My car is broked! New rotor?

Well, not broken… but… yeah. So I searched around and found this to be a common problem with my car:

How much should I expect to spend on fixing this warped rotor, and is it something I can fix myself with minimal knowledge of cars?

Not sure of the cost, but just because it is warped, doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The rotors can be milled down, better known as “turning the rotor”. However, as I’m sure you know, they can only be turned so many times before they are out of spec - removing too much material thereby making them dangerously thin and likely to fail (crack, etc.)

I guess if you have access to a machine shop (lathe or milling machine, I WAG), and some calipers or micrometer, and know what you’re doing…it could be done by yourself.

  • Jinx

Is this rotor on a 97 Chrysler Sebring Convertible or a 1927 Hupmobile Rail King Express?

The answer really depends on what kind of car we’re talking about. Some rotors are easy to take off and replace, the brake calipers slide right away no problem they come off and go on real nice. Others are harder, and require disassembly of the hub or any number of different special tools or pullers to get the job done right in a timely fashion.

Carmakers have taken to the practice of producing thin, warpy brake rotors that are too thin to be turned at all. IMHO, Chrysler and VW are prime offenders on this one.

Other tips to avoid rotor warpage include ensuring even torque on all lugnuts; avoiding needlessly “cooking” the brakes; and keeping all the other front end parts, including tires, in good repair.

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse

try loosening and retorquing down your lug nuts. Make sure they’re all even. That’ll help a little bit. But you’ll probably still need to re-mill your rotors. Or you could simply buy new ones, they’re not too expensive. 50 dollars a rotor it seems is the norm for OEM replacements – for Hondas at least, I didn’t check for mitsubishi.

Didn’t have your problem, but had squeaking when turning left on my parents '9x Pontiac Grand-Prix. The alternator quit when they were on vacation, so I had it fixed, and had them “machine the rotors” too for 80$ CAD more. Now it squeaks when turning right. :rolleyes:

But I expect it’d fix your prob. :smiley:

I just had mine turned under warranty (different make of car, though). If your car’s still under warranty, you may just ask the dealer if they’d consider resurfacing them as a warranty claim. Every make of car has different policies, though. If the mileage is still low enough, consider asking them to do it as a good will gesture. It may be helpful if you ask them to do a required, paid service at the same time – is it time for an oil change and tire rotation?

Then again, doing it yourself, if you’re mechanically inclined, can be simple. Take off the rotors and take them to your auto parts dealer. He or she will measure the rotors for you to see if they’re thick enough to be turned. It’ll cost you under $10 per rotor to have the turned (well, in that ballpark anyway). While you’re down there check out the pads. If they’re easy enough to replace, go for it, although there are other details you’ll have to think about, like compressing the calipers. A Haynes manual for your car is a good investment, and you’ll be pleased how little a brake job costs you if you can do it yourself.

Some certified mechanic will be along shortly to tell you that you should do nothing yourself; it’s dangerous; and you should leave it to the experts. IANAMechanic, so wiegh his words versus mine versus your own confidence. You’re not talking and old piece of junk that will have a lot of problems.

My, my, aren’t we being cynical?

I am ASE certified.

Replacing the rotors is not a particularly challenging task, but a lot depends on the knowledge of the individual doing the work, and the information and tools at his disposal. Using a manual is definitely a good idea.

On this design, the caliper support bracket has to be removed to access the rotors. The wise course would be to use a torque wrench to reattach it–if its bolts aren’t tight enough, the results won’t be pleasant.

Depending on the amount of warpage and the remaining rotor thickness, the rotors may well be machinable. However, they will then be thinner than they already are, which will make them more susceptible to future warping. New rotors would be more durable in this regard. Both approaches (machine or replace) are normal and reasonable. Compare the price of new rotors to the cost of machining the old ones (if they’re still thick enough) and make a decision based on your budget and what degree of perfection you want.

If you’re installing new rotors and/or new pads, the caliper pistons will have to be pressed back into the calipers. If the vehicle has ABS, it’s wise to open the caliper bleed screws to do this, rather than letting the fluid back up into the system. The fluid will have minute debris in it, and some ABS parts have tiny orifices vulnerable to clogging. These parts are ungodly expensive.

Disc brakes are prone to make annoying noises. The chance for noise can be significantly reduced by lubricating the metal plate of the pads wherever it they touch anything. Special high-temp grease is needed. DON’T GET GREASE OR ANY CONTAMINANT ON THE FRICTION SURFACE OF THE PADS, OR THE ROTOR SURFACE THAT TOUCHES THE PADS. If you have the rotors machined, clean them with soap and water to remove minute metal particles that will be on the surface. If you get new rotors, they may have a protective coating on them. If so, clean it off with aerosol brake parts cleaner.

I used to post to these kinds of threads, until Gary T became the hero of all shade-tree-mechanic-type dopers everywhere :smiley: Beyond what he said, I’ll just add my two-cents: Haynes Manuals rock, and sometimes it’s cheaper just to buy a new rotor.

Hi Gary T – not cynical; I just know some of my fellow 'Dopers. (and FWIW I know I misspelt “weigh”). :slight_smile:

I should also mention that on some, uh, less expensive cars that a vehicle manufacture makes the rotors are cheaper and prone to warping again relatively quickly (in my personal experience, that is). So depending on price, it may be a good idea to think about just putting on new rotors rather than having to machine them every couple of months.

It`s been my experience that turning the rotors is for the dogs.

Get new ones and that way you`ll have the things right there on the job when you start the work. Instead of taking off the old ones, finding a ride to the machine shop, waiting for them to machine them, (usually not that day either), going back to pick up machined rotors, then installing the old machined rotor and ending up with the same problem three months later.

My time is worth something and I`d just as soon get the job done with new parts.

Replace the pads right away if thats in your budget, unless youve got lots of material left.

And finally, what Gary T said.