Rotor screws stripped. DIY fix. 2007 Honda Accord LX

This is for a 2007 Honda Accord LX.

While swapping my rotors, I was not as careful as I should have been and stripped one of the screws for the rotor (one of the two that hold it on). I am aware of two methods of removal and would like some feedback before I proceed.

Method 1 is to simply machine a pilot hole with the center-hole tool, and then drill the head down to the threads (careful to only drill away the head). With the head gone the rotor can be pulled free and then broken screw unthreaded.

Method 2 would be to drill a pilot hole and use a screw extractor bit to remove it.

I’m not sure which of these methods would be most suited for my specific case. Any suggestions or alternatives?

Side note… Next time, I’ll properly shock the screw before I try to unthread it to break the corrosion contacts so I can avoid this problem entirely.

Whichever one you’re most comfortable doing / have the equipment on hand to do will work fine. The end result will be the same.

Leave the screws off when you re-mount the rotor. They’re unnecessary - the lug nuts securely fasten the wheel and the rotor to the hub.

Not Rocket Science, Just Drill Through The Head With A Bit Smaller Than The Head Diameter And Larger Than The Thread Diameter Until The Head Comes Off And Spins On The Drill Bit. It Should Take Seconds To Do.

Follow Shadofax’s advice and leave the screws off. They’re not necessary.


Those screws were only used to keep the rotors in place during assembly. They are not needed. The wheel bolts will keep the rotor in place.

great question, and I agree both of your methods are completely acceptable. Since everyone suggests not using the screws in the future, due to this exact problem/why not just drill small, then drill larger till the head snaps off. good enough and you won’t have to deal with the extractor bit.

“Side note… Next time, I’ll properly shock the screw before I try to unthread it to break the corrosion contacts so I can avoid this problem entirely.”

IF you want to use the screws, going forward…or if you’ll happen across OTHER Hondas with screws intact…I HIGHLY recommend the ownership of an IMPACT SCREWDRIVER. It has a Phillips head bit. It is designed so that, when you whack it with a mallet, it translates the force into torque: either tightening or loosening.

I owned a 1972 Honda CB350 motorcycle–and those 40 y.o. Phillips heads holding the clutch cover on weren’t going ANYWHERE without it! Gee: after 40+ years, you’d think SOMEBODY at Honda would see the light and look into Allen head/Torx head fasteners, don’t you???

@ meanjoe75fan

You Gave Me A Flashback. I Have A 77 CB750 In The Back Of My Garage That I Parked There 28 Years Ago.

Back in the day I owned many air-cooled road bikes and dirt bikes (Honda, Suzuki, And Ossa) and all of them had stubborn Phillips head screws. I still have a hand impact driver and you’re correct. It was necessary.

Once the screws came out however, they were replaced with a set of aftermarket Allen head screws. I remember being able to purchase sets by make and model.

I also remember looking closely at those Phillips screws that were stuck and seeing corrosion on the threads. That’s why they were tough to get out.


PS don’t cheap out on screw extractors. If broken you have a whole new world of problems.

Impact screwdrivers are not expensive. I bought one for less than $10 and it works well on the screws that hold on the rotors on my 2005 Accord.

Yeah I think I paid $20 for the impact drivers. I put the screws back in again. When this came up here a couple years ago, it was suggested to put the screws back in. I don’t remember why anymore.

Because the screws are designed to be there. They are there to keep the rotor tight to the hub when the wheels are removed for service. This keeps dirt, rust, and debris from falling between the rotor and hub and causing rotor runout.

They’re assembly line screws.

The screws hold the rotor tightly to the hub while the caliper assembly is being installed on the assembly line.

How do I know this?

I asked a friend who works at the Honda assembly plant at Marysville, Ohio.


Benz also uses these “assembly line screws”

If they truly are assembly line screws, why does every dealership stock them, and lots of them, for every single brake job that involves removing/replacing rotors

I tend to agree with @asemaster on this

I usually agree with asemaster but in this case… no.

They keep the rotor tight so dust doesn’t get back there? What happens when you replace the rotor? How do you keep dirt from getting back there? Why is it that whatever you did to prevent dirt from getting back there will fail between getting the rotor on and getting the wheel/lug nuts on?

I’ve been doing Honda brakes for more than 20 years, never re-installing the screws, and have never had a dirt problem behind the rotor.

Dealerships will sell you those plastic engine covers too. Doesn’t mean they’re required to operate the car.

For your consideration . . .

Why aren’t they referred to as assembly line screws

Presumably, because are a bunch of filthy liars, and are mislabeling the products that they sell . . .

I always put the set screws back, on every car I work on, be it Benz, Honda, Toyota, or what have you

When I was at the dealership and replaced pads and rotors, I always sold new set screws

Maybe somebody will claim I was selling unnecessary parts, and I should be ashamed of myself


There’s never going to be consensus about whether the screws are there to keep the rotor tight during service or not. But I know what they’re there for, and at this shop if the car came in with the screws it’s going out with the screws. We don’t leave screws out of cars, we don’t cut dashboard supports to do heater cores, we don’t do things like that.

I find it hard to believe that if the only purpose was to keep the rotors on at the assembly line they would engineer a hub with 2 threaded holes, a rotor with 2 countersunk bores, and put 4 or 8 screws on every car when a couple of tinnerman washers would achieve the same goal for far less money.

If they are there as assembly aids why doesn’t Ford or GM use screws? Their rotors slip over the studs exactly as the Hondas and Benzes do and the caliper designs are similar yet have no screws. They use tinnerman clips over the studs. Break 'em off and throw them away. No one replaces them. I vote for “assembly aid” but I can understand why @asemaster replaces them - they came on the car, they should remain because that’s how the customer brought it in.

@ asemaster

That makes sense. I never thought about that because I live in the Salt Belt where rust makes some parts of cars fall off and other parts, such as brake rotors, fuse themselves to the hub with no risk off falling off when a wheel is removed. I don’t recommend it but folks here could probably leave off the lug nuts, too after a couple days on salted wet roads.

Actually Herculean efforts must be used to remove rotors, including but not limited to heat, large hammers, bad @%$# language, magic penetrating sprays, and wasted time.

I just got back from a Florida Spring Vacation at St. Pete Beach and was wondering why I still live where I do. You just reinforced my desire to move sooner, rather than later.


One difference between US and German cars - the German cars use lug bolts, so a screw is the only way to secure the rotor during assembly, while the clips work fine for US cars (I’d forgotten about breaking them off on every first brake job).

I agree with @Mustangman on both points. @asemaster should, of course, replace the screws. The car came into his shop like that, and it should go out like that - if for no other reason than to avoid potential liability if the customer wrecks and somehow claims the screws were the cause.

But a shadetree mechanic who’s working on his own car is under no obligation to put unnecessary parts back on the car. I go against the service manual all the time.

Rather than remove the glovebox, and then remove the rear outer liner, and then remove the rear inner liner in order to change my cabin filter, I cut a hole in both liners and just drop the glovebox down and slide the filter out. If an actual mechanic did that to my car without permission it would be inexcusable. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me doing it to my own car.

I still haven’t seen an explanation as to how, once you remove the rotor and replace it with a brand new one, putting those screws in there will somehow magically keep dirt from getting behind the brand new shiny clean rotor which fits over the hub such that nothing can fall on the hub if it doesn’t fall off the rotor.