Rotors & Calipars


We have a 97 Ford 150 Econoline conversion van with 75,000 miles. In Nov. 2003 we had new brake pads & rotors, also calipars and slides were freed-up & cleaned.

In Nov. 2007 the same mechanic installed new front brake pads new rotors cleaned and freed-up calapars.

Now here we are in Sept. 2008 and it appears that one, or possibly both front rotors need to be replaced again. The vehicle drives well with no vibration until you apply pressure on the brakes and then the steering wheel will vibrate.

We don’t drive the vehicle a lot, but I do take it out a least once a week, but our mechanic has said that the calipars are locking up and causing the rotors to warp because we don’t drive the vehicle enough.

Two and three years ago we would let the vehicle sit for 6 to 8 weeks without being driven and never had a problem with the brakes and rotors. Now it seems to be chronic. So the question is: Why is this happening? Also is it OK to drive the vehicle?, or is this a must fix?

Thanks so much,


I don’t think your mechanics opinion can hold up

I don’t know what you mean “new rotors cleaned”

The rotors you installed in 2003 were not “new” in 2007

You probably mean the 2003 rotors were machined in 2007

The rotors were probably cut to much in 2007 and now you are paying for it in 2008

Replace the rotors with the highest quality part you can find.

People drive all the time with brake pedal pulsation

I know I could drive the vehicle with brake pedal pulsation

I recommend you fix it. Just my humble opinion.

I’ll second oldschool’s point about "Replace the rotors with the highest quality part you can find. " This is likely your problem - your mechanic is buying the least expensive foreign-manufactured rotors for you. Perhaps the original equipment Ford part is the best fit?

Other than agreeing with oldschool, I’d also point out that any looseness in a wheel bearing or suspension component such as a tie rod or ball joint can also cause a brake shudder.

Get new pads and rotors, and for another $100 or so, also get new calipers. Don’t have them “freed-up” anymore, get new ones. Make sure your mechanic is using high quality parts, not the cheapest.

here is a link to an article in local paper regarding the increase in corrosion due to the use of calcium chloride brine solutions as winter treatment of roads…perhaps this is part of your problem.