Replace one rotor?

Messages
3,338
Location
Kansas, USA
On our 04 Escape with 78k on the odo I'm guessing has had the brake pads replaced at one point. We got with 32K or 36K so it must of been done just before we bought it. If you know Escapes they tend to have soft rotors. The brake pads I'm guessing has 50-60% maybe more left. The only problem is the passenger side rotor is extremely thin, yes you can tell, compared to the driver side. It doesn't pull and never has and no pulsating. Although before flushing a couple years ago took alot more effort to stop, rear brakes had alot of junk in them. Did the brake flush again yesterday and found it. Why one and not both is strange maybe one was turned? Would it be okay to just replace the one rotor? I know ABS can be picky.
 
Messages
6,639
Location
South Florida
I went to autozone dot com and priced (for the 2 wheel drive 6 cyl) new front rotors for $46 each and lifetime replacement semi-metallic pads for $27. Not that bad a deal. I would measure the rotors and make sure that they are thicker than the minimum allowed. If one was thinner I would replace in pairs.
 
Messages
18,264
Location
Michigan
 Originally Posted By: Paul56
If it was me I would be replacing the rotors on both sides along with a new set of pads.
+1 A few extra bucks for piece of mind....
 
Messages
4,437
Location
Massachusetts
 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
My neighbor, who is a mechanic, will replace just one.
Not a very good mechanic. Always replace or cut rotors/drums in pairs. Anything else is butch.
 
Messages
22,738
Location
CA
There's no reason to replace the rotors unless the current set of pads were installed when the rotors were already below minimum. But to answer your question, rotors should always be replaced in pairs.
 
Messages
379
Location
Mi
General rule when replacing brake pads is to turn the rotors or replace them.It is very dangerous if you do not and the news pads need a new surface to clamp on to by burnishing them in.The worst rotors to get off are 1997 and up fullsize Ford 4x4 trucks and Expeditions.They are rusted on very good and the only option is to cut them in half with a plasma cutter carefully buying new rotors.2004 and up fullsize 4x4 Dodges are the same way,have to be cut in half with a plasma cutter carefully buying new rotors.
 
Messages
22,738
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: wafrederick1
General rule when replacing brake pads is to turn the rotors or replace them.It is very dangerous if you do not and the news pads need a new surface to clamp on to by burnishing them in.The worst rotors to get off are 1997 and up fullsize Ford 4x4 trucks and Expeditions.They are rusted on very good and the only option is to cut them in half with a plasma cutter carefully buying new rotors.2004 and up fullsize 4x4 Dodges are the same way,have to be cut in half with a plasma cutter carefully buying new rotors.
While I personally agree with you, the OEMs do not. OEMs only require resurfacing or replacement of rotors when the old rotors exceed the listed specifications for lateral runout and/or disc thickness variation.
 
Messages
379
Location
Mi
Another thing to check are the fins,they get thin building up with rust buildup.My father has heard about it from people replacing the front brakes not getting the rotors turned: I get a pulsation due to warped rotors
 

hal

Messages
393
Location
NC
Well I would want to know why one rotor is lasting longer than the other. There is no reason not to replace them in pairs so this should not happen. If your pads are still good then your rotors are pretty soft apparently but that still does not explain the uneven wear. You might have a sticking caliper piston and it might not be bad enough to notice while driving. Heck it might even be affecting your fuel economy and performance. It could be stuck at a certain point but applying them causes no pulling because pressure is even past that point. When you replace the rotors, turn in (or press in) the pistons fully, and see if one has a hard spot or something. Or simply pushing them back in fully may fix the problem, could be some grit stuck in the piston. You say there was junk in the brake fluid when you bled them, that is not good. You more than likely have a problem somewhere in the brake system.
 
