View Full Version : brake rotors rusting!!!!!

08-27-2004, 02:06 PM
I have an 02 2500HD that has 50000km on it and needs the rotors machined.........already!!! Why so bloody soon, gm has anti corrosion coating does it not? The wearing surface is where the rust is located. The dealer says it's normal :mad: yah right! I had a 91 2500HD 6.2 with 250000km on original rotor!
Does anyone else in the snowbelt(rustbelt) have these problems.
I feel like calling gm and asking them what kind of bs quality this is.... :mad:

08-27-2004, 04:23 PM

If it is just surface oxide haze, it is normal. If you have pitting then you might have a problem. I know that if mine sits for a time and it rains or just high humidity or after a wash job, then mine will get a haze of rust oxide on the rotors. Stick your finger on a rotor braking surface(cold of course) and see if the oxide will adhere to your finger. That will be a normal occurence if you haven't driven the truck in a while. Rust or flaking in the cooling fin area between the brake pad surfaces is quit normal. Your first stop after seeing this oxide will quit probably clean all of it off.
Denny :D

08-28-2004, 04:27 PM
This is not light rust haze after a wash but a obvious rusting of the working surface. I'm not talking about the cooling fin areas........seeing rust where a brake pads meet the rotor like this is not normal, IMO. The inboard side of the rotor is 50% rust covered, which sort of leads me to believe seized caliper piston??

08-28-2004, 05:09 PM
yup my truck does it and so does the wifes Dodge mini van. Ya gotta love car makers. They'll get ya one way or another :mad:

08-31-2004, 03:49 AM
Seems to be a problem not just in Ontario. I'm in Kanata, just outside Ottawa. My '02 had to get the rear rotors turned at 50K. That was in April this year. The fronts are fine on the 'work area'. The cooling fines are quite rusted. I've driven another 25K over the summer all through the States and in the last tire rotation, I notice the rears are starting to rust again on the in board surface. No where near any road salt since they were turned in the spring. That leads me to believe it is something more inherant in the metal. Oh well....not much I can do about it.


09-24-2004, 03:47 AM
My 2001 2500HD D/A front brakes at 60,000 miles have started squealing apparently from a pad wear indicator.
I have seen that my front rotors on the inside face have had severe pitting/rusting, so the "shiny smooth properly working" area of the rotor is only half the face, while the other half or so is this junky looking pitted uneven surface. I doubt they can be turned, they look so crapulated. I use the brakes hard sometimes but not much, I tow a carhauler relatively infrequently.

Who makes Upgraded/better quality rotors?
What are the best aftermarket pads?
I am going to search for Performance Friction, Hawk etc for pads; maybe Porterfield has rotors?

09-25-2004, 12:11 PM
Medium duty trucks w/ disc brakes can be bad about rusting rotors. The rotors, even under use, may rust and pit. I believe part of this is due to voids in the metal uncovered by wear that lets water in below the friction surface. This moisture eventually corrodes enough to open a below surface pocket and even "rust jack" a portion of the friction surface upward or toward the brake pad while leaving a nearly all shiny friction surface. A hammer or screw driver will sometimes flake off some of the surface leaveing a pocket in the friction surface if severe enough. I see no reason why this could not happen w/ light duty vehicles as well. What you are seeing may be evidence of the early stages of a more severe problem.? if let go to rust away. Just a thought. bob.......

09-27-2004, 01:14 PM
Well, I decided to buy a set of 4 Brembo replacement plain rotors, and EBC 6000 4x4 brakepads from TireRack, totalled about $596.
The EBC pads are said to have an operating range up to 1200F.

My front AND rears INNER faces are all worn/rusted so only half or less of the friction surface is actually smooth silver (working) brake disc surface. I suspect the dust shield just next to the inside surface is holding in alot of heat on hard braking and making the rotor/pad on that side overheat and go to heck.

The ceramic "Akebono Corp." type brakepad I think GM uses has a weakness--very high temperature wear and performance drop off alot compared to standard/semimetallic pads.
Check out this pdf article by the Akebono Brake Co on their "superior" ceramic brakes:


Go to the LAST page, BOTTOM of page and see the graph showing how once over 450F, the ceramic brakepads start wearing way faster than semimetallics. Ceramics are great up to that point, but when driving hard or towing, sometimes we have to LAY HARD on the brakes, some have experienced brake fade, and seems like pad wear/rotor wear get BAD.

Last paragraph says:
"Compared to semimetallic pads, ceramic friction technology currently is not optimized for extreme driving conditions, where brake temperatures can reach 572F or higher. Akebono thinks the next major advancement in ceramic technology will undoubtedly address high temperature, severe-duty conditions..."
UPDATE 10-2-4:
Rear brakejob a pain because stupid pins on the calipers have Torx 55 drive size; have gotten one off with impact wrench, other has broken 2 Torx bits via 1/2" impact (thru 3/8 adapter though so less than ideal torque) and 3/8 impact won't loosen it at all. Tried MAPP gas heating the caliper where threads are etc. I will be taking it to my local good-but-cheap shop to finish that one rear.
Front EBC pads from TireRack were different looking than rears; wrote EBC and they said I got the older version of fronts, and will trade them if I send to EBC. Hassle; and not sure which pad is the heavier-duty, the new SUV Supreme 7000 Series "almost no dust", or the older 6000 Series Truck/4x4 pads that have metal in pad...suspect 6000 are more capable but I'm going to give the 7000 series a try, less dust but I will be using the heck out of them so we'll see how they hold up.

[ 10-02-2004, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: xwing ]

10-07-2004, 04:02 PM
Just had to replace mine after 45K. They were rotted out in the back, front side was fine, front rotors were fine.

My mechanic says he see's this on almost all the 4 wheel disk trucks he services.

Its almost no wonder why GM is going back to drums.... God forbid they fine a real fix for the problem.

10-08-2004, 03:27 AM
I had my truck in for a state inspection and a new intermediate steering shaft this week. When I picked up the truck I was talking with the service manager he said they see at least one set of rotted out brake rotors each week. This is also a small dealer. He said the rotors flake off and act like a cheese grater on the pads. So far mine look good at 33kmiles but I'll be keeping a close watch on them.


[ 10-09-2004, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: jbplock ]

10-09-2004, 05:50 AM
I cheched my rotors and theyre A OK!!!
Dont blame the rotors, maybe you should check the the proportioning valve for the rear wheels.
I drove a new vw for 3 years and had 7 registered brake complaints with vw that the brakes kept locking up, they said there OK.
After 3 years I decided to do a break job, low and behold the rear brake drums surfaces were totally rusted, why because the rear proportioning valve had never worked,

good luck

10-09-2004, 12:04 PM
My pads were worn to the wear indicators. Keep fishing...

11-03-2004, 05:36 PM
Just don't use the brakes, I don't. And when I can park on a hill..."save the starter!"