Why would dealer want to replace rotors on 1st brake job

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  #1  
Old 06-07-18, 07:53 AM
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Why would dealer want to replace rotors on 1st brake job

2015 Buick Enclave, 66k miles. in 2017 at about 55k miles I had the front brakes serviced. Service Mgr quoted me a price with 2 new rotors. When I asked to cut the rotors, he said he'd see if he can get a cut out of them, they are pretty thin. ROTORS WERE NEVER CUT, EVER, and braking was always smooth, just wore out pads.

Result was they cut the rotors, but thinking the next brake service for sure they will want to replace again.

Car currently in for service for rear brakes (along with a warranty repair) and hoping they don't try to sell me new rotors again.

Why would never cut rotors need to be replaced? I could see if they are warped or defective, which I would then think is a warranty issue.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-18, 08:07 AM
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First, if I had concerns, I'd ask to see the rotors. The biggest reason to turn rotors is that the pads were worn down to the metal (even if on the end etc) & cut too deep into the rotor.

Last couple of times I had bad rotors, they had reduced the depth that was allowed to cut. I understand its for safety but I think its just to sell new rotors. If the rotors aren't damaged, I ask to see them mic'd (the instrument they use to measure the thickness of the rotor).

You want to be safe but you're right to question it & be shown why too.
 
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Old 06-07-18, 08:13 AM
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Unless it's still under warranty, I'd be finding a good independent garage.
 
  #4  
Old 06-07-18, 09:15 AM
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Dixie2012 - when I challenged the rotor replacement, I asked if the rotors were warped or damaged, he said they were not, just too thin and would be under minimum spec after cut. He then said he would "try" to cut them and see if they are in spec. "Surprisingly" he was able to cut them!

the_tow_guy - car is still under warranty which is the only reason I am going to the dealer. actually have an extended warranty, which I usually don't buy, but it was a steal and I couldn't refuse.
 
  #5  
Old 06-07-18, 09:23 AM
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Rotors are a lot closer in price to having them turned than they used to be so many don't even consider turning rotors and just routinely replace them. I suspect most of the brake jobs they do the customer never questions replacing versus turning. Not saying it's wrong to turn the rotors, just that it's not something routinely done like it used to be.
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-18, 10:01 AM
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55,000 miles for first brake pad change is pretty good, you must drive rather carefully!

The OEM rotors are often as thin as necessary for weight and cost savings, there is not as much excess that allowed for rotors to historically be routinely skimmed. There is a minimum thickness or discard thickness cast right into the brake disc. You must be at or above this level after the skim. The brake after skimming has lost mass and will be prone to overheating, and may end up warping, causing vibration problems. Initial thickness for your car I think is 29mm, discard thickness is 27.5mm. 1.5mm of total wear and skimming....skimming takes off about 0.2mm.

The tech has to caliper measure the rotor thickness, skim, then dial indicator read the lateral runnout after installation in order to ensure a successful vibration free brake job. If lateral runnout is off spec after the skim, then more labour ensues.

The dealer is probably using OEM parts, typically AC Delco. The best quality OEM rotors are about $50 each. They may well source cheaper stock for cars off warranty, there are acceptable rotors for $30 at retail.

Given all the variables of inspecting and skimming, just replacing is the better bet for the dealer to avoid call back complaints if the tech was not on the ball that day.

https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-18A24.../dp/B001LQ0QBA

But if you are indeed gentle with your braking, and there is still room to skim, and the dealer has the interest and equipment, then go for it. But don't complain if you warp a rotor or get a vibration, that's the tradeoff you have to own.
 
  #7  
Old 06-07-18, 12:34 PM
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So dealer calls and tells me the rear rotors need to be replaced, because they are getting scraped up from pads worn. well, 4 days ago when I put tires on the car, I checked the pads and rotors. rotors smooth as can be, even looked like a little pad left. the warning indicator was scraping, heard the noise, but didn't see any evidence of damage. He said he'd "take a look again and ask" if the rotors can be cut.

He also told me the brake fluid is brown and should be clear, needs to be changed for $169. Again, seems like they need revenue, not looking out for my best interest. I told them to do it, but maybe I should hold off.

