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Slight pedal / steering pulsation on braking - replace only front rotors?

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:46 PM
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Slight pedal / steering pulsation on braking - replace only front rotors?

14000 miles ago I replaced my brakes with Napa premium rotors and Carbotech bobcat pads. I have developed a light pulsation in my brake pedal and steering wheel mostly noticable during hard braking.

There is PLENTY of pad left. Is it likely that its only my front rotors that are causing this pulsation and can I replace just the front rotors with a different brand keeping the napa rotors on the rear?

Would putting TSW rotors up front and not changing anything on the back work just fine?
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:17 PM
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Would not be a problem putting different front rotors on.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:58 PM
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Try cleaning them first. Use some clean rags and some quality rotor cleaner. It sounds like you've got an area(s) on your rotor(s) that is dirty and that often creates a more slippery area. Thus, as the rotor rotates through the pads, the coefficient of friction changes and the brakes alternately grab less, then grab more, then less again. It creates a pulling effect on the steering where the wheel vibrates side to side and gives the impression that they're out of true when they're not.

I had this happen on a Toyota 4 Runner I had once. I pulled the front wheels and gave both sides of the front rotors a thorough cleaning. It solved the problem until a few weeks later I ran through a deep puddle of water after the first rain of the season and some of the cruddy water got on the rotors and the problem reappeared almost instantly. I had to clean them again and all was well.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:11 PM
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I've had brake pulsation on my old car for a few years now.

in my case the problem was slightly warped roter(s). my AWESOME mechanic (has >40 positive reviews at the car talk mechanic files page(just saying this to indicate the awesomeness is not only my opinion)) indicated that the warping only makes the pedal pulse and has no detrimental effect on the actual breaking.

So, there was no need to do anything at all. They may have said that machining would eliminate the warp, but i swear to nothing.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:18 PM
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Warped rotors are VERY uncommon (In fact some people would say it ain't gonna happen on the OEM rotors). Uneven pad deposits on the rotors is VERY common (Did you bed the Bobcats in?), and the most like source of the pulsations. So, you can get your rotors resurfaced, or buy a pair of Hawk Blue pads, run them up front for a couple of days, and pretty much get the same effect.

If you're due for new rotors, that will fix it too.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:16 PM
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k h d: You could try checking the run out of the rotors with a dial test indicator to verify run out and to quantify it. If the run out is verified and if it only a few thousands, turning the rotors may be a reasonable and cost effective option since the rotors are fairly new.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Warped rotors are VERY uncommon (In fact some people would say it ain't gonna happen on the OEM rotors). Uneven pad deposits on the rotors is VERY common
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukaepe View Post
k h d: You could try checking the run out of the rotors with a dial test indicator to verify run out and to quantify it. If the run out is verified and if it only a few thousands, turning the rotors may be a reasonable and cost effective option since the rotors are fairly new.
Modern rotors have very little extra "meat" in them for turning. So, replacement is usually the only option. And it's easy, not like before when you had to remove the hub and repack the bearings and all. Also, given the low cost of replacement rotors, going that route also make sense from a monetary viewpoint.
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