to replace the rotors. Also, both times they are so far gone there is not enough rotor to turn them down.

I called Ford, they won’t admit to anything! The only thing they say is that the warranty has long since expired.

Anybody know the truth? Did Ford screw up? Why aren’t there any wear indicator warnings? Is the dealer ripping me off?

I know of no shop that will do a brake job without either replacing or turning the rotors, and the rotors on newer vehicles do not come with enough metal on them to allow machining. Replacement is often cheaper than machining anyway.

Shops need to ensure that the new pads have fresh, flat, parallel surfaces with consistant frictional coefficients in order to prenet unhappy customers and redoing brakejobs for free under their shop warrantees. the only way to ensure this is to replace the rotors.

Sorry, but what the shop is doings is normal and prudent.

The Ford dealer is likely the most expensive place to get a brake job, unless they have some sort of super coupon special on brake jobs running. There are different hardnesses of brake pads available. The Ford dealer is going to use the hard ones they stock. Since parts are part of their business selling rotors is better for their bottom line than the service charge for resurfacing rotors.

My Ford dealer was having a special and I needed front brakes for my '04 T’bird. In this case they did resurface the rotors and said they were very close to the limit. If I got any vibration that meant the rotors were warped. Next brake job on the front will need new rotors. At least this Ford dealer was not recommending new rotors on every car.

You are getting about 30K miles per brake job. We both live in PA which requires a yearly inspection which includes noting the brake pad wear. I get a good update on my brakes every yearly inspection. Once I get close I look for a good deal and get the brakes done before the wear indicators sound their warning. I don’t rely on wear indicators, sometimes they make some noise sometimes they don’t.

Next time you need brakes go to an independant shop and ask for softer pads. The rotors will last longer but you may need more frequent brake jobs. Instead of 30K miles you might need brakes at 20K. There is no guarantee the rotors will be OK but you can try it and find out.

Since asbestos brake pads became illegal, they have been making them with metallic or ceramic compounds. That has created the need for routine replacement of rotors and sometimes brake drums. The rotors warp so easily from build-up of heat and over-torquing the lug nuts that this has become normal. At a minimum, they should resurface (turn) the rotors with each brake job. However, the thinner they are, the more likely it is they will warp. Therefore, you can only resurface the drums so many times, if there is enough metal to even turn them the first time.

This isn’t a scam.

Agree with Whitey, plus–with the advent of CAFE standards–there’s a push to up MPGs any way possible so that more large, expensive, high-margin vehicles can be sold. One way to do this is to cut weight, and (since a rotor is a huge hunk of Fe) rotors aren’t any thicker than they have to be.

See aftermkt. front rotors @ $63 ea, so I imagine they cost 3X that at Ford…

(BTW, what does it cost to get rotors turned these days? Rotors only cost me $30 each, so I just pay the man $60 and be done with it…)

Wait a sec…

ONLY 65,000 miles and you’ve replaced brakes TWICE already ???
This may be a YOU issue and not a Ford issue.

Ditto. Having 2 brake jobs in 65k miles caused my first thought to be that the driver is an aggressive braker or the vehicle lives in stop and go traffic.
The dealer is correct and it’s not a scam.

My Lincoln Mark still has the original rotors (and still good) at 246k miles plus so that reflects my driving habits, which are predominantly open road and coasting to stops rather than braking hard.

It could also mean that the OP lives in a hilly area or does a lot of stop and go driivng. New brakes every 30,000 miles or so would not raise any red flags in my area.

With BMW you have two choices new or run them as is,everybody goes new. There are specs. to turn them in the manual but I have never seen a brake lathe in a BMW garage.

When you buy the service package new rotors are included.

Now I know someone is going to yell “composite rotor” I don’t believe they are and in any case composite rotors can be turned, just takes more talent.

Actually where I live in PA is the mountains, and 30K brakes on an SUV is very normal. SO get your facts straight.

I just got my rotors “machined” and a brake pad replacement at 33K on my 2008 Ford Escape Limited, and now my car vibrates above 65mph, at 75mph it is unbearable to drive. Will they break in or should I make Ford replace my rotors? I think they did a crappy job. My car drove so smoothly before; if I wanted a Jeep Wrangler I would have bought one!

You feel a vibration even without trying to stop (activating brakes)? If yes this is not brake rotor maching related,perhaps a wheel weight got knocked off.

Two brake jobs means that in 65,000 miles, the car has gone through the original pads and rotors, plus two replacements of those items. In reality, that means that this driver has–on average–had to have his brakes replaced every 21,666 miles. Therefore, speculation that the problem lies at least partially with the driver is something valid to think about.

SO, get your MATH straight!


Is the vibration in the brake pedal or somewhere else? You might try a different shop.

Did you hit any of those Turnpike pot holes? Your truck might need the alignment checked. Look at the tires. Are they worn evenly? If not alignment could be an issue.

You must drive not spend too much time at home. Chester County is at most hilly, but there aren’t many (any?) mountains.