Also throttle body cleaning, air filter and cabin filter need changing. I will change the filters myself, but not sure about throttle body cleaning for $149, is that just a waste of money?
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-18, 01:30 PM
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as tow guy mentioned would probably look for a independent shop even if the vehicle is still under warranty a lot of things especially maintenance and wear items like brakes are not going to be covered by warranty.
 
  #9  
Old 06-07-18, 01:37 PM
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Personally there are very few non covered things I'd pay a dealer to do. They have a lot of overhead and their pricing reflects it.
 
  #10  
Old 06-07-18, 04:49 PM
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Car makers have been installing thinner and thinner rotors on cars to save weight and cost, which is why they are normally too "thin". It is cheaper in labor time for them to just swap out the rotors.

I find the same issue at auto parts stores. One time I pulled the rotors off my E350 service van and brought them to an auto part store that "turns rotors fro free". I checked the thickness with my digital calipers and got the spec on how thin they are allowed to go. They had over .100 of material left. When they guy at the store measured them he came up with the same measurement and said they were too thin. I told him what the spec was and told him he had almost an 1/8" of steel there. He reluctantly turned them.
 
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Old 06-07-18, 05:15 PM
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I find it hard to believe that the brake fluid needs to be changed in a three year old vehicle.
 
  #12  
Old 06-07-18, 05:33 PM
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As mentioned before OEM rotors are just thick enough to meet spec and be safe. Most people drive their cars hard and brakes heat up very fast. I think turning a brake drum or rotor is a waste of money and a safety hazard. The cost is not that great for new rotors. Once a rotor is turned the ability to dissipate the heat is dropped by a factor of at least 2 x's.

As for the fluid turning brown, there is something wrong. It does not need to be crystal clear but if it turns brown there has to be a reason. It's a sealed system. You have contaminates in it.

Your brakes are your first line of safety and defense. It's not worth the risk to save a few bucks. The dealers are not making a killing on you replacing rotors. They have plenty of other big jobs to make money.

The age of the car or the mileage has little to do with the wear and tear on brakes or tires. It's how you drive it that counts.

My opinion? Cheap out and skip it, or pay the price to have safety and confidence.
 
  #13  
Old 06-07-18, 05:40 PM
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Unless you had a pulsation or pads that went metal to metal I would never turn or replace rotors. Was a brake mechanic for many years. and all reasons given are good.
 
  #14  
Old 06-07-18, 06:01 PM
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The brake fluid change interval for the Buick is (I think, check manual) 45,000 miles or three years, whichever first. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, and absorbs water, which is good in that it keeps the water from corroding the interior of the braking system. But it also reduces the boiling point of the fluid and under hard braking that can cause brake fade.

The rubber brake lines in your car are actually porous, and water in small amounts is absorbed into the system. Combined with possible water contaminant in a plastic brake fluid bottle (verses none in a metal container like eg. ATE uses), and the opening of the fluid cap for inspections, you do get water in the fluid. Too much water an eventually you will also get corrosion problems in the system. Further, the ABS pumps and seals do benefit from have fresh fluid, hence the change intervals by the manufacturer.


So I don't have an issue with the garage recommending a brake fluid change, it is a best practice. But if you want to stretch the change interval, it is typically ok to do that too, every five years is probably ok from a practical standpoint on a daily driver.

If you are a real no waste (or no spend) type, get this brake fluid water tester...https://www.amazon.ca/Brake-Tester-L.../dp/B01GQ3T7A8

If the meter shows no or low water than you are good to keep the fluid for longer (although the additives for the pump and seals is a separate matter from the water, most drivers and racers in particular want to measure the water as they worry about brake fade rather than long term component failure as the main goal).

As for throttle body cleaning, most cars get carbon and soot build up from the pcv system (the positive crankcase ventilation system essentially sucks in oil vapour laden air into the intake as part of how they control emissions). So a cleaning is not a bad thing, will probably smooth out the idle or keep it smooth. I am not aware of a manufacturer that includes a throttle body cleaning as part of its scheduled maintenance, and I am not sure why not, maybe the pvc system in some cars does not gum up the throttle body itself so cleaning would be redundant for some designs? But it is not wrong for a garage to suggest this process, although how frequent it should be done may vary so widely based on operating conditions that for many it is probably preventative rather than necessary. If your intake is really dirty, a bit of rough running at idle and reduced fuel economy is simply not that big a deal.

