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Old 09-28-2019, 03:59 AM   #1
bentjazz
 
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DIY brakes-1st time

Greetings YWers. I'm thinking about doing my brakes myself for the first time. I hear no crunching sounds or anything like that indicating rotors have been compromised. My question is should I just change the brake pads and leave it at that, or change both the brake pads and rotors? Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
tmontague
 
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Dont waste your money on rotors. Only reason to change rotors is if the thickness is less then factory spec (unlikely) or of theybare extremely rusted and corroded.

Also if they pulsate due to a build up of pad material then you would also want to swap them out. The whole needing a new surface to bed in brake pads is not really much of a thing on passenger cars, it is very true how ever for track driving and track pads.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
Brighton
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Just look at the surface of the rotors, if they are grooved like a record or have a large lip on the outer edge then replace them when you do pads. They're cheap enough that its usually cost effective to just replace them instead of having them turned, but you won't know what condition they are in until you have the wheel off.
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
komichal
 
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Please elaborate on "doing my brakes myself" - did someone tell you your brake pads are dead so you are going to change them? Or did you notice the pad thickness to be under the limit? Do they produce any squeaking? Or do you plan just to clean them and inspect them?
I assume that you are referring to front brakes only for now. Which is probably OK as long as you have drums on the rear. Those drums last forever and usually require no maintenance.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:33 PM   #5
bentjazz
 
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Thanks for the great advice, guys. I appreciate it. Just curious, what is a "lip" on a rotor? Is it the outer edge where there is a bit of rust? komichal, just going to inspect them. I just passed 100,000 miles on my Yaris, and did some DIY stuff for the first time. I'm feeling pretty good about it, and want to prepare for the possible eventuality of having to change the pads (and hopefully not the rotors).
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:47 AM   #6
komichal
 
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Yes, the lip is the rusty part along the edge of the rotor.

You can measure the rotor to see if it is still thick enough or not. The rotor should be at least 19mm thick. If it is less then the rotor needs replacing. It may not be urgent if it is just slightly less and you are not a race driver.
Some rotor manufacturers state that their rotor should be 20mm thick at least. But the originals have 19mm in their spec.
When measuring the rotor make sure your measuring device bypasses the lip! You need to measure the thickness of the active area. Either use a micro-meter or use some washers with well defined and measurable thickness, place those washers on both side of the rotor, measure the thickness and then subtract the washers. :)

It is actually a good idea to measure the rotor first and to visually check the thickness of the brake pads before you disassemble it. This can be done when the car still sits on the ground, with all four wheels on. Just turn the wheel to one side so that you can see the brake caliper inside the wheel well. Measure the rotor, snap a picture of the pads and you will quickly see whether you need to buy some new stuff or the old one is still good (so your brake job would be "just" to take the brakes apart, clean them, lube them and put them back). It is quite annoying to take the wheel off, dismantle the brakes and only then to find out that you need to buy new pads.

If you find out (or decide) that you will replace the rotors then you MUST change the pads as well! No matter how good they are.

And always change the brake part components on both sides of the vehicle in order to have a well balanced braking.

I also assume that you are changing your brake fluid once per two years. And by changing I mean replacing the liquid in the reservoir and bleed out all wheels till the clean liquid comes out. Not just the content of the reservois as many shops do...
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by komichal View Post

If you find out (or decide) that you will replace the rotors then you MUST change the pads as well! No matter how good they are.
...
Why?
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:17 AM   #8
komichal
 
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It is a requirement by brake manufacturers. They follow the logic that the pressure between pad and rotor is high and bad rotor sort of damages pads as well (the pads are unevenly worn out, scratched etc. and if you use this pad for a new rotor, you will bring part of this damage to the new rotor).

I do not know whether this is true or not. I have seen this on brake system websites, it has been mentioned by several instruction videos I watched in the past. Also, in the past, and when my dealership discovered that rotors are dead I let them replace them. They insisted on replacing the pads as well although the thickness was still fine.

I can imagine that replacing also makes sense to eliminate the risk of squealing etc.
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