Rotors gone bad

I have a 2012 Honda Crosstoyr (less than a year old) that I purchased new from the dealer and have already had my first big service as prescribed by the dealer (2 months ago). Over the past month I’ve noticed when I’m going between 70 and 80mph and quickly put on the brakes, the car shudders (including the steering wheel). Yesterday I took the car in to figure out what was wrong and I’ve been told my rotors are bad and need to be replaced. However, when I inquired about how this happened in less than 15k miles I was told that I probably am heavy footed on the brakes and the friction causes heat which caused them to warp.
I’ve been owning Honda cars for many years (from the same dealer) and NEVER had problems with rotors. Typically, the brake pads need to be replaced first and if you can’t catch them in time, then rotors need replacing. However, I’m perplexed as to why my rotors are bad in such a short time of ownership when I only do highway driving Mon-Fri (80 miles/day). No problems with pads. Additionally, this began happening when I got the car back from the large service.

Are there other questions I should be asking the dealer who says replacement is not covered since I’m beyond 12k miles.

Insist they be replaced under warranty. They should not be warped already. If they say no, tell them you’ll be in touch with Honda corporate, and then make good on that promise.

Does Honda still provide a bumper-to-bumper warranty of just 12 months/12k miles ?
If that is the case, then shame on them, as most companies now give 3 yr./36k mile bumper-to-bumper protection, in addition to a Powertrain Warranty of 50k or more.

Anyway, I agree with shadowfax that this should be bumped up to the corporate level.
Contact info can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

Well, you’ve already admitted you drive “between 70 and 80mph and quickly put on the brakes,” which makes it sound like you’re an aggressive driver. I would have left that part out when describing the issue. This kind of panic breaking should be rare, and the way you describe it makes it sound like a common occurrence.

Unlike in decades past, when brake pads were softer, brake rotors are now considered a wearable part, just like brake pads. If you can insist this be fixed under warranty, good for you, but if you can’t, just pay for a brake job somewhere other than the dealership. I also recommend you consider more expensive ceramic pads instead of cheap metallic pads.

Braking quickly from 70 and 80 MPH sounds like aggressive driving to me so I’m in agreement with Whitey.

You state that this problem did not surface until after the major service and not much major service should be needed in roughly 15k miles.
Just food for thought, but maybe the brakes are not really the problem and this is caused by a tire anomaly if a tire rotation was part of this service.

I think your dealer is wrong. I think you are too easy on your brakes, you need to be heavy on the brakes from time to time to get them hot enough to burn off the residues from the newer brake pad formulations that accumulate on the rotors. A couple of hard slow downs (not complete stops) from 60 or so should clear up the problem, don’t do this in heavy traffic though.

The answer to this problem my be in what you wrote. “this began happening when I got the car back from the large service.” Was it immediately felt after Honda serviced it? Or at least the first time you did high speed braking? If so, then maybe the tech that did your service didn’t torque the lug nuts properly. The proper torque is probably 96 ft lb. Definitely something below 100 ft lb. An impact gun will tighten the lugs to between 300 and 400 ft lb, or more! So if he couldn’t be bothered to do his job properly, then maybe that is the cause.

describe major service at 1yr/12k miles? rotate tires? new fuzzy dice?

If you routinely drive at 75-80 mph, and you probably have to quickly slow down from time to time to avoid traffic etc, and esp if you have an automatic xmission and/or drive in a hilly or mountainess area, 15 K wouldn’t be that unusual for a brake service interval, including rotor resurfacing or replacement. As mentioned above, there’s other possibilities too. It is entirely possible to damage the rotors by over-tightening the lug nuts. Or pebbles and road debris could get stuck in that area and damage the rotors? Do you have those wide open spokes, like they look like wagon wheels? Those are more likely to get rotor damaging debris. Or the brakes could be sticking from lack of lube or otherwise locking up and overheating the rotors. Feel each wheel after driving several miles without much brake application. Are any of the wheels hot? If the rotors become contaminated, like if the pads were replaced and the pads had some anti-rust coating on them and it wasn’t cleaned off, that’s another possibility.

The good thing, this should be easy and relatively inexpensive to fix. If the Honda dealership won’t give you some kind of financial assist, me, I’d take the car instead to an inde mechanic, ask them to replace the rotors, check the wheels for accumlated debris, the pads for any signs of contamination, make sure the moving parts are properly lubed, and that no hoses are collapsing. If this car has ABS, ask them to scan the ABS computer for any trouble codes.

I also wonder if overtorqued lug nuts are the cause here. Unfortunately, that would be hard to prove at this point.

If you have a torque wrench and a little free time, you might consider doing the following. Loosen each lug nut and torque it properly. Drive normally for a day. Then loosen and torque each lug nut again, getting a feel for how much effort it takes to break them free. The next time you return from having service done, see if the lug nuts take noticeably more effort to break. If so, lodge a complaint with the dealer.

@lion9car I’ve had my wheel nuts overtorqued so many times that now I change my own summer and winter tires after having bought a big Black Jack hydraulic jack from Costco. I have a torque wrench as well and have had no more problems. And I save $40 4 times a year.

Two years ago I had a flat and could not get the lugs loose with the car jack, and had to call the AAA; very embarrassing, since I was parked on a shopping mall lot.

Worn rotors-wear item, not covered. Warped rotors-not wear item, should be covered.

I think you should try my trick first, see my post above, but many here make a compelling case for the dealer mechanic over torquing the lug nuts. If my trick doesn’t work, then the rotors are truly warped. If they are not worn down past the wear limit, and if the pads aren’t worn, then I seriously doubt the rotors are either, then Honda owes you a new set of rotors under warrantee regardless of whether their mechanic used an unregulated impact wrench to tighten the lug nuts or you are just hard on the brakes. The rotors are not supposed warp and there are no driving restrictions on the warrantee. It does not matter what the dealer thinks of your driving.