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View Full Version : Warped rotors at 14K?



dominic
02-16-2015, 07:29 PM
I'd like to get other's opinions on this matter; I've had my Abarth for a little over a year now and it has 14k miles. I do not track it, I don't take it on spirited drives every weekend and I am not a person that rides their brakes.

For the past two months or so I've been experiencing a pulsating brake pedal, and it's gradually getting worse. I figured it was a warped rotor and the techs at my dealer seem to agree. Is it unreasonable of me to think that a rotor should stand up for more than 14k miles of standard use? They consider it driving style related, I don't know if I should really fight more to get them replaced. Seems odd to me. Am I crazy?

SuperTony
02-16-2015, 07:58 PM
I have always been told the most frequent cause is improper wheel nut torque amongst other causes such as rapid cooling such as running through water with the brakes hot is also suppose to cause it.Cheap pads, they breakdown under heat and leave deposits on the rotor surface.. A quick search found this informative article.

http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/article_archive/results/details?id=1787

Just two cents to consider.

ScorpionSkins.com
02-16-2015, 07:59 PM
If you're within warranty to have them replaced, push for it.

I find the braking system on the Abarth fantastic, but they must have cut corners in some way. I'll be looking at better quality alternatives as soon as the time comes for rotor/pad replacement. I am also experiencing slight pulsation, so it is likely a common occurrence.

dominic
02-16-2015, 08:22 PM
Thanks for the article, very informative. It also works in my favor (potentially) as the dealer was the last to remove the wheels.

Tweak
02-16-2015, 08:36 PM
For what it is worth I now have a bit over 27K on my Abarth and I do not track it but I do drive mountain roads aggressively a couple times per year and have a spirited driving style in general. I do not have warped rotors but I do have thinning rotors, the pads remain useable but the rotors are about to be replaced. I will be changing to EBC red pads as well up front to help with braking. Stock they do work rather well but it would seem the rotor quality is somewhat lacking.

sbertelli
02-16-2015, 08:51 PM
I have 28000 miles on my car, don't drive hard, brakes and rotors are good. I think you should pressure Fiat for a fix.

Steve

Purgatory
02-16-2015, 09:00 PM
I too ,believe that this should be a clear warranty issue. Would be pushing my Studio to do so, if it were my car, especially with only 14k miles. I am fast approaching 11k, and my brakes feel as strong as the day I took delivery with a brand new car. Something's not right there, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so to speak, so squeak loudly!

ewflyer
02-16-2015, 09:36 PM
Often what people think is a case of "warped rotor(s)" is actually a case of re-tempered metal on part of the rotor. My ex-wife was a master at this.

What happens is somebody drives a car down a long hill, riding the brakes all the way. By the bottom of the hill the brakes are glowing. There's a stop light at the bottom of the hill so our driver comes to a stop and sits there with the brake pedal held down firmly. The area of metal on the brake rotor that is clamped between the brake pads ends up becoming "re-tempered" which slightly changes the hardness of that area. From that point on this area of metal on the rotor will have a different coefficient of friction from the rest of the rotor which will make the brake pads either skip across or grab it extra hard (I've never really figured out which).

Davothegr8
02-16-2015, 09:54 PM
Sounds like a good excuse to upgrade.

dominic
02-17-2015, 07:28 PM
So wow, just spoke to a customer "care" specialist who actually said to me "You might think you're a good driver, but this is a problem related to poor driving skill."

Wow.

TEM
02-17-2015, 08:50 PM
My rotors are warped at 12k here, I'll just replace them rather than wasting my time fighting with fiat

Davothegr8
02-17-2015, 10:30 PM
Didnt Fiat win "Worst Customer Service" by jd power or someone this year? Btw no surprise. My dealer in Pensacola suck too. Bunch of lying crooks!

ewflyer
02-17-2015, 11:25 PM
So wow, just spoke to a customer "care" specialist who actually said to me "You might think you're a good driver, but this is a problem related to poor driving skill."

Wow.

Disclaimer: This isn't me talking to you directly. I'm not looking for a fight, just passing info.

