My wife’s car shakes like a paint mixer when the brakes are applied.
The car has less than 60K miles on it, and I’ve replaced these rotors 2 times. Well, I didn’t… we had the shop do it. Limited i-net research seems to suggest that we’re/they’re installing crappy rotors each time. So, I’m contemplating putting some *racing rotors on it, so that they won’t warp as easily.
Problem solved, or am I just throwing money away?
*I’m aware that warp isn’t exactly accurate, but I think that term works to describe the condition I’m trying to overcome.
you’d be throwing money away. Race brake hardware is designed for a totally different use case. They’re designed with fade resistance/heat management to keep the brake fluid from boiling after repeated extremely hard stops, and to try to cool off as quickly as possible after the brakes are released. Race brakes also work terribly when cold, they’re meant to work their best when everything is screaming hot. they’re not meant for long pad life.
if your vehicle is known for short brake and rotor life (like my Ranger is) then you might hit up a forum geared around your car and ask for advice. you can get upgraded components. I went with a bit better rotors and EBC pads on my truck, and this set has lasted longer than the first two sets of brakes did.
what most people describe as “warped” rotors (pulsating pedal) is due to thickness variation of the rotor from deposits of pad material, heat checking, and uneven cooling.
There is a brake in procedure with new brakes and rotors, this helped me when I had recurring warped rotors. Also when stopping from high speeds try not to let the car sit in one spot with the brakes applied, creep up, or roll slowly to prevent the transfer of material unevenly on the rotor. Ultimately it may be the caliper brake hose or even a wheel bearing.
You certainly can upgrade your brakes. A quick Google brings up several sites like this with multiple options and an idea of the costs involved:
But first you should ask yourself if you are sure that warped rotors are the cause of the shaking, they may not be. And decide how long you intend to keep the car. Long term, it would probably be worth it, selling in a year or two, probably not. And there are different pad options for street vs race that won’t have the issues that jz78817 refers to.
Personally I upgraded the front brakes on my 4th generation Trans Am and it was the best mod I have done to the car. But I intended to keep the car forever from the very beginning so the cost was worth it. GM put the same front rotors on the performance package Trans Am that came on the V-6 Firebird and I got tired of warped rotors, hard stop on a wet road and warped rotors, again. My upgrade was a bit more involved, cutting of the lower caliper ear, caliper relocation bracket, then put on much larger C-5 Corvette rotors.
But like I said, you have to look at your own cost and intent with the car to decide if it is worth it for you. And you are either going to do the work yourself of find a shop that will install them. Many shops will not install parts that you supply or that their regular warranty will not cover.
I’m assuming they did replace brake pads with each rotor replacement, too, right? And did you take it to dealer service, or at least make sure your shop is using OE parts?
I’d just stick with OE parts and if you’re not going to dealer service, maybe check if there is any kind of a service bulletin related to your CR-V’s brakes or suspension.
Brake rotors can become warped if the lug nuts are overtightened. Make sure they get tightened in the proper sequence with a torque wrench, not a power tool. There are special sockets called torque sticks that claim to get the nuts properly tight when used with an impact wrench, but I don’t trust them.
High quality aftermarket brake pads (I favor Wagner ThermoQuiet) will not cause a problem. I’d avoid economy grade pads.
Ya know, I may have misspoke. Well, I did misspeak. I should have said *performance *rotors instead of racing rotors. From your replies, it sounds like a street-performance grade of rotor/pad would be a viable option here, correct?
We did replace pads/rotors as a set each time. Also, though I asked/explained to the wife that she should be gentle on the brakes, I didn’t monitor the break-in period. Her driving history wouldn’t cause an immediate reason to doubt her dedication to the cause.
I don’t recall (as I sit here and type), but I think the dealer did it the first time. The tire shop she likes did it the second time. I’ll do it this third time.
The wife’s looking forward to not having a car payment, so we hope this little Honda will be in the driveway for a few more years.
The CRV-specific boards are flush with comments about the brakes pulsing a lot. Most assume it’s rotor warpage, and explain it away with a finger-point at cheap rotors. I’m still researching.
Also, a few months ago I was searching about this, and I found a post about excessive tolerance in the machining/manufacturing at Honda (or their supplier). However, I can’t find it or reference to it now. Maybe I dreamed it, or confused it with another model. I’ve not given-up, yet.
make sure the caliper pins are lubed and freely slide.
make sure the channels in the caliper frame the pads sit in are lubed.
adjust the rear brakes properly (meaning back off any adjustments previously made to the e-brake, adjust the rear brakes with the adjuster, then check/ adjust your e-brake).
use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts.
make sure the car isn’t loaded with tons of crap.
don’t brake super heavily from high speeds & keep the brakes applied with the hot pads on the rotors any more/longer than is necessary (it’s not a race car, don’t drive it like one).
if it’s a manual transmission, learn to downshift properly.
if need be, have the rotors checked for trueness when installed on the car. on the car brake lathes are available and can be used to make the rotors 100% true to the hub, however this comes at the expense of slightly thinner rotors (which is less desirable because less metal, same heat = quicker warping). this would be done if the rotors were problematic almost instantly.
it’s possible the brakes are inadequate for the car due to poor design. look for any tsb’s (technical service bulletins) the mfg might have on this issue. (dealers & mfg’s aren’t too quick to share these. you’ll have to procure them from other sources typically).