Warped rotors on Lexus RX350

This is the 2nd time I have to turn or replace the rotors on my 2007 Lexus RX350. Is there an aftermarket rotor that absorbs heat better than factory or is there another solution I can look into? The car only has 65,000 miles on it.

Do you do a lot of stop-and-go driving? Heavy foot perhaps?

Have you noticed pulsation in the brake pedal while braking, or is the repair shop recommending replacement? (shops often recommend replacement initially to avoid having to do the same job twice)

Before you go and get yourself new rotors…are you sure its the rotors.

Not sure of the setup of RX350 brakes…but on the Toyota 4runner…the front disks have 4 pistons. And unfortunately they are prone stick (one or more of the pistons). When one or just 2 of them stick…the symptoms are EXACTLY like a warped rotor (pulsating feel - NOT ABS) when you brake. If the brakes are the same setup as the 4runner I’d look at the calipers as a possible cause. I’m currently on my 3rd set of front rotors after 235k miles.

“Turning” rotors removes material and makes them less able to withstand heat and more subject to warping. Turning them twice almost guarantees they’ll warp. I’d suggest that in future when you find a brake job necessary you replace the rotors rather than turn them.

Econo rotors are 25. Std duty are 60. Throw on some econo rotors and go. Easy job.

Warped rotors are not a guessing game. Rotor issues can be verified with a micrometer and dial indicator.

There’s not enough info provided to be specific about what is going on here because it is unknown if the pads were replaced at the same time, caliper slides serviced and pistons checked, etc, etc.
A loose suspension component or wheel bearing can also mimic a brake problem.

Machining a rotor will not cause a problem unless someone peels too much off of it. Most rotors usually have an allowable .030 of an inch or so to work with and some much more than that.

Rotors are so inexpensive that I don’t bother turning them, I just replace them. I usually replace my front rotors twice for every one time that I replace my rear rotors, since the fronts absorb most of the braking force (that’s why they’re so much heavier).

Yep. Std thickness is 28mm. Min is 26mm. Quite a bit of metal to wear away

Any subscribers to incorrectly torqued lug nuts for tire rotations are a potential cause? +1 by me

If the brake jobs are being performed by the dealer I can tell you they’re not installing Toyota brake components. Instead they’re installing brake components from a local parts supplier. Such as NAPA or CarQuest.

Dealers don’t have the room to hold an inventory of commonly replaced vehicle components. Such brake, suspension, steering, exhaust, etc… components. Instead they keep an inventory of the not so common parts. Modules, relays, switches, etc…

The local CarQuest store where I get my parts from has their little trucks that deliver parts to the local shops and dealers in the area. So, just like me, the dealer can install cheap rotors in order to make a higher profit margin, or install OEM specific rotors and do the brake job right the first time.


Are you real easy on your brakes? If so, they can build up a residue on them and cause the pulsing. A couple of good hard stops will clean them off, try it next time.

I have had nothing but bad experiences with cheap rotors.

And I torque the lug nuts on my own personal cars.

On the other hand, I have not had any bad experiences with factory brakes. They cost more, but tended to last longer and were quieter.

At the dealers I’ve worked for, the genuine factory parts were always used except in a dire emergency. It should be kept mind that many car manufacturer OEM parts are made by the same company that produces them for the aftermarket. The only difference is the packaging and maybe a stamp mark.

Examples could be TRW suspension components used by many car makers and also the aftermarket, the AutoZone DuraLast gaskets being made by Fel-Pro, AutoZone electricals made by Wells, and so on with the list being endless.

Just from my personal experience I’ve never seen any indication that overtorqued lugs distort brake rotors but have seen that to be the case on brake drums.

Thanks everyone for your comments, suggestions and expertise. The pulsation/vibration occurs when braking at normal speeds and gets very rough at freeway speeds (the faster and harder I have to apply the brakes, the rougher the vibration/pulsating).

I’m curious how to see if the calipers are sticking as MikeInNH states.