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Old 04-07-2016, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default 2004 Impala rotors warping questions.

Hello everyone Grower571 here. I have a 2004 Chevrolet Impala and I keep having to replace the rotors every year or so on it. I have been getting them replaced with the cheap napa rotors and they absolutely do not last. Are the AC Delco rotors any more durable? What are the best AC Delco rotors to put on my Impala so they don't keep warping every year? And what would be the cost roughly for all for 4 wheels done with new rotors and pads? Thanks sincerely Growler571
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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The two main causes of warped rotors are overheating and over-torqued lug nuts. If you are driving in a situation where you are doing a lot of aggressive braking, and then find yourself stopped in traffic, the overheated brake pads sitting in one spot on the rotor will cause the rotor to warp. If you, or your friendly tire guy, are tightening the wheel nut with an impact wrench, or reefing on them until you can't turn any further, they will warp your rotors. Lug nuts should be torqued to 110 ft-lbs for most cars.

If neither of those situations apply to you, you are probably right about the cheap NAPA rotors causing the problem. I always order pads and rotors from rockauto.com. If you haven't checked them out I think you will be surprised at the prices. I can't advise you on the best cheap rotor to buy. When it comes to brakes I only buy the best.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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I would just add, that improper installation can lead to excessive rotor runout, which will also cause a pulsation......i.e., if you don't clean the hub surface(I use a whizzer with a scotch brite pad), especially around the lugs(have a special tool for that that goes over the lugs), and don't clean the rear mating surface of the new rotor....
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:26 AM   #4
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Agree with the others. Also suggest you look into how much work the rear brakes are doing.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:03 PM   #5
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Most of the time, rotor warpage is due to driver fault, ie following too close and slamming on the brakes, constant braking due to lack of paying attention.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:02 PM   #6
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I have the same problem on my '05 Cavalier.
First I needed new brakes at 7000kM.

Now I only need new rotors/pads at every two or three years.
What makes the difference is freeing up the sliding pins of the caliper every spring, after the winter, or more often.

The caliper is a semi-floating type, piston only on one side, and then the whole caliper "centers" itself to the rotor by sliding on the pins.

GM has galvanized steel sliding pins and plain rubber bushings, they get rusty/seize up fast.
My VW has stainless steel sliding pins and teflon lined rubber bushings. It still has the original rotor (only 110k km on the car).

Having premium rotors/pads did not do anything for durability. Now I use medium grade rotors. I avoid the really cheap ones as usually have shifted core, the cooling slots are not centered in the machined castings.
And I never over-torque the lug-nuts.

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Old 06-01-2016, 10:00 PM   #7
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there definitely is a problem when you replace brakes at 7000km.....

I live in NE where we tend to use a lot of salt on roads in the winter.....and yet, every GM vehicle I had, never had problems reaching 50K+ miles.....just did wife'* HHR at 66K.....driving habits, types of road(hilly vs flat), city vs highway, quality of parts, cleaning/adjustment of rears(drums)and proper installation(pad slapping doesn't work), are all factors in the life of brakes...

for some reason, the one vehicle I saw problems with, were the Grand Am'*......how many techs remember having to put those shims between rotors and the hubs? I never had to put them on other vehicles......something about GA'*......

As for driving habits, I remember this old guy with a new Century......two footed driver.,.....was replacing pads every 10K....went or a road test with him driving, and he had that foot on the brake pedal all the time.......was not easy convincing him to drive the right way....
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
there definitely is a problem when you replace brakes at 7000km.....
Well, tell this to GM!

I need another set again, this time it lasted two years. ~15k km on it, but we live in the rust belt...

The other thing I found that contributes to this is that the brake pads them selves freeze to the carrier (that cast steel piece that has the sliding pins and takes up all the braking force from the pads).
There is so little clearance between the the brake pad and the carrier that the brake pad does not move freely. The pads have to move freely sideways, together with the caliper on the sliding pins.
Later pads are a bit better, they have a bit more clearance.
The VW I mentioned has about 2mm clearance, it also has springs to prevent the pads rattling. The Cav also has springs, but very little clearance.

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Old 07-23-2016, 03:28 PM   #9
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are the pins free and is the bracket clean I live in the ADK Park in NY very common problem your caliper pistons may also need to be pushed back but i would clean the bracket with a wire brush and lube the slide pins with disk brake lube this needs to be done twice a year and that usually solves the problem if the caliper piston is not sticking
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:10 PM   #10
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This is the only thread that is live right now. Do you mind a question about Cadillac Fleetwood?
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