Messages
100
Location
ypsilanti michigan
 Originally Posted By: hal
Well I would want to know why one rotor is lasting longer than the other. There is no reason not to replace them in pairs so this should not happen. If your pads are still good then your rotors are pretty soft apparently but that still does not explain the uneven wear. You might have a sticking caliper piston and it might not be bad enough to notice while driving. Heck it might even be affecting your fuel economy and performance. It could be stuck at a certain point but applying them causes no pulling because pressure is even past that point. When you replace the rotors, turn in (or press in) the pistons fully, and see if one has a hard spot or something. Or simply pushing them back in fully may fix the problem, could be some grit stuck in the piston. You say there was junk in the brake fluid when you bled them, that is not good. You more than likely have a problem somewhere in the brake system.
making sure the pad contact points are clean and lubed and the caliper slides are cleaned and re-lubed or re-placeed is key to wear. and the fluid needs to be flushed every 3 years to remove water and [censored] from the fluid.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
Decide either to do a full job or a partial. Nothing wrong with slapping basic pads in 1 or 2 sides and a rotor in just one side for now. Later, do both sides a full caliper service/rebuild, sweet pads and 2 new rotors. Just do a check of the bad side caliper and be shure it slides freely before you put it back together. You really can just re-do the one side.I would not be in a rush to pull apart both sides if one looks ok. Maybe the leftover pads will go onthe other side at some point, not a total loss.
 
Messages
715
Location
texas
 Originally Posted By: hal
Well I would want to know why one rotor is lasting longer than the other. There is no reason not to replace them in pairs so this should not happen. If your pads are still good then your rotors are pretty soft apparently but that still does not explain the uneven wear. You might have a sticking caliper piston and it might not be bad enough to notice while driving. Heck it might even be affecting your fuel economy and performance. It could be stuck at a certain point but applying them causes no pulling because pressure is even past that point. When you replace the rotors, turn in (or press in) the pistons fully, and see if one has a hard spot or something. Or simply pushing them back in fully may fix the problem, could be some grit stuck in the piston. You say there was junk in the brake fluid when you bled them, that is not good. You more than likely have a problem somewhere in the brake system.
Agree... L and R rotors should be wearing pretty much the same. I would completely clean the caliper piston and lube it and all the pins, then do both sides or just to check if you have a sticking caliper or pressure problem (proportion valve) just do the one side. but in general, always do both sides. i have put pads on without turning, but that was just cheap pads to tide me over since i had the dreaded "hub over rotor" accord. i did an acura CL conversion to get rid of this headache
 
Messages
8,843
Location
Illinois
 Originally Posted By: Zaedock
Not a very good mechanic. Always replace or cut rotors/drums in pairs. Anything else is butch.
I'm so glad to hear that you're familiar with my neighbor. How long have you known Denny? I didn't realize he knew anyone in Massachusetts.
 
Messages
39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
Well I would want to know why one rotor is lasting longer than the other.
As others have said, this is the real puzzle. I think you indicated that the pads were about half gone ..so it's probably not the caliper. I had air gaps in my OEM rotors. Just all of a sudden there was a bubble. Too deep to cut out :(. I seized caliper on a FWD car may not show up at all. A kinked hose will, but not always a seized caliper. You have to go through the differential, so as long as you've got traction with both tires, it's not going to always be apparent. Driving like you're in Fast and Furious will probably have it show up.
 
Messages
973
Location
Geneva
 Originally Posted By: daves87rs
 Originally Posted By: Paul56
If it was me I would be replacing the rotors on both sides along with a new set of pads.
+1 A few extra bucks for piece of mind....
\:\!
 
Messages
22,738
Location
CA
Am I still the only person who thinks that the OP should LEAVE IT ALONE? If the pads are wearing acceptably on the rotor in question, then there's no reason for him to take any action unless the pads were improperly installed in the beginning.
 
Messages
10,874
Location
Phoenix
Did you throw a micrometer on the rotor and see if it is below spec? Personally I would only replace one if it is too thin, but that is just me.
 
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