CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Rusty Rotors

I have 83,000 on my 2006 Saab 9-3. I had the breaks replaced 2 years ago. I drive 500 miles a week, The Saab dealer told me yesterday i need new rotors the front as there is 50% rust on them. I went onto your website to look if i need to get them replaced or if the dealership is trying to make some money, I need to also tell you that last week i had the tires rotated at Firestone (free rotation as they put the tires on) AND they did not say a word about my needing new rotors. When they rotated the tires would they have seen the rotors also ?

If the rust is on the center sections and outer edges of the rotors and not the area swept by the brake pads then that rust is entirely normal.

Rotors are made of cast iron and cast iron will rust in a heartbeat. One could take new rotors right out of the box, place them outside on a humid, warm night and they would likely have rust on them the next morning.

Yes, the Firestone staff notices a car’s rotors during tire rotation. What they saw on your car looked perfectly normal to them. Clearly your Saab dealership is looking for additional profit.

+1 with all those comments
Rust is not a big deal on rotors.

I also agree with the above.

Rusting may have pitted the rotors, if they are pitted I would get a second opinion. Otherwise agree with above.

I have had some cheap rotors that during normal use the surface of the rotors rusted, and pitted so bad leaving a much smaller, less then 50% ring of clean contact surface for the brake pads, and for some reason it happens only on the inside rotor surface. If this is the case with yours then you may in fact need new rotors.