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#4728366 - 04/15/18 11:14 PM Brake Rotors - what causes this?
99Saturn Offline

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1424
Loc: NY
Finally got around to taking off my snow tires and took a look at my rotors and saw the below.

What causes this? Rotors are about 2 years old, 6,000 miles.

#4728367 - 04/15/18 11:16 PM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
oldhp Offline

Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 1548
Loc: USA
Almost looks like the pads aren't seated in the caliper squarely.

#4728370 - 04/15/18 11:30 PM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
Superflop Offline

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Seattle
Road deicer
2002 saab 9-5 2.3t wagon
2014 dodge grand caravan magnatec 5w-20

#4728375 - 04/15/18 11:46 PM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: Superflop]
KneeGrinder Offline

Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 214
Loc: North of you Idaho
Originally Posted By: Superflop
Road deicer

Ding Ding, we have a winner!

I'm only getting 3 or 4 years out of a set of rotors, and I remove my pads a reapply brake pad lube or my pads will seize in a couple years.
08 Tribeca 82k PUP 5w30 wix
06 Accord Hybrid 131k PUP 5w20 wix
02 Chevy k3500 97k Delvac 1 esp 5w40 wix
00 F350 133k Delvac 1300 15w40 wix

#4728386 - 04/16/18 12:35 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
maxdustington Offline

Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 233
Loc: Toronna
My rears look similar but the corrosion is in the center. I had malfunctioning calipers for a while. It is deeper than it appears.

Salt + poor quality metallurgy
03 Jetta AWP/09A 200k kms

#4728392 - 04/16/18 01:04 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
pdxglocker9mm Offline

Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 75
Loc: Portland, OR
Salt/road deicer
They will not be able to be turned clean.
New rotors is what will fix it.
Try ebay
I got a few sets of pads and rotors off ebay a few years back
Callahan auto parts yup just like Tommy boy.
05 Pontiac vibe was like 60 for pads and a pair of rotors shipped.
08 gmc sierra was like 95 for pads and rotors.
They are fine only problem is the vibe is a little squeeky some times. But so were the wagner thermoquiets they replaced Looking back on it i should have just snagged the rotors for 42 and got the ac delco pads for 25
It did take 18 months and about 15000 miles for the brakes to squeek.
So if this is adventure you will be doing every 2 years or 6000 miles
The callahan rotors and pads would be a excellent choice.
Even though they are cheap they are of a decent quality.
The rotors are heavy and well constructed.
The pads were ceramic for both applications.
I have never felt that they were inferior in any way they stop very well.

#4728404 - 04/16/18 02:02 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
Brybo86 Offline

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2910
Loc: Chicago, IL
Stuck slide pin , or incorrectly installed pads.
08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog

#4728431 - 04/16/18 04:22 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
The Critic Offline

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19635
Loc: CA
Low quality rotors, metallurgy issue. But this is largely due to the road salt in your area. Try some rotors that come coated; it may delay the issue a bit.
2011 Toyota Prius - 166k - ACDelco 0W-20
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 126K - Idemitsu 5W-20

#4728455 - 04/16/18 05:49 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
Mainia Offline

Registered: 04/06/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Upper midwest
Originally Posted By: 99Saturn
Finally got around to taking off my snow tires and took a look at my rotors and saw the below.

What causes this? Rotors are about 2 years old, 6,000 miles.

If you think that looks bad wait till you see the inside side of that rotor.

I live in the Minneapolis area and they salt the [censored] out of our roads, I also saw a lot of this when I owned a hobby Audi repair shop. First off 6,000 miles in 2 year also explains some of it. Looks like your car does a lot of sitting, that in turn means a lot of time to start oxidation. Just saying, you have I would bet 50 to 60% less braking power because of reduced "swept area", you are a danger on the road. When it rains, I always take the car out for a 4 minute ride of heavy braking to clear the rust of from the rain if I know the car will not be use within 1 1/2 days. IE weekends since my car is use as a work car and we use my wife's car more on weekend.

When My Honda was recalled with the airbag recall I was given a loaner car from Honda and was able to park my carin my garage for 3 months will waiting for new airbags. I signed a paper that I was not going to drive it and if I did they were not liable. I did drive my car around the block every 2 weeks to clear the fine rust that was starting.

Ways to reduce this when you get your new brakes:

1) Don't let rust even start after a rain, drive the car with some heavy braking.

2) Become a heavy braker, use them or lose them.

3) Buy coated brake rotors so rust that can start on the outer edge has a harder time migrating inward.

IE EBC brakes or others of the same.(can be electro plated too)

4) Don't let rust even start after a rain, drive the car with some heavy braking.

#4728463 - 04/16/18 06:16 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
Tman220 Offline

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 139
Loc: MN
lack of driving in the rust belt is what causes that. The only real way to prevent this is to drive the car more to keep the rust from getting too deep and abrasive.

once it starts, it cant be reversed without machining the rotors or replacing
2012 Regal GS Turbo PP 5w30
1994 Camaro Z28 LT1 355 CI, 430 RWHP PP 5W30

#4728531 - 04/16/18 08:20 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
Alex_V Offline

Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1117
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
Rust, plain and simple. I see this a lot in central KY from vehicles that appear to have come from further North.
I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 110K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 165K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

#4728548 - 04/16/18 08:34 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
NormanBuntz Offline

Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2019
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
That's a lot of rust for 6,000 miles. If you want ACDelco brake parts for your Saturn, there's a good selection and good prices at I'm using the ACDelco Professional Durastop rotors on my Ridgeline, and I like them.
"What is it, the first hole I dug?"
2017 Honda Odyssey SE
2013 Honda Accord LX
2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS
2007 Infiniti M35

#4728654 - 04/16/18 10:23 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
MNgopher Offline

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3994
Loc: Lakeville, MN
Lack of use plus rust nets what you are seeing. If you drove it more regularly it would help with keeping the swept surface clean and not corroded. Higher end rotors may help, emphasis on the may...

#4728669 - 04/16/18 10:37 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
KrisZ Offline

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7287
Loc: Toronto, Canada
With so little driving there is really nothing you can do. The coated rotors will only keep the rust away from the areas not connected by the pads.
Maybe be more aggressive with the brakes when it's dry out? That should at least force full contact.
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-21k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-155k miles

#4728733 - 04/16/18 11:19 AM Re: Brake Rotors - what causes this? [Re: 99Saturn]
slacktide_bitog Offline

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 5848
Loc: USA
Salt and non-coated rotors crzy

Get new rotors that are coated. Something like Wagner E-shield or Centric Premium.

You may need new calipers, too. Again, use coated calipers like Napa Eclipse or Cardone Ultra.

Are the pads showing a tapered wear pattern?

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