The "care" specialist isn't lying. In most cases the driver is the cause of the "pulsing" brake feeling.

I know that the term "warped rotors" seems to accurately describe the "pulsing" feel the driver gets from damaged rotors but the truth is that brake rotors are almost never "warped", if by that word you mean they are distorted in a side-to-side manner.

The truth is almost always that the driver came to a complete stop (like at a stoplight) with the brake rotors in a state of overheat or near-overheat (from something like riding the brakes down a long hill) and then held the brake pads (also overheated) on the brake rotors while sitting at the red-light.

This situation is like a furnace working on the brake rotor's surface.

It re-tempers the metal on the part of the brake rotor that is clamped between the brake pads. After this happens the re-tempered area of brake rotor will forever have a slightly different coefficient of friction than the rest of the brake rotor which make the brake pads "skip" over that part of the rotor, causing the "pulsing" feel.

All it takes is once and the rotors are ruined. This means that even a really good driver could have this happen under bad circumstances.

But bad drivers (i.e. habitual brake-riders) who live in hilly areas are doomed. My ex-wife did this to every car we owned during our 18 year marriage. Nothing I ever said to her could fix the situation.

Purgatory
02-17-2015, 11:32 PM
So wow, just spoke to a customer "care" specialist who actually said to me "You might think you're a good driver, but this is a problem related to poor driving skill."

Wow.

And did you get this person to tell you exactly what poor driving skill you did to cause the warping? Sounds like pass the buck to me, and utter BS, just to try to hose you out of a legitimate warranty claim.

dominic
02-18-2015, 01:28 AM
Disclaimer: This isn't me talking to you directly. I'm not looking for a fight, just passing info.

The "care" specialist isn't lying. In most cases the driver is the cause of the "pulsing" brake feeling.

No hard feelings, I totally get what you're saying. Of course most people just defend their driving, but I really do try to be mindful of situations like that. At the end of the day, it's just rotors. And like someone said before, looks like it's time to upgrade haha

streetsurfer
02-18-2015, 01:36 AM
What did the micrometer say? Ask the techs.

jguerdat
02-18-2015, 08:36 AM
An article by Stoptech:

http://stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

doverosx
02-18-2015, 10:25 AM
I'd like to get other's opinions on this matter; I've had my Abarth for a little over a year now and it has 14k miles. I do not track it, I don't take it on spirited drives every weekend and I am not a person that rides their brakes.

For the past two months or so I've been experiencing a pulsating brake pedal, and it's gradually getting worse. I figured it was a warped rotor and the techs at my dealer seem to agree. Is it unreasonable of me to think that a rotor should stand up for more than 14k miles of standard use? They consider it driving style related, I don't know if I should really fight more to get them replaced. Seems odd to me. Am I crazy?

You don't have warped rotors. http://www.stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

doverosx
02-18-2015, 10:32 AM
So wow, just spoke to a customer "care" specialist who actually said to me "You might think you're a good driver, but this is a problem related to poor driving skill."

Wow.

That isn't correct. It indicates that your pads do not match your driving environment AND your braking technique. You might consider going with ceramic pads since they won't be as inclined to heat up and bite.

doverosx
02-18-2015, 10:33 AM
An article by Stoptech:

http://stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

Beat me to it ;).

Tweak
02-18-2015, 10:53 AM
Warped or damaged doesn't matter what you call it in the end I doubt Fiat or the dealer will or would do anything because of the wear and tear nature of both rotors and pads and the fact most wear items are only covered for the first 12K and this car sits at 14K. Just saying.

Purgatory
02-18-2015, 10:53 AM
Great Article, thanks for posting it. Learned a lot from it.

B3NN3TT
02-18-2015, 11:43 AM
Happens much more frequently on cars with an automatic transmission, since drivers have to hold the brake to keep the car from moving. Coming down from one panic stop and sitting for a moment on the brake pedal is all it takes to ruin a set of rotors.

doverosx
02-18-2015, 07:57 PM
Warped or damaged doesn't matter what you call it in the end I doubt Fiat or the dealer will or would do anything because of the wear and tear nature of both rotors and pads and the fact most wear items are only covered for the first 12K and this car sits at 14K. Just saying.

