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My Explorer is "eating" rotors


New Member
April 20, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Southeastern, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS

My '00 XLS is going through rotors like they are going out of style. On May 17th my front left caliper seized. The dealer replaced the caliper, turned both front rotors, and installed new brake pads under warranty. 4 weeks later a severe vibration developed when I would slow down (the steering wheel would shimmy and actually appear to hop). The same dealer looked at the rotors and said they were out of spec and must have been turned/resurfaced too thin when they previously repaired them. They installed new rotors at no charge. Now it is 4 weeks later and I am having the same vibration while braking. I am not an aggressive driver and have never had brake problems like this in any other vehicle I have ever owned. My parents have owned an Explorer and a Mountaineer and have had no brake problems. My co-worker has a '97 Explorer and actually went 50,000 miles on the original front pads (has had no rotor problems at all).

This is getting very frustrating. The truck only has 26,000 miles on it and is ready for it's 3rd brake job? Any ideas as to why this thing won't "hold" a brake job for more than 4 weeks/1,200 miles?


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Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member
November 26, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
New Bern, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Explorer "Expedition"
I would take the truck to a reputable independent shop and have the brake calipers rebuilt/replaced, the brake pads replaced, and the rotors replaced with aftermarket. I know it sounds costly, but with that setup, you won't have to worry about your brakes for a few years.


Somewhat Functional
Moderator Emeritus
January 11, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
McVeytown, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'18 XLT
First question is did they replace the pads when they replaced the rotors?? Even though they put new pads in the first time, they should have put new pads in when they replaced the rotors. If not, that could be causing your problem, and both the pads and the rotors are probably shot again. You should NEVER re-use pads when the rotors are turned or replaced.

If that's not it, I'd look into a couple of possibilities:

1) Something is bent on the front hub assembly causing the caliper to be misaligned with the rotor

2) Bad wheel bearing

3) The dealer is feeding you a line of BS and not doing what they said they did or they have incompetent mechanics.


Elite In Memoriam
January 17, 2001
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT
Since you are dealing with a warranty issue, I would go to another Ford dealer and see what they can do for you.

Good luck.....


Active Member
August 2, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Mission, KS
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XLT
I would back up what Al says.

If you ever do have to replace rotors again out of your own pocket, try A.R.T. rotors, www.appliedrotortechnology.com They are cryogenicly treated rotors that stay true for a long time. Well worth the money.

james t

Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
January 27, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Texarkana AR/TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 SAS sport
you do realize that whenever the same thing has to be fixed 3 times in a 1 year period and its a safety issue then the lemon-law applies. it sounds as though they are not doing something they say they are. brakes are not rocket science, and you should NOT have this re-occuring problem. sounds like they just slapped new pads in a bad caliper and turned the rotors, when they should have replaced all three. anyway, brake trouble (under warranty) should be fixed NOW. no reason for them to let you run over someone just 'cause they didnt want to use new calipers...or fix it right the first time.


Village Idiot
Elite Explorer
May 31, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Trenton, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 ExSport, '00 F-150
Sounds like shoddy workmanship combined with shoddy materials... I managed to get 54,000 miles out of the OE rotors on my Ex, and they would've gotne farther, but it sat for a year and 4 months, so they were shot. But, when last I saw them, they were still only 1/2 worn, no shimmies, etc.

The OE rotors are junk IMHO... cheap materials. Aftermarket rotors and pads are FAR superior...


Jon Burns

Elite Explorer
July 6, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 4.0 V6

I can't help with your brake problem but you wrote ion another thread about having your 'B' pillars repaired. Can you tell me in more detail about this problem as it may be the same as a fault that I have on my truck. You can if you wish email me direct (yeoman@netmatters.co.uk). I'd be glad of any input as Explorers are thin on the ground in England.


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