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Discussion Starter #1
2003 SES with 31k miles has recently developed shimmy when braking at 45 mph.
The tires although never rotated are in good condition , the car tracks straight and does not pull.
The front disc pads appear to be good for another 5 to 7 thousand miles.

Around town it does not exibit this problem . Most pronounced when exiting freeway and car slows down when braking.

What can be the problem ? or how should it be diagnosed correctly ?

Thanks for any help :)
 

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its under warranty, take it to the nearest ford dealership, tell them whats wrong, let them fix it.....you shouldnt have to pay a dime......
 

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Brake rotors are warped. This is a very common problem with the taurus.

Mike

B)
btw you should rotate the tires every five thousand miles
 
J

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Originally posted by mwt@Jun 14 2004, 07:35 PM
Brake rotors are warped. This is a very common problem with the taurus.

Mike

B)
btw you should rotate the tires every five thousand miles
:withstupid:

My bet is on warped rotors. Might not be covered under warranty though b/c rotors would be considered a "disposable" item. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Are there any preventative measures to take to insure longer rotor life ?

Does anyone know what the best rotor / pad combo is ?

The local Auto Zone had 2 choices for rotors : Valuecraft @ $19.99 each
Aimco @ $ 35.99 each

Can someone elaborate on this being a common problem with these cars ?

On a side note , this is my girlfriends car and she is a relatively tame driver.
But God only knows what goes on when I'm not around.....for all I know as she's cruising down that long mountain road , talking on her cell, applying make-up, drinking coffee as she puffs on a smoke maybe just maybe she's riding the brake !
:D :D :D

Thanks again for any input !!! B)
 
J

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Well, first of all...

I have Aimco rotors and Performance Friction Carbon Metallic Pads and have had them on for about the last 11k miles on my 2001 with no troubles at all and they are still working VERY well (that time includes a few road course sessions at Gingerman :D ). I absolutely love the combo.

For some reason warping rotors does seem to be a common thing in these cars.. <_< :shrugs:

Now, for maintenance - the only thing I can really tell you there is that if you are coming down from a higher speed to a dead stop, don't just let the car sit where it stops with your foot on the brake. This holds all the built up heat right against the rotor where it lies between the pads. Let the car drift a little so the heat isn't concentrated in one spot. I'm sure you notice people who kind of slowly creep while stopped at a traffic light - that's the reason I do it. Basically the main thing to prevent rotor warpage is to keep them cool - let them cool down by driving calmly, being easy on the brakes after you get off a highway exit ramp, etc. Hope this helps! :)
 

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Normally, the brake rotors may not be covered under warranty. However, it's no secret that these cars have terrible rotors.
My '03 needed the rotors turned at 300 miles. I'm sure they will need to be turned again before I hit 20K. I would stay on Ford about this. My '99 had brake rotors, turned twice and replaced under warranty. You may have to complain right to the service manager....but you should not have to pay for something that is such a common problem to the Taurus.
BTW...they just replaced my hood insulation under warranty not too long ago-it was shrinking!
 

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On this post I've heard several replies about turning rotors and buying new ones. Is installing them a big deal? Doesn't seem like it. I've got 58K mi on my 2000SE and hav ethe same shimmy problem braking from high speeds. If they're warped, would turning really help? If cheapies are $20 a piece maybe new ones are the way to go.
 

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Warped rotors can be resurfaced for about $5-10 each. The surface is smoothed and straightened. As long as the rotors are still withing their serviceable range, this is the way to go.

I don't think the cars are at fault, I believe it is the driver. Jason8225 makes a good point. Holding all the heat in one area of the rotor can affect the surface. Making very hard stops can affect the rotor. Getting the brakes hot and spalshing through a puddle can damage the rotor. "Normal driving" is all relative to the individual.

Rotors are fairly simple to remove and/or replace.
 

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Ford does seem to have a habit of rotors warping. I think it's because they just use less metal in the rotors to save on weight and improve gas milage.

I'd say they're not really worth turning, it'll make them thinner and even more likely to warp. The other thing that can cause warpage is putting on the lug nuts on too hard. If you have a shop do it, watch how they do it, do they use an air gun? Most of them time they just let the air gun hammer them on and it's usually set too high. I'd get a torque wrench and do it by hand.

Anyone know what the right spec is? On other cars I've had, it's ranged from 60-90ft-lbs depending on the type of wheel.
 

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resurfacing a rotor only removes .002 - .008 inches from each side. That is very small.

HenrySel brings up a good point. Lugs nuts not properly tightened can cause warpage. The nuts needs to tightened in a star pattern, and torqued to their specifications. (I think its 85-100 lbs? Is that right?)
 

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I have this shimmy problem also. So, I changed the rotors with brand new ones and the pads as well. Didn't make a difference. It only shimmys from 70 to 60 kmh and thats it. No other time. I'm starting to think it's the rack now.
 
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Originally posted by Intelliforce@Jul 1 2004, 04:00 PM
I have this shimmy problem also. So, I changed the rotors with brand new ones and the pads as well. Didn't make a difference. It only shimmys from 70 to 60 kmh and thats it. No other time. I'm starting to think it's the rack now.
I'd try getting your tires balanced if you haven't had that done recently. The last time I had a tire balance problem, I went 4 places to get it done because nobody could get it right and the stealership, unfortunately, was the only place that could get them balanced right. Just something to keep in mind. :)
 

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And even then the stealership doesn't balance them right. Unfortunately I lived with a shimmy problem for 10 months before switching dealerships and that's when it finally got fixed right. Ended up the original dealership did not know how to balance the tires properly, had bad balancing machines (two of them) or had incompetent technicians.
 
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Originally posted by kms250@Jul 2 2004, 06:51 AM
had bad balancing machines (two of them) or had incompetent technicians.
That's what I kept running into - the stealership told me that everybody else's balancing machines were junk and that theirs were better and more expensive. :lol: :rolleyes:
 

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Something More information.

I have a 2000 Taurus which of course has front disk and rear drum. My front disks were warped at about 26K miles. Because they are wear items the dealership doesn't cover it under warrenty and because my brake pads were not worn, they wouldn't replace them under my service plan either. Instead I bought some EBC rotors from Tire Rack and installed them. I'm now at 46.5K miles and they still look like they did the day I put them on (minus the black laqur that was on them).

It is also note worthy that ford apparently upsized the front rotors in I believe 2003. The new rotors are slightly bigger. Hmm. No problem with the brake design, says ford, yet we'll upgrade the front disks anyway.

Essencially the problem is that the small brakes don't allow for much heat disipation. At the same time, if you do much braking / city driving and then roll through a puddle or something, the hot brake rotors are cooled rappedly. This repeated heating and cooling is what warps rotors., expecially cheap rotors. My new rotors are dimpled and groved which increases the brake's cooling surface area, allowing it to dump heat faster.

Now that we all know why Taurus disks tend to warp, I'm going to move this to the Common Problems forum.

-Dan
 

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I have recently put new pads and rotors on from an aftermarket shop, Not Ford OEMs. I had bought new tires although I did find a tire that was bad. I had the front End Aligned the front end still shook. (Ford 2001 SES).
I replaced the non greased tie rods and with greaseable tie rods and still no luck.
I went to Ford and pondered my Problem to Ford. I was told the Rotors are warped.
I told My Local Ford shop I have just had that done.
Ford Replied it only takes one time to warp them or maybe the were warped before you put them on.
I bought Ford OEMs rotors and my shake is completely gone.
 
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