Time to change rotors and brake pads.....to change or not to change?

I just came from the dealer for an inspection. They are saying I need to change my brake pad and rotors as well as flush my brake fluid. I am not having any problems at all. They insisted my rotors were rusty and “pulsating”…not sure what that means, but the visual I got was, well you know, they were literally pulsating lol. So should I change any of this if I am having no issues?

Thanks for any info! Car is a 2015 Q50 Infiniti

If you don’t feel anything strange on the way the brakes function or there are no warning lights, then drive on.


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How many miles on the car and what is your proportion of highway to city driving? Do you notice any vibration when applying the brakes over 45 mph?

30000 and highway to city is equally proportionate. There is a vibration but I thought that was due to my needing an alignment which Im scheduled for.

Are the from tires wearing evenly? (Same tread depth from inside to outside) If they are, and the car goes straight if you let go of the steering wheel, you may not need an alignment. I’d invite others with more experience to comment on that. Vibration when applying the brakes at speed is much more likely to be rotors. At four years of age, changing the brake fluid is not essential, but not a bad idea. I can’t see the pads from here, but my wife typically goes through front pads in 17000 miles. She’s a lousy driver though.

We can’t see your pads from here, maybe you do need new ones, maybe you don’t. I was recently at the dealership having my Takata air bag replaced. While in the waiting room, the service advisor would come in and talk to each customer about needed maintenance.

Every one in the waiting room (about a half dozen) was told they needed new brakes and a new cabin air filter. They told me the same thing. My cabin air filter was brand new and I checked my brakes later and the worst pad was down to about 3mm. That was a rear pad that are only about 8mm when new. 1mm is the specified minimum.

But all dealers are different, more or less.

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Vibration when you brake?? If so, the dealer was right, you do need new rotors and likely brake pads. And since the car is 4 years old, a brake fluid flush as well. You don’t have to have this done at a dealer. Don’t use a chain store, though. Pick a well-rated local independent shop. The estimate will likely be lower.


They’re feathering. And it pulls to the right. I have an appointment to get the alignment. I’m going to go ahead and get a quote for the rotors and pads too as well as change the brake fluid. I really appreciate the responses!!!

Definitely going to get this taken care of then. Thanks so much!

Thanks! I know how dealers can be. I found a good independent mechanic and am making an appointment Monday!


For future reference, the minimum brake pad thickness before replacement is 2.5 mm, or 0.10 inches. The next time someone tells you to replace the pads, ask for their measurements. If it’s close to the above values, a shop might recommend replacement rather than wait until the thickness is likely to be under the minimum the next time you go to a shop.

You do rotate tires? All 4 are wearing unevenly?

Thank you so much for that information.

Some are “fethering” according to the dealer.

Dealers replace rotors because the labor to resurface them almost equals the price of new rotors.You can get good quality rotors for under $50 each

There’s a minimum dimension spec on both the rotors and pads. If that measurement is the problem it has to be addressed. If the brakes are pulsing that has to be addressed also, as it can cause increased braking distance. However if the pulsing is due to ABS activation, that’s normal. There’s no way to tell via the internet what needs to be done. Rust on the brake components is usually a normal finding, and is seldom a reason to replace brake components.

Heavy rust on the brake rotor’s working surface is a frequent cause for replacement around here. It caused heavy transfer from the pad material to the rotor surface and makes it look like the rotors are deeply grooved, they are not, it is the pad material that has transferred to them that is grooved. I found this out by accident quite a few years ago. I did a brake juo on a Valiant and set the old rotors on a shelf in my garage and forgot about them. when I noticed them some years later I picked one up and dropped it. When I looked at it a large chunk of the pad material had come off leaving a flat but rusty surface underneath.

Thank you!

That sounds reasonable. I’m having an independent mechanic look at it Tuesday. Thanks!

Thanks so much! Having this looked at next week by someone other than the dealer. Appreciate the info!