I own a 1997 Honda Civic EX. Automatic. 160,000 miles. I have had the front disk rotors and pads replaced five (5) times within the past two years due to “warped” rotor issue. I recently changed the two front calipers as well to rule out caliper issues. Yet I continually end up with a warped right front rotor weeks after putting on new rotors. Here is what happens. Car brakes fine for a week or two with the new rotors. Then shortly afterwards, the right front rotor (passenger side) quickly develops a rubbing -like noise (not a grinding noise) when braking at a low speed. It’s not a constant rubbing noise but a rhythmic swoosh swoosh swoosh noise as the tire rotates and the brake is softly applied. You can feel it in the brake pedal. This noise eventually gets louder and louder the more I use the brakes (or, the hotter they get?). It can also cause the steering wheel to vibrate at certain speeds when braking. I have had it into four different mechanics. Mechanic one: Your rotor is warped. Mechanic 2: You are too hard on your brakes causing the rotor to warp. Mechanic 3: Did you go through a puddle of water lately? Mechanic 4: You need new brakes. Period. This is getting ridiculous. In all my years of driving, I have never encountered this problem. I am not hard on my brakes. I do not believe the “water puddle” theory at all. I should mention, although these are not oem rotors. they are not some cheap Chinese ones either. Something must be causing this rotor to “warp” if it’s really warping at all. I have had the tires rotated to rule out a bent rim. It happens no matter what tire is on the right front car. What could be causing this? A bad front end alignment… bad wheel bearing… (although no mechanic ever indicated that as a problem)… bent splash guard… bad master cylinder? Air in the brake lines… old brake fluid??? HELP!!! I am at my wits end.
The next time you stop after a long drive, carefully check if the right wheel is much hotter than the left wheel. If so, report back and we’ll go from there.
Original calipers? They could be binding.
Have you been flushing the brake fluid every 3 years? If not it could be corrosion has set in.
Find a lonesome road and cruise at speed for a few miles then coast to a stop, using the brakes as little as possible.
Your wheels should be cool to the touch.
I like to treat the brake hydraulic system holistically:
After 16 years replace/rebuild the calipers, replace the master cylinder and rubber hoses.
At 160k miles maybe the problem is a loose wheel bearing, worn suspension component, etc; any of which can cause a problem perceived to be warped rotors.
Do any of those people diagnosing this even own a micrometer and dial indicator and verified the problem or are they all blindly assuming that brake shudder = warped rotors?
Have the caliper slides been serviced? That should be part of the brake job.