If I had scarce dollars and ,y car was running fine, I would water test my brake fluid and if dry I would defer the fluid change to 5 years. And I would pass on the intake cleaner if my car was idling smoothly, maybe even if it had faint stumble until the problem becomes more pronounced or obvious.


In any event, your garage does not seem to be doing anything fundamentally wrong in advising you on the service options, they are all reasonable. But, other than for clear safety and dangerous issues, its up to you whether you wish to maintain the car to a high standard, or alternatively get the maximum service life out of every component and save dollars by going that route. It really depends how long you intend on owning the car, and whether small flaws on how your car operates are irritating.
 
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Old 06-08-18, 05:43 AM
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Do I understand the throttle body cleaning is $149??? That's a 10 minute job with carb cleaner and a toothbrush.


Even though car may be under warranty, I would not be paying dealer prices for non-covered maintenance.
 
  #16  
Old 06-08-18, 05:56 AM
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And a Quart of DOT 3 or DOT 4 Brake Fluid can be had for less than $10.00 . . . . which ought to be plenty to replace everything in the Master Cylinder and the 4 Calipers while you bleed them.
 
  #17  
Old 06-09-18, 07:52 AM
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Thank you all for the feedback and advice/suggestions, lots of good stuff to think about. It was much simpler when I did most of this work myself on my 79 Pontiac T/A, but Cars have changed way too much for me to work on then and I never have the time.

Spoke to dealer, they said rotors too thin after cutting. He told me they used a micrometer (like that was supposed to impress me), but couldn’t tell me the actual reading or the spec. He replace rotors. Cost about $100 for 2 rotors. Pretty reasonable. But still charging $200 for labor. I questioned it and response was the labor is the same because they don’t charge extra for cutting the rotors. If you charge $200 for labor when cutting rotors, then you DO charge for cutting. If I merely had them slap on pads (cost $100 for parts), would they charge $200 labor for that too??

definitely time to find an independent.

Last question. The trim around the drivers seat - plastic that Wraps around and goes to the floor, covering the track and wiring and stuff - is cracked and falling off. He recommend me replacing the trim piece at $300, I said car is under bumper to bumper. He said trim not covered. Is that correct?? I believe still under 5 yr warranty (forget the mileage warranty) car only 3.5 years old but I have extended covering another 2 or 3 years and up to 100k miles.

Thank You!!
 
  #18  
Old 06-09-18, 08:34 AM
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Bumper to bumper coverage is usually for 3 yrs or 36,000 miles. You need to check your extended coverage paper work to find out exactly what is or isn't covered.
 
  #19  
Old 06-09-18, 10:38 AM
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Bumper to bumper is 4 yrs 50k miles. Car is 3 yrs old 67k miles. “Trim not covered for cracks, chips, scratches, dings, tears as a result of impact with other objects or road hazards”. Well, none of that happened, however, it’s over the mileage warranty. Extended is either 72k or 100k. But they say “trim” not covered under extended b2b, warranty is different?? I will call service manager Monday to get more info. Paid $50 to repair seat trim that cracked. New part would’ve been over $400 with labor.
 
  #20  
Old 06-09-18, 12:13 PM
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You might look at the paperwork and see if it's "bumper to bumper" POWERTRAIN warranty. I believe that's the way most are written. In other words, if you can drive the car safely as if it were new and all features (ABS, power windows, etc) still work. It does not cover "appearance" or normal wear items.
 
  #21  
Old 06-09-18, 05:55 PM
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Power train is separate, something like 70k miles and 6 years.
 
  #22  
Old 06-10-18, 07:50 AM
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I keep having problems with the outer edge and the inner edge of the ring shaped area where the brake pads rub getting rusty. The rusty areas keep getting wider and the shiny smooth area in the middle gets narrower and eventually (actually not that much longer) the state inspector says the rotors need to be replaced.

Thiese are GM vehicles, a 2001 pickup and a 2006 SUV.
 
  #23  
Old 06-10-18, 02:22 PM
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Is that happening on both vehicles . . . . all four rotors on each, and on both the inboard and the outboard sides of each rotor ?
 
  #24  
Old 06-11-18, 01:32 PM
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See if you can id the trim piece here...

https://www.wholesalegmpartsonline.c...category=19402

The various trims are $30 to $50, might be most convenient to just buy and install the required trim yourself.
 
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