Agreed. I'd just go out and buy some 80grit Al Ox sand paper, pull the rotor and have at it. That will remove the pad material left on the rotor.

*sometimes* you can "re-heat" the rotor be redoing a bed-in process.

Mr. Man
02-19-2015, 04:28 PM
My brakes lasted 50k miles. And I can't help but brake aggressively in it either :D

NCAbarth
06-16-2017, 05:23 PM
2015 automatic with about 16k miles. Brake pedal pulsates heavily. Put new tires on a while ago (can't believe stock ones were already worn out) and am wondering if Discount Tire put lug bolts in properly...Will just buy new rotors and not mess with Fiat. I have not looked at the brake pads, but assume they are good. Only street driving (so far).

ice445
06-17-2017, 07:23 PM
2015 automatic with about 16k miles. Brake pedal pulsates heavily. Put new tires on a while ago (can't believe stock ones were already worn out) and am wondering if Discount Tire put lug bolts in properly...Will just buy new rotors and not mess with Fiat. I have not looked at the brake pads, but assume they are good. Only street driving (so far).You can't assume the pads are good. Uneven pad wear will tell you a lot about what's going on.

NCAbarth
06-17-2017, 08:17 PM
You can't assume the pads are good. Uneven pad wear will tell you a lot about what's going on.

Thanks. I was probably going to assume they were good. I'll check the pads out too. Planning on looking at them tomorrow.

Abarth236
07-01-2017, 11:16 AM
I picked up my car at 21K and the rotors were trashed, all rusted and warped.
-Eddie

KellyfromVA
07-01-2017, 07:22 PM
I will be changing to EBC red pads as well up front to help with braking. Stock they do work rather well but it would seem the rotor quality is somewhat lacking.

Just stay clear of the EBC vented rotors. Total garbage. If you can get the Brembo rotors, you'll be very pleased.

Jim500T
07-02-2017, 04:16 PM
I'd like to get other's opinions on this matter; I've had my Abarth for a little over a year now and it has 14k miles. I do not track it, I don't take it on spirited drives every weekend and I am not a person that rides their brakes.

For the past two months or so I've been experiencing a pulsating brake pedal, and it's gradually getting worse. I figured it was a warped rotor and the techs at my dealer seem to agree. Is it unreasonable of me to think that a rotor should stand up for more than 14k miles of standard use? They consider it driving style related, I don't know if I should really fight more to get them replaced. Seems odd to me. Am I crazy?

The guys at my shop tell me it is just from heat. It only takes on time on the brakes a little too long or too hard and the rotor will warp. No way around it and once it is done it is done until you get new rotors and do it again.

Tweak
07-02-2017, 11:22 PM
Just stay clear of the EBC vented rotors. Total garbage. If you can get the Brembo rotors, you'll be very pleased.

I've ran EBC Red's for a good bit but I have a new set of R1 Premium Slotted rotors (with black hats) and Hawk 5.0 Performance (Street) pads as well as Neu-f SS brake lines to eventually go on the Abarth.

bryanintowson
07-03-2017, 09:30 AM
In my last car (04 Acura TSX), the rotors warped at about 30k miles. They were supposed to be replaced under a TSB but since mine didn't warp until about 45k they refused to cover it. And that's the story of how I learned to do a brake job myself.

natalie9
07-03-2017, 11:42 AM
Have same problem only mine started at 15,000 miles. They will only replace up to 1yr or 12,000 miles. Got hot spots on front and rear rotors. Daily driver with some fun. Wink wink. Need opinions on after market ones. Factory OME suck. Looking to replace with EBC premium rotors and red stuff brakes any suggestions?

bryanintowson
07-03-2017, 03:09 PM
I have a box full of centric parts from RockAuto in my basement for when the time comes.

Trunkout
07-03-2017, 07:20 PM
I have a box full of centric parts from RockAuto in my basement for when the time comes.
Centric is good stuff! Lots less brake dust too!