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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default Front Rotors Shiny, Rear Rotors Ridged and Rusty

    My front brake rotors are smooth and satiny.
    The rear ones are ridged and rusty.

    The fronts are newer (done at 183,452 km, back in Oct. 2009), but is that all I am seeing here, an older rear rotor? My impression is that older rotors should be just as shiny as new ones, just thinner.

    What needs doing?


    Front Rotor by cheapo, on Flickr


    Rear Rotor by cheapo, on Flickr
    Last edited by cheapo; 08-16-2011 at 06:20 AM.
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,910

    Default

    That rear rotor looks like it's mated to a caliper that has failed in the past...and just pads were replaced without turning the rotor...or maybe the failed caliper and pads were replaced, but not the rotor...

    How do the rear pads look? How does the car stop? Have you flushed the fluid? I suspect that the fluid flush has not been done...so there is a bit of rust in the caliper bore, but I am guessing...

    Front rotor looks good, but seeing the ridge, when you replace the pads, you will likely have to do the rotors as well. When you do the front brakes, mic the rotors to be sure.

    If the rear brake pad thickness is OK, the car will probably pass inspection. But if the car were mine - I would replace the rear rotors and pads, flush the fluid, check the parking brake pads while the rotors are off and verify correct caliper function. Do yourself a favor and go with ceramic pads - they cost a bit more, but perform just as well, last longer and leave no dust on your wheels...Akebono was the brand I used. I've got 50K miles on them, they're not even half way worn yet.
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Thanks for the reply!

    Will the dealer have ceramic pads, or should I take it to my indy?

    I had the brake fluid flushed in at 212k.

    The car doesn't stop super well. I rent cars at work every few weeks and the rentals always shock me with the light touch required to avoid very sharp stops.
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,910

    Default

    Dealer will have the OE pads, which are quiet, pretty durable, but leave black dust (not so bad on the rear...worse on the front...).

    This is an Indy or DIY job. Very straightforward work, but if you DIY, make sure you get the springs back on correctly...and make sure those rear calipers are working correctly...
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I need to have the rear parking brake rebuilt as it does absolutely nothing. I figured that was a dealer job and I might as well have them do the rotors and pads while they're at it.
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I am fairly mechanically competent, in a general sense, but I have done very little work on cars. My dad did have me change the pads on his GMC Suburban 20 years ago, and it wasn't that hard, so maybe...

    Are there any instructions on the site for doing the rear rotors and pads?
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    When you do the front brakes, mic the rotors to be sure.
    What does "mic" mean?
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    How long have you lived in Nova Scotia?! Every car that I have ever had here have had rear rotors do that and as a result I usually replace my rear rotors every 18 months. I think its a combination of a couple of things. First is the sea air that will produce heavy surface rust overnight and second is the fact that most street cars have their brake bias pushed to the front. Now if you typically drive short trips and are easy on the brakes, you will never quite clear the rear rotors nor will you get a good braking surface established on the rotors. On my current set of rear rotors, I've seen a better result but that is because I put 10K kms on them before I parked the car in Nova Scotia (I replaced them while on a trip in the US) and I am using a copper-based rear pad which appears to put a better surface on the rotor than the ceramics I have before.

    The funny thing is that when I lived in Ontario and in the US (not on the coast BTW), I never had a problem like this despite having the same cars, same brand of rotors, same brands of pads, etc. There I rarely had the rotors develop rust on the surface unless the car had driven in winter salt. Here I've typically lived within a mile of the sea and as I said, I usually get rust overnight and reasonably heavy if it is high humidity.

    From my experience, I'd suggest staying away from OEM pads (way too dirty) or ceramic (work good, but appear to promote heavier rust buildup for some reason). The ones I'm running now work better than both and are copper-based but have low dust. Unfortunately, I forget the name but I got them at NAPA (I was a bit in a bind at the time).

    Finally, you should be able to do all your brake work yourself. None of it is difficult, including the e-brakes, if you can read and know which end of a wrench you are supposed to use . If you have the time, it is ridiculous to pay what the shops in Halifax are asking to do the job. Hell, bring it down here and I'll do it for half their rate .

    Have fun,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,910

    Default

    Sorry - "mic" was shorthand for "micrometer"...measure them precisely with a micrometer...e-brake on this isn't hard either...did you try adjusting it?

    Interesting experience from Bill...we live where there is a lot of salt, but the car is driven every day in the city...lots of brake use...perhaps that's part of why we don't have this problem?
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    Interesting experience from Bill...we live where there is a lot of salt, but the car is driven every day in the city...lots of brake use...perhaps that's part of why we don't have this problem?
    That would be my guess along with the high humdity. The more brake use you have the more you are shedding the rust and laying down a surface that includes some of the material from the pads. That is why I've heard that copper-based pads can produce a more rust-resistant surface as some the copper transfers to the rotors during heavy (and hot) braking.

    In any case, it is a real PITA up here from a rust standpoint. Not so much in regard to bodywork, but any bit that is untreated metal or even yellow zinc-plated. Interestingly, on cars I've had with cast iron blocks, they would lose the paint on the block within 3-4 years. Never saw that living inland. But on the other hand, the scenery is beautiful and we have almost no beach condos, essentially no crowds; so a fair trade.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

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