Replacing brake pads/rotos

My car has recently begun experiencing “pulsating” when I brake, it is most noticeable at higher speeds, and so I figure I have some combination of problems with brake pads and rotors (warped or worn). So my question is, I’m going to take it in to see if its something that could be fixed more cheaply by having them resurface my rotors (and I’m fairly sure its not my pads as I have no sqeaking or any other noises associated with such), however, if I DO have to replace my rotors (which I know can cause several hundreds of dollars), is there any length of time that if I wait too long will cause any kind of permanent damage to my vehicle?

I ask because I’m a broke college student and as such I don’t readily have the money on me to just replace my rotors at that cost, and also I need to drive so I can make the money to fix them, but I want to be sure I’m not causing any permanent damage driving on these pads/rotors.


you DONT need to take this to a dealer. find a local mechanic (not pep boys et al)

the brakes are always done by replacing the pads. the rotors are either turned (resurfaced) or just replaced.

as an option, if you are mechanically inclined, you could buy a haynes manual and do it yourself.

it will take a jack, a jack stand, a manual, some time, some wrenches, and some sweat.

you don’t mention the make and model year, but rotors usually cost around 30 apiece, and pads around 25. so you can get a brake job done yourself alot cheaper than having it done somewhere else. (then you will know how to do it in the future too!)

The pulsation is not going to hurt anything. It’s more of an irritant than anything else. The brake pad thickness should be checked to verify the pad lining is not getting too thin though.

If money is tight (college student, I understand completely) you could have the pads only replaced before any grinding occurs due to metal on metal contact.
This is not really recommended and is no guarantee of pulsation free brakes but it’s an option to consider anyway. Just do not get upset if you replace pads only and a pulsation still exists. It may or may not go away.

Ask around at school. I had probably a dozen brake jobs and countless oil changes, tune ups etc. under my belt by the time I graduated high school (drum brakes too). I was not in a technical school either, learned out of necessity and having a handy family. Depending on brand of vehicle and parts it may cost about 100-150 bucks, and either pizza or 12 pack for the friend. Make sure they are knowledgable. Who knows you may find out someone’s parent owns the repair shop in town…

yes, thats a great idea too. sometimes a case of beer goes a LOOOOOOOONG way!

Must figure on a short job though. He’s suggesting a 12 pack. OR, maybe he’s just cheap! Heh heh heh