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25k miles and I need new rear brakes???
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Thread: 25k miles and I need new rear brakes???

  1. #1
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    25k miles and I need new rear brakes???

    Dropped by '17 Abarth 500 into the dealership for an oil change and they advised I need new rear brakes at 25,000 miles for $500...Needless to say I was a bit surprised given its only had highway loads placed on them and the fronts showed little wear. The service advisor acted surprised that I would question how fast the REAR brakes would go. I have researched the issue and see that the calipers can corrode causing the pads to stay lightly engaged when you take your foot off the pedal. So it seems to me that if I let them replace the rotors and pads that the problem will still persist and I'll have to replace pads and rotors in another 25k miles.

    I am thinking a solution to this is to get aftermarket calipers and hopefully just oem pads and rotors installed. I may upgrade all these to performance parts on the front but I doubt it would make much difference on the rear of such a small vehicle. I arrive at this solution after much confusion, post review, of threads on 500 brake issues so I am hoping for some additional thoughts on solutions and perhaps suggestions on parts from the powers at be on this fine forum.

    Note, I am hoping to not spend a ton of money on the rears (save some $ for more worthy mods) and could also use a suggestion for a performance front brake solution that isn't $1,000+ like what I'm seeing out there.

    May do some autocross and a track run or two but mainly city street use overall.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fabio13's Avatar
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    So you're in the rust belt? You haven't given us a location. I'm at 60,000 and half pads up front. No corrosion.
    2013 Fiat 500 Sport AT, Xpel Ultimate Clear Bra, 3M Crystalline Window Tint, Black top stripes, Black "500" (wide) side stripes. Fiat "500" Stainless door sills by Mopar. BlueTooth music streaming. OBDII BlueTooth Torque gauges streaming to smart phone. BF Goodrich Sport Comp II tires, STS rear sway bar, Euro+Drive NA 500 Tune, BMC reusable air filter and Spare Tyre with cover.

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  3. #3
    Premium Member Haring's Avatar
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    Just because they say you do, doesn’t mean you do.

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  5. #4
    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Haring has a good point. Some of these shops put huge pressure on techs to sell services, so I would get a second opinion and shop around good places. Be careful with bargain basement prices.

    There is nothing unusual about the braking system on the cars and there is no need to change the caliper design, etc. Get quality brakes and rotors from one of our vendors as they know what's good and what's not and you'll be good to go. If you have a pad that sticks in the bracket or caliper pin that is gummed up they just need to be cleaned and lubed when replacing the pads. Change the hardware out (that generally comes with new pads or just order it. - It's cheap insurance. Inspect the rubber boots and replace if deteriorated. They are likely fine as your car is only a couple of years old, but don't cheap out if they aren't. A pinhole in a rubber boot will let moisture in and will eventually freeze up a caliper pin. This is just brakes 101, by the way and applies to any car.

    Any good shop can change the brakes if you don't want to. When in doubt, I generally recommend a place that does European cars, because the techs there will be familiar with this braking system, are used to working on sophisticated cars and typically have higher skill sets. Having said that, the brakes are nothing unusual, so ask your friends where they get work done, too. I would just stay away from the big repair chains, though. I do a lot of business with them, and in my experience, they really pressure people for repairs and I don't have a lot of confidence in the techs at those places.

    Let us know how you make out.
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    I've lost two sets of rear brakes on my car to corrosion/winter use, and this winter I barely took the car out. For whatever reason the ends of the pad that slot into the bracket rust and the pad sticks at an angle and only contacts part of the rotor, eventually wearing a taper into the pad and letting a significant percentage of the rotor corrode. If you catch it early enough you can fix it, but the tolerance is so tight that it doesn't take much. I'm not sure why either, maybe the aftermarket pads I'm using aren't the correct dimensions? Although I'm assuming your OEM pads are rear, so that probably rules that out. You'll notice if you manipulate a front pad in its bracket, it moves on all three axes very easily as it should, but the rears only want to move left and right, but not back and forward, and this is what creates the problem. I doubt this is a caliper guide pin issue, because I've always kept mine lubed and in great shape and it doesn't stop the issue.

    I'm about to take a grinder to the pad holders and reduce the thickness considerably if this happens again, because it's a stupid problem. Especially when I know how to do brakes properly. There's no rust jacking of the stainless steel clips or anything, it's literally JUST the pad that's the issue.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member bryanintowson's Avatar
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    Had to replace both rear calipers recently. Corrosion had roached the left rear, causing the parking brake to stick which then caused overheating issues as well as corrosion eating the parking brake actuator. I'm going to go with some kind of design issue that causes the rears to be more exposed to road salt than the fronts.

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Pads sticking in the bracket is common, especially with aftermarket pads. The solution is not to file the bracket but to file, dremel, dress off, grind etc. the pad's backing plate. You need to make sure the pad fits easily in the bracket with the new hardware. That's the secret to no problems.
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