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Thread: Rusted Brake Rotors?

  1. #1
    Senior Dirty Member Rudukai13's Avatar
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    Default Rusted Brake Rotors?

    First off, no I don't have any idea how it happened. My only guess is that the car sat out at the dealership for a while after being repaired without being driven and it could have happened then. Also, I admittedly don't know much about the mechanics of the car but I am very interested in learning so that's why I'm asking about it. I walked outside today and noticed that one of the brakes rotors had turned orange, so I took a closer look and sure enough it had rust on the surface, along with all three other rotors. My question is is there any way to fix this without having to buy new rotors or do I just need to take it into the dealership and get them replaced? I'm particularly worried about it because for the last few days my dad says the brakes have been making what he described as a "scraping" noise. I haven't driven it much since he told me about it but when I drive it I don't hear anything. My dad has said that we shouldn't drive the car until we can figure out what's wrong with it. Anyone who has any ideas as to what this might be would be greatly appreciated.
    Yes I'm insane. But it's a lot more fun than being normal


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  3. #2

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    If its just rust its fine. Drive it, the rust will scrape off. My cars rotors rust every night and are noisy for a few seconds almost every morning. especially if I wash my car and then park it for the night. Its no big deal, wont hurt anything. Rotors are bare metal, bare metal rusts.
    subaru.

  4. #3

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    well precepition causes rotors to rust it will com off after a few applys.


    Richard
    Old Subarus never die, they just get faster

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    It happens with me too... ecspecially if I have been puddle jumping all day and stop somewhere to get something to eat... an hour later there will be rust already forming... yeah just drive it... there wont be any problem other than a little sqeeling for a bit... but I will go away after a bit

  6. #5
    Senior Dirty Member Rudukai13's Avatar
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    The problem is apparently the scraping started before anyone of us noticed the rust...?
    Yes I'm insane. But it's a lot more fun than being normal

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    It's all in your head. This is completly normal. Drive it, worry about the economy, you have just as much control over that as you do a light coating of surface rust on the friction surface of your brake rotors.
    "You hate your car. It is meant to be destroyed and repaired. It is merely a machine that is keeping you from attaining your true top speed. Press on the skinny pedal. Turn every once in a while. Fasten your belts securely. Drive it in anger." - Don Burress - Demon Rally Team

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    The rust is normal. The rotors are unprotected non-stainless steel; expose them to moisture and they will rust. Do a few hard stops and you will have shiny rotors again.

    I live in such a ridiculously dry climate that I've never had rusty rotors, so I don't know what they sound like. There are other causes for scraping noises that you can check for though. Pull off the wheels and take a careful look at each caliper. Make sure each pad has some life left in it, and check for rocks/pebbles jammed in between things. Rocks can get stuck between the caliper and rotor, and also between the caliper and the wheel.

    If everything looks OK on the caliper side of things, I would take the car out for a spin and do several hard stops to remove the rust. If you are worried about it, play it safe and start from slow speeds and work your way up... no reason to go above 50 during any of this. Between checking the calipers and removing the rust you should be noise free.

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    Senior Dirty Member Rudukai13's Avatar
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    Ok. It's dark now but tomorrow we will get the car up in the air and check out the pads. We'll see what happens once the wheels are off.
    Yes I'm insane. But it's a lot more fun than being normal

  10. #9

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    I think you're really over-reacting a bit. surface rust on the rotors is totally normal when its exposed to moisture for any period of time (even overnight you will see some forming). One lap around the block under normal braking will get them back to their normal shiny silver state.

  11. #10
    Regular Contributor SilverSleeper04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 409industries View Post
    I think you're really over-reacting a bit. surface rust on the rotors is totally normal when its exposed to moisture for any period of time (even overnight you will see some forming). One lap around the block under normal braking will get them back to their normal shiny silver state.
    ya +1 with 409. surface rust happens all the time. we've been getting a lot of moisture lately here in CO. even after one rain storm a few hours later your going to have some orange rotors if the car is just sitting there. if you go look at the cars sitting out at the dealerships all of them have surface rust build up on the rotors. my car right now has it cuz it's just been sitting there the past couple of days. but i'm not worried about it at all cuz after a few normal stops the next time i drive it its going to be gone

  12. #11

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    my rotors do that too but its after some rain or morning dew stuff it comes off after a drive tho and about the noise if they are slotted n drilled or somethin it will make a different noise then usual and he may not be used to it



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  13. #12
    Senior Dirty Member Rudukai13's Avatar
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    No they are the stock STI rotors and we've had the car for about a year and a half and this noise has cropped up in just the past week. I'd take the car around the block but unfortunately the parental units are saying the car doesn't move until we have a good idea as to what's causing the scraping noise.
    Yes I'm insane. But it's a lot more fun than being normal

  14. #13

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    hmm... idk then have to hear it in person but it could be pads



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  15. #14

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    Okay, there are two things going on here. They are not connected, IMO.

    1. Rust on the rotors is, as everyone has said, normal. They'll get surface rust if you wash the car, if it rains, if it gets splashed by sprinklers, etc etc etc. Drive it away, brake lightly, and there'll be a scraping noise for a very short amount of time as the pads remove the rust.

    This is almost certainly not connected in any way to:

    2. The pads are done. The scraping noise is probably the wear indicator on one or more of the brake pads, or possibly some other unpleasant manifestation of worn out pads. If you take the front wheels off and get a flashlight you can eye the pad thickness, but officially you'd take a vernier caliper or an outside micrometer to it. Most people don't have those lying around though

    Brake pads are super easy to change, just a few simple tools, and it's a nice gentle way of getting familiar with your brake system. And even if you get stuck, there's always the other side to refer to.

    Now if the pads are suddenly worn out when it comes back from the dealer.. well.. draw your own conclusions.

    The only way I can see rusted rotors being connected with worn out pads is if the rotor is really, really rusty to the point when it acts like coarse sandpaper on your pads. But I can't imagine it was that bad.
    Phil

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  16. #15
    Senior Dirty Member Rudukai13's Avatar
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    No, the rust is smooth to the touch and it's not very uniform so I imagine it is just a day or two worth of what everyone has been talking about, the normal rust. And yeah I had a guess it would be that the pads were done. I'll talk with my dad and see what he wants to do with it but I'll deffinitely suggest trying to replace it on our own. We may just take it into the dealership though, as it needs to be fully serviced soon anyway.
    Yes I'm insane. But it's a lot more fun than being normal


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