Car Question--Chevy Tracker

Just to satisfy my curiosity…

A co-worker has a Chevy Tracker with front disc breaks. The rims are such that you can see the brake rotors. There appears to be a lot of rust on the rotors, however.

Should this be the case if the front brakes are working properly? He’s had the car for a couple of months now, and has said he has not noticed any difficulty braking.

It just seems odd is all. I would have thought that the rotors should be clear of rust.

The rotors are bare steel and so tend to rust pretty quickly if there’s any water about. Applying the brakes scrubs the rust off until the next time the car sits for a while, whereupon they rust again. The rust is typically the bright orange-red of new rust, not the dark red-brown of old rust.

If he’s got dark red-brown “old” rust, all I can think to say is that “that’s interesting.” <== lame

The rust is normal. And, it’s not because the brake rotor is exposed through the rim (there are a lot of rims like this; not just on the Tracker.)

The rust is just from driving through rain, sprinklers, puddles, etc.

“There appears to be a lot of rust on the rotors, however.”

Where? On the sides or surface? Lots of them have rust on the top I noticed.

Rust on the sides. Rocketeer’s explanation makes perfect sense. It has been raining here the last couple of days.

Notice that even if you go to a new car lot there is rust on the brake rotors (at least in a humid climate, where I live). As the others have said it’s just a very thin surface layer that doesn’t affect the braking.