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#3465791 - 08/26/14 08:41 PM De-glazed my rotors.
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 25912
Loc: ME
Wife's HHR has a typical newer (shoddy) GM steering column that rattles for no sane reason. Juddering front brakes telegraphed through the steering and was driving her nuts. I pulled the rotors. Roughly ground the outer rust ridge/ lip down with a grinding wheel, so it wasn't "sticking up" and going to catch on stuff in my next step.

Then I applied a wire cup brush in a 4" angle grinder. Went at it several minutes a side. Let the natural rotation of the grinder move things around. Then I rotated the rotor 90 degrees as my technique may otherwise lead to "high spots".

I did notice lines, that could be considered pad outlines, that somewhat, but not fully, were "erased". The first few seconds of "buffing" caused an immediate change/increase in shine, but I kept at it, not feeling satisfied.

Put the car back together, 75% better, I'd say. And the price is right.

The internet-speak is onto something, "warped rotors" may not always be.

Coincidentally, I never felt this in the brake pedal on this car. It was always the steering.

Pads and rotors were new a year and a half ago.

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#3465800 - 08/26/14 08:49 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
mrsilv04 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 6917
Loc: Illinois
Were these 'white box' rotors, or something better?
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#3465802 - 08/26/14 08:50 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
spasm3 Online   content


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 4673
Loc: out there
A lot of "warped rotors" really are pad deposits.
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#3465856 - 08/26/14 09:49 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: spasm3]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 12336
Loc: apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: spasm3
A lot of "warped rotors" really are pad deposits.
I dont see that here. I can remember seeing i set of rotors with pad deposits in my life. We must drive like grannies around here.
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#3465876 - 08/26/14 10:18 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 7667
Loc: Central Washington
Yeah. I replaced 20-some thousand mile factory rotors and pads in my Mom's Fusion for the same reason. I tried sanding the rotors, but didnt get anywhere with that; though I only recently got a grinder. I did it by hand.

It was the same way; all in the steering, not in the pedal. It got worse the hotter the brakes got.


Edited by Colt45ws (08/26/14 10:19 PM)
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#3465884 - 08/26/14 10:25 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: spasm3]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 14257
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: spasm3
A lot of "warped rotors" really are pad deposits.


True..neighbor had that exact problem....
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#3465901 - 08/26/14 11:04 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
redhat Offline


Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 1243
Loc: Western New York
Its weird how some cars love to chew through rotors and present you with steering judder or unwanted pedal feel.

I have had Centric rotors and Akebono ProACT ceramic pads on the Accord for 30K+. I'm not super easy and sometimes do brake hard. I always make sure to let the rotors cool/don't keep the brakes on after a hot/fast stop. Have in-between 2/3 and 3/4 of the pads left and braking is as smooth as the day they were new.
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#3465919 - 08/26/14 11:26 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
Rylan Offline


Registered: 09/10/13
Posts: 77
Loc: NV
I think I've mentioned these before: for $40, they're one of the best gadgets a DIYer can buy.

Brush Research Flex-Hone for brake rotors
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#3465943 - 08/27/14 12:18 AM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
Andy636 Offline


Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 435
Loc: Romania
I'm curious if the same result could be achieved by applying some acid with a brush.

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#3466004 - 08/27/14 04:11 AM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: mrsilv04]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 25912
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
Were these 'white box' rotors, or something better?


IDK, the PO put them on right before sale. He was into lifting jeeps and could turn a wrench, but I could imagine using the cheapest stuff around on something he was about to unload.

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#3466216 - 08/27/14 10:47 AM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
Vikas Online   content


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8900
Loc: NorthEast
How come you did not jack up the vehicle, start the engine, put it in gear and did a redneck on the car de-glazing of the rotors? Seriously, I am little confused as to how you could use grinder to get the rotor flat?


Edited by Vikas (08/27/14 10:47 AM)

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#3466398 - 08/27/14 01:51 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 6757
Loc: Texas
I wonder if a good break cleaner soak occasionally would keep rotors "clean" of pad deposits and extend life??

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#3466426 - 08/27/14 02:33 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: GMBoy]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 15967
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: GMBoy
I wonder if a good break cleaner soak occasionally would keep rotors "clean" of pad deposits and extend life??


typically not, as they are literally welded on...
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#3466660 - 08/27/14 06:09 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: Vikas]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 25912
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: Vikas
How come you did not jack up the vehicle, start the engine, put it in gear and did a redneck on the car de-glazing of the rotors? Seriously, I am little confused as to how you could use grinder to get the rotor flat?


I did think of that. smile

I was concerned that due to the shape of my arm/ musculature I was bearing down more on 12 and 6 oclock than 3 and 9, or vice versa, so I twisted the rotor to make up for this perception of shortcoming.

I used a real grinding wheel/stone to cut the 3mm thick ridge on the outer perimeter down. Otherwise it would have plucked wire out of the brush.

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#3466737 - 08/27/14 07:27 PM Re: De-glazed my rotors. [Re: eljefino]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 4594
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I did something similar not too long ago on my wife's mazda 3, except a used 80 grit sand paper and a piece of 2x4 as a flat surface. However, the rotors and pads were glazed, but smooth operating otherwise.
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