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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm looking to replace the brake rotors on my 1999 taurus later this year. I have never bought new ones before, just resurfaced them when installing new brake pads/calipers years ago.

I was looking on RockAuto and there are ALOT of brands: Centric, FVP, Bendix, Wagner, Durago...

I don't need any fancy performance rotors, mostly flat/highway driving. Do you all have any good experience with any of these brands? Or any other tips when looking at rotors?

Thanks in advance
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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I had a mobile mechanic replaced my 2001 ♉ brake pads & rotors ( @ $99.95 ~ purchased from 1A Auto ) in late March this year, next day a loud " thudding/metal-on-metal " noise when brake to a complete stop. A shop 2 weeks ago inspected the brakes, finding was " warped/glazed " rotors. I now regret replaced the rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for sharing your experience...wow you paid $99 for each rotor? And they still weren't good quality? Did they use ceramic pads?

I recently did a tire rotation and they look fairly low so I was gonna replace the pads, but has anyone here resurfaced their rotors twice? They still look solid just a few scratch marks and little rust, but I figured néw would be better than resurfacing a second time. Maybe not
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience...wow you paid $99 for each rotor? And they still weren't good quality? Did they use ceramic pads?

I recently did a tire rotation and they look fairly low so I was gonna replace the pads, but has anyone here resurfaced their rotors twice? They still look solid just a few scratch marks and little rust, but I figured néw would be better than resurfacing a second time. Maybe not
Rears after one winter, rear of '03 wagon. In this rust belt that is about one winter for rears. New Raybestos from RA ~$20 per will go next week. I always use ceramic pads nothing special. Got 4 in my herd here in the rust belt to keep on the road. Wagon had new calipers, rotors and pads as well as new guide pins and boots last Fall.
-chart-
 

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2001 Taurus SE Vulcan @ 131,500
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Thanks for sharing your experience...wow you paid $99 for each rotor? And they still weren't good quality? Did they use ceramic pads?

I recently did a tire rotation and they look fairly low so I was gonna replace the pads, but has anyