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Brake Rotors


November 5, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Jackson, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Ford Ranger
I have a 2003 ford explorer 2WD. Yesterday I went to a mechanic and I got new rear brake pads and my rotors turned. After I got this done my brake pedal was pulsating and the mechanic said that the rotors were warped, but before he turned my rotors my brakes were acting fine just squeaking a little because I needed new brake pads. So right now I guess I currently have new brake pads and warped rotors and it causes my car to shake. What should I do about this? Will my new brake pads even the rotors out over time? I really don't feel like paying $80 for a new set of rotors. Thanks for the advice.

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sounds like turning them didn't do much help or they screwed something up. (rotors don't warp just like that unless they are beat to hell during hard braking.) I suppose it could be possible that the new pads allow the vibration to be transmitted better. $80 is a bit high just for rotors, go to rock auto and buy a good medium quality set and do it your self, its not very hard since the pads are already new, that's less messing around. The rotors should also be a piece of cake to remove since they were already broken loose by the mechanic.

$80 isn't unreasonable for a pair of rotors, I've paid twice that for a single rotor and been happy with my purchase. I would also replace the pads when you replace the rotors, since they have most likely developed an uneven wear pattern and will reduce your braking performance and wear out pads and rotors faster down the line. I would also never bother to turn a modern rotor they're already designed to be a thin as they can make them and by the time they are turned they are right at the minimum spec or below it, again reducing braking performance.

autozone, o'reilly, Advanced all right around $36-40ea rear and $40-45ea front.
ebay: front or rear rotors with ceramic pads $62-79 shipped. Complete all (4) rotors & pads, $150-175 shipped.

the OE ford rotors and pads are crap. My wife's Monty wrapped the fronts in 15,000 miles. Aftermarket replacements are of a better iron casting quality.

Pulsing pedal could also be a stuck caliper. Either the piston is stuck in the bore or the caliper is not moving properly on the mount.

If no pulse with old pad and stock rotors, the pistons could have been stuck in the bore and barely working the pad. With the new thicker pad you could be feeling the minor/incomplete movement of the caliper in the bore or on the mount.

Sounds to me like its time to find another shop. Besides brakes on our trucks ae stupid-silly easy to do. minimal hand tools and some brake kleener, 6-pack of beverage. knock it out after church on Sunday..


I ran into same problem years ago when a I didn't have time to put my brakes on and I took it to a local garage. The brake pedal was pulsating and I could smell the brake pads burning. The mechanic put the wrong pads on. He used pads that were made for a sports not the xlt model. It mucked up my rotors and I had to replace them myself. Of course he paid for his screw up..

Just so you know, It is possible that he didn't set the rotors correctly & could have turned them wrong causing an un-true surface. I had this happen once at Checker auto parts years ago. The guy just simply screwed up.

Not saying this is your problem but kinda points in that direction. If the rotors were warped before the brake service then turning them would have solved this issue. Sounds like you need a set of new rotors now.

Alright thanks everyone for the advice. I think I'm gonna buy new rotors and Do it myself I hope it fixes it.

its almost as cheap to get new as turn the old ones
,, he turned them with chip or sumthing under the cones causing them to have wobble turned in u can recoup cost if u prepare ,,, have machinist mike them at 4 points, widest narrowest,, then present this data to the shop, that is urefire ind that the machinist xscrewed up,, or bite the bullet and buy new,, its not the pads causing pedal pulsation

Thanks buckwill. I hope it quits vibrating.

ity wont unless u have new rotors or have those reground by competent help

ebay... 4 rotors (not even going to argue smooth/slotted/dim[led/drilled) Ceramic pads. $200 ... honestly 3 hours with beer breaks


Alright is it really simple to change the rotors. I just take the caliber off and then the rotor comes off?

for the rear yes, i believe the caliper has no bracket or is integrated into the caliper unlike the fronts which you have to remove the caliper bracket as well.

Alright is it really simple to change the rotors. I just take the caliber off and then the rotor comes off?

You unbolt the calipers first, 2 bolts, remove calipers and brake pads. Use a wire coat hanger or a strong bungee cord to hang the caliper off to the side while you go to remove the caliper bracket. You can hang the caliper from the coil spring/strut assembly. Then you have to unbolt 2 bolts to the caliper bracket. The bracket is the last to come off and it is what the calipers themselves bolt on to and are held in place by. The bracket bolts are larger bolts and you may need a breaker bar to loosen them, but since your rotors were just taken off by your mechanic, they should break loose without a lot of effort. Personally, I like to put "anti-seize lube" on the caliper bolts and the caliper bracket bolts for easy removal next time you do your brake pads and rotors. Stuff works great! Once the caliper bracket is off, the rotors just slide off the wheel studs in your hand. Do not over tighten these bolts when you go to re-assemble. The way/order you took everything apart is the order for putting it back together. The last part to come off, is the first to go back on. The torque specs for the 2003 Explorer caliper bolts are: 32 ft-lbs and the caliper bracket bolts are : 155 ft-lbs. Good luck!
Edit: I gave you instructions for the front caliper bracket removal above, but if you are doing the rear rotors, just remove the brake caliper (2 bolts) and pads and the rotors should slide right off of the wheel studs. No caliper bracket to remove on the rears to get the rotors off.

If you have an "Advance Auto Parts" store near you, you can save some money on buying your rotors through them. Go to and type in Advance Auto Parts into the search bar. It will show you online coupons that you can use at Advance's web site. Order your parts thru the Advance web site, apply the coupon code that applies to the amount $$$ of your order during checkout, get the discount, select the store to pick up your parts at, and go there in about an hour to pick them up. Print a copy of the online order and take it with you to the store.

Alright thank you very much I'm gonna do this tom. When I remove the brake pads are they difficult to put back in the caliber?

When I remove the brake pads are they difficult to put back in the caliber?

The rear brake pads? No, they aren't hard to put back on the calipers if they happen to come apart from the caliper, press into place, but if you are careful when removing the calipers, you can leave the pads connected to the calipers and remove them together in one move. Once you install the new rotor, just slips on in place over the wheel studs, re-install the caliper over the rotor with the brake pads still attached from when you removed them. Make sure the metal end tabs on the brake pad backing plate rest flush or flat on the edge or lip of the caliper mounts. If doing this is all new to you, haven't done brakes before, and you have a cell phone camera, take a photo of the calipers on the vehicle before you remove them from a couple different angles, so you have reference point of how they look when you go to re-install them on the vehicle. FYI, The inner brake(piston) pad backing plates are different than the outer brake pad plates, so you can't screw that up. They only go on the calipers one way. You'll see what I am talking about when you get them apart. Good luck tonight!

Thanks man and yes i have never did brakes before but im gonna give it my best shot

Thanks man and yes i have never did brakes before but im gonna give it my best shot

No problem and good luck. FYI, if you have any problems getting the new pads to slide over the new rotors you are buying, you may need to open up the master cylinder cover and use a large 8" C-Clamp to press the piston back into the caliper housing it slides in and out of. This will give you more room for the pads to slide over the rotors. Just unscrew the cap, but leave it on top of the mater cylinder reservoir so nothing (dirt, dust, bugs etc) falls into the reservoir by accident. Opening the master cylinder cover/cap allows you to press the piston back into it's housing as the brake fluid in the brake lines behind the piston reverses it's normal direction, which is normally towards the piston when braking. Opening the cap allows the brake fluid to flow back into the master cylinder when you press the piston inward. When you let off the brake pedal after braking, the brake piston still sticks out (1/2" - 1") past the edge of the caliper housing and this can get in the way when installing new pads over new rotors because of the thickness of the pads and rotors when new. Just gives you more room to work with. When done installing the new pads and rotors on both sides, don't forget to put the cap back on the Master Cylinder. Do not press down on the brake pedal until the Master Cylinder cap is back on first. When you first go to depress the brake pedal after installing the new pads and rotors, the pedal will feel spongy, just keep pressing the pedal and you'll feel the brake pressure come back up after 30 seconds or so. Test drive it then, make sure everything feels right. BTW, don't let the brake caliper hang down by it's own weight by the attached brake hose when off, hang it up on the coil spring with a bent wire coat hanger or bungee cord. Good luck and just ask if you have any problems.

Thanks again im going to do it this afternoon I will post my results!

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Well I did it and it fixed my problem. Thanks everyone for your help!