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Rotors and brakes

My 2003 Mazda goes through rotors and brakes every 3 months or more.I have had mechanics check them out and can’t they can’t figure out what the problem is. I had 1 mechanic take the whole front end apart and to no avail.HELP.

If the mechanic really took the whole “front end” apart to check your brakes, he ripped you off bigtime. You don’t need to disassemble the whole, or even most, of the front end to get to the brakes.

Check the brake lines to be sure they haven’t collapsed and are failing to release pressure after you step on the brakes. Check the calipers to be sure they aren’t sticking. Check yourself and anyone else who drives the car to make sure they aren’t resting their left foot on the brake.

Debbiesue, you need to explain how your rotors and brakes are behaving.

Have someone check the rear brakes for wear.

Some vehicles have the brake bias at the rear wheels with ABS. This means the rear brakes do most of the braking. If the rear brakes are worn, you’re asking the front brakes to do the majority of the the braking which it wasn’t designed to do.

Tester

Are the pads wearing evenly? One wheel faster than the other or front before back?

Debbiesue The front end will shimmy and the rotors grind.

Debbiesue

The driverside rotor wears out faster.

By “Wears Out” Or “Goes Through” Are You Saying That Is Indicated By Shimmy And Or Grinding ?

Do you know for fact that the brake pads themselves are wearing through or almost through ?

What I’m trying to determine is whether you are having the brakes repaired because of shimmy feeling or grinding sound or whether it’s because you alerted by the brakes doing one or both of these and the mechanic finds the brake pads worn out ?

Shimmy or grinding aren’t necessarily an indication that brakes are actually worn out.

Have the “mechanics” replaced a caliper/calipers ?

Does the car sit for any length of time (more than a day or two ?) If so, explain.

CSA

A Dragging Or Sticking Brake Caliper Can Cause A Shimmy, Damage The Rotor, And Wear Out The Brake Pads. This Could Explain The Problem Being More On The Driver’s Side.

CSA

What model Mazda is this? How many miles does it have on it?

I also have to ask if the mechanics have checked the front wheel bearings. Perhaps the best way to check them is a threefold process.
(1) a mechanic will usually, with the car on a lift, try to wobble the wheels manually. If the wheel wobbles on the axle, the bearings are suspect.
(2) spinning the wheel by hand and listening. Grinding sounds are bad.
(3) removing the wheel and turning only the hub by hand. Roughness can sometimes be felt.

Bad front wheel bearings can cause the symptoms you describe, and can easily be mistaken for bad brakes.

@Debbiesue this is very weird and fast wear of rotors. Either the calipers are sticking, there is something holding pressure in the brake line (same as a sticking caliper) or there is a driver input at play here. If the car is up off ground, all the wheels should hand turn pretty easily. If one wheel is much more difficult to spin, then that is the sticking caliper.

Sometimes metal brake lines get crimped, and sometimes a rubber brake line can break down internally. This can restrict the back flow of the brake fluid, which means the caliper is not releasing the pads on that wheel.

A driver that likes to “brake with the left foot” can sometimes cause premature brake wear by “resting” the left foot on the brake. These driver’s feel more in control and ready to brake quickly in an emergency. The downside is these driver’s will put a small amount of pressure on the brakes. Perhaps they won’t feel the drag, but it is there and the brakes can suffer significant overheating (warps the rotors) and rapid rotor and pad wear. Make sure whoever drives this car doesn’t brake with the left foot.

2003 Mazda Protege
CSA

Thank - you so much for all the posts.I will have all of your suggestions checked. I don’t drive with my left foot on the brakes.