FAQs—Subaru Brake Disc and Pad Kit
- Is it really bad if I got the brake pads replaced but didn’t fix the rotors yet? Is it necessary to have the brake discs turned or resurfaced during brake pad replacement?
The new brake pads wouldn’t be able to restore the good braking performance of your vehicle if only the thinning brake pads were changed and not the worn-out brake discs or rotors. If the rotors are hollowed, scored, or warped, this could lead to poor braking. You have to check the surface of the rotors to see if it is scored. If the hollow is beyond 0.5 mm. or 0.020 in. or the discs are already below the minimum thickness, then the rotors could no longer be turned or resurfaced. It would be better to have them replaced along with the brake pads. Some brake pad installations are best accompanied by disc/rotor replacements. You can always get a matching brake pad and disc kit.
- How can you tell if the brake discs/rotors are already warped without checking them?
Warped rotors would cause some vibrations when braking, especially at higher speeds. You can feel them through the brake pedal. The wheel and suspension tend to shake. Aside from pulsations, there could also be some noise when braking since the surface of the discs isn’t flat anymore. You may use a dial gauge to check for runout according to the manual’s specifications.
- What might cause the brake discs/rotors to be warped? My mechanic said that it’s time for me to get a new Subaru brake pad and disc kit. He said that the thinning brake pads can lead to warped rotors eventually, even if I get new brake discs, so it’s better to have a complete set.
Warped brake discs/rotors can be the result of excessive heat that isn’t dispersed properly and quickly from the rotor. Frequent hard braking can also lead to this brake problem. If the brake pads are already worn out, you have to change them as needed so they won’t damage or warp the rotors/discs. The mechanic made a good call since worn-out brake pads can leave behind a rough disc surface.
- I’ve already approached several mechanics and they all refuse to turn and resurface my warped rotors/discs. Instead, they’re recommending a complete replacement. I know that replacement ultimately will be a good long-term fix, but wouldn’t resurfacing or turning be a great temporary solution for now? I need to get my Chevy on the road.
In case of warped rotors/discs, replacement is usually the best solution since the discs may already be too thin to start with. They may get thinner and may be too close to the minimum thickness requirements. Resurfacing warped rotors may not have the same good results as turning scored discs.
- A friend said that I should be breaking in the pads and rotors. What would be the benefits of going through with this? And how is this done?
The benefits of breaking in includes extending the life of the brake pads, minimizing brake noise, and making sure that the surface will be even. The process of breaking in the pads and/or rotors can be a bit tedious, but it’s worth it. You have to run the car at 30 to 40 mph and have to go easy on the brakes until the car is pulled to a halt. The brakes should be allowed to cool down. Step off the brakes for half a minute. Do this for about 5 times. Make sure that you don’t brake hard or make sudden stops. After this, you have to accelerate the car to about 55 mph and decelerate gently to 20mph. Repeat the same steps. Let the brake system cool for about an hour or so before driving the car again.
- What’s the typical lifespan of brake pads? Do they really wear out faster than the rotors? What are the conditions leading to brake pad wear?
Although they typically last anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, as most brake manufacturers and some mechanics would say, brake pad wear depends on a number of factors. These include the quality and type of brake pads and discs, the road and driving condition (such as driving in a stop-and-go traffic vs. driving in a highway), and system maintenance, among other things. Brake pads wear out faster than rotors/discs, which last about 3 times longer.
- Why do some people discourage brake pad repair and instead advise a complete replacement?
Brake replacement ensures driving safety with restored braking power. Brake pad repair, on the other hand, may not provide the same results. This may not work for long and may cost you money eventually, as you’ll have to replace the damaged pads in the near future.