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Discussion Starter #1
I have 04 Forester-X AT with 113k miles. Bought it 6 months ago.

Recently I had some vibration in the brake pedal when moderately braking at 40mph to as stop. (I have rotors in the front only).

I thought the brake pads need to be replaced and bought a new set of Subaru (Tokico) pads and 2 bottles of valvoline fluid.

After removing the wheels/pads it appears that driver side rotor has a few protruding bands while the other one is smooth. The pads look like they have 50-60% left. Also the passenger side pads look thicker than driver side.

Anyway, I sprayed the old pads and rotors with brake cleaner, tried to clean the rust off piston contact points and put everything back together.

The brakes feel a little better now and there's almost no vibration in the pedal now.

The cheapest price to have the rotors resurfaced here is $27 each.

Should I just drive it until the old brake pads wear down, and then get new Duralast rotors at autozone ($30 each) ?







 

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2009 Forester
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If my vehicle, I would keep driving it until the pads wear down.

I'm sure others will have various opinions.

Vibration or pulsation is normally caused by getting the brakes hot which can cause the rotors to warp.

When I was young I've replaced pads when the rotors had groves similar to yours. The pads will wear to the shape of the rotors just as your old pads are now. I'm not advocating this procedure for others to use this advice. Just my experience.

I would drive it until it's due for new brakes. As for replacing the rotors at that time. If turning rotors cost is about the same as new rotors. I would replace the old rotors with new. New rotors will have more metal, more metal equals better heat dissipation, less chance of warping rotors.

In my example above, using my old rotors with a grove or two. I didn't have them turned so they would be thicker, more metal. Turning the rotors removes metal to true them up, or until the grove is removed. In my case the old rotors were not warped at least not to the point it could be felt when braking.
I'm sure some could make an argument they would have been warped, I just not to the point of feeling it.

Shops insist on turning rotors when ever preforming a brake job. They will not offer any kind of warranty unless the rotors are turned.
 

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03 Forester X
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id run them till the pads were worn or you have a significant vibration, then id replace the pads and buy new rotors... they are cheap nowadays.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If my vehicle, I would keep driving it until the pads wear down.

Vibration or pulsation is normally caused by getting the brakes hot which can cause the rotors to warp.
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Do I have to replace the pads if I replace the rotors ?

What causes these protruding bands or groves in a rotor ? And why I have it only on one side ? Does it mean there's a problem in a caliper ?

How long the Duralast rotors last ? I heard they are good only for 2 years...
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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Do not resurface the rotors. Waste of money. Almost guaranteed they will warp afterward.

If the pads on one side are wearing noticeably more, then you likely have some issue with the caliper sticking. Either the pistons aren't retracting or the pins they slide on are gunked up.

The ridges are probably caused by the pads, possibly if they are getting too hot (and I'm guessing now) and particles are 'melting' and causing small globs of solid material that are gouging the rotors. You're never going to have a completely ridge-free rotor, but if you're getting really deep, nasty grooves something is amiss.

I do not change rotors every time I change pads, but I do change pads when I change rotors unless they are really new. If they are recent, You can just 'sand' them level for the new rotors.
 

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2009 Forester
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I agree with ddavidv

It's normal wear and tear to have some slight gouges in a rotor. Nothing to worry about, just keep using your old pads and rotors until they due for replacement. Or have a trusted mechanic check them out.

When your due for brakes, then it's decision time, reuse your old rotors as they are, turn them, or replace.

When I was young I did a lot of brake jobs without turning the rotors and never had a problem. If the rotors are badly warped, pedal pulsates etc. Then you will want to have them turned or replaced. My rotors were usually in good shape, including a normal grove or two.

As for using old brake pads with new rotors. Personally I would replace the pads at the same time and be done with it.

As for one brand of rotor lasting longer than another brand, I doubt there is much truth in that statement.
I would have asked that person how long OEM rotors can be expected to last?

European vehicles as I understand, need rotor replacement with every brake job. Rotors can have different expected life spans depending on the brand of vehicle. Just tossing that out as people can sometimes get things mixed up a bit and unknowingly pass along false info. I would be interesting in what others have to say about a brand of rotor having a shorter life on a Subaru.
 

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Always replace pads with new rotors. The pads wear to the rotors so a shimmy or shake can develop if you use older pads on new rotors, and you will at least guarantee you will develop some uneven wear with older pads on a new rotor.

It is definitely better to get new rotors instead of resurfacing. Parts are cheap enough for this car to just replace everything. Make sure to do a good job bleeding the brakes as that is one of the most important step. Make sure to never let the master cylinder go dry while pumping brake fluid from you system.

I would also suggest completely refilling your system with new fluid. Procedure is the same as bleeding your brakes except you bleed until the old dirty fluid starts coming out looking like the new stuff.
 

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'09 STI
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The reason the shimmy went away after you cleaned the rotors off is because you had uneven pad deposits. It's pretty common with the stock pads due to exceeding the pads thermal capacity. Unfortunately it will most likely happen again unless you upgrade to a pad with greater thermal capacity.

Don't believe the old wives tales about warping rotors. It just isn't possible to reach that high of temperatures on the street let alone the track. You can resurface the rotors as long as they are within spec but as mentioned new blanks are almost the same cost as the labor to turn them.

You can use old pads with new rotors as long as you bed them in properly. The uneven wear is probably due to a sticky caliper as mentioned.
 

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2009 Forester
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I've seen a lot of rotors turned, they never seem to be true. Some mechanics claim brand spanking new rotors need to be turned. I've seen new rotors taken out of the box and turned. I'm sure turning new rotors can be disputed.

Heat can and will warp rotors. I've seen it.
 

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O.K. believe what you wish but it has no relevance to the O.P.'s problem and it's just incorrect information for Subarus at least.
 

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Don't believe the old wives tales about warping rotors. It just isn't possible to reach that high of temperatures on the street let alone the track. You can resurface the rotors as long as they are within spec but as mentioned new blanks are almost the same cost as the labor to turn them.
Um, what?
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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Since the cost is 27 to turn, why not consider replacing?

Amazon has Centric Blanks for 43 for your car.

My XS has 109 and for the same reason, just replaced the front rotors with Centric Blanks and Stop Tech Street Performance Pads. Did Fronts only.

Bleed the entire brake system. Then bedded in the pads

Now my Fozzie, stops on the edge of a dime.:woohoo:
 

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Um, what?
TheBlackBox said:
Don't believe the old wives tales about warping rotors. It just isn't possible to reach that high of temperatures on the street let alone the track.
Was that loud enough? For all the Kool Aid drinkers, do you really think there would be any pad left if you got iron rotors hot enough to actually warp them? I'm no engineer but I think not.

Enlighten yourself to reality.... or not.

http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_warped_brakedisk.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The reason the shimmy went away after you cleaned the rotors off is because you had uneven pad deposits. It's pretty common with the stock pads due to exceeding the pads thermal capacity. Unfortunately it will most likely happen again unless you upgrade to a pad with greater thermal capacity.

You can use old pads with new rotors as long as you bed them in properly. The uneven wear is probably due to a sticky caliper as mentioned.
Yes, the vibration in pedal and steering wheel came back. It usually starts after brakes get hot (driving 5+ miles). It's not that bad and I can live with it until I will have to replace the pads (I will replace both discs & pads).

It seems that disks are original from 2004 and pads are non-original.

I thought I can lubricate the caliper but it looks like all the sliding parts are encapsulated in rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Amazon has Centric Blanks for 43 for your car.

Bleed the entire brake system. Then bedded in the pads
Are Centric disks better than Brembo or at least duralast ?

You bed the pads by slightly braking at 50-60 MPH ?
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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not just slightly braking, but a series of hard braking down to a less significant stop. instructions differ from brand to brand and model to model a bit.

Brake Tech - Brake Pad and Rotor Bed-In Procedures

do yourself a favor and get rotors that have coated rotor hats and fins so you don't have to deal with all that rust. the rust can cause squealing if it interferes with the pins.

centric is pretty good. i use brembo and they are rustaaayyy (cue JE :lol:).

you can always try sanding the rotor face a bit to get some of that uneven buildup to be more flat.. and some of that rust off too
 

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You can try to rebed them when they start to "vibrate" by making a few hard stops from 55>15 without coming to a complete stop which is what causes the pads to leave an imprint or high spot on the rotor when they're overheated.

Centric premium I believe have the painted hats. I think that's the only difference with the plain blanks. Follow the pad manufacturer's recommendations for bedding but it usually involves 5-6 threshold stops from 55>15 without coming to a complete stop and then letting them cool completely before stopping. It's to distribute an even layer of pad material around the rotor.
 

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If you have rear disc brakes, consider replacing the rotors and pads there too. When I get pedal pulsation it has been because of the rear rotors. While the rear pads and calipers are much smaller, the rotor changeout is a bit more complicated because the parking brake is a tiny pair of shoes inside the hub of the rotor, which also acts as a drum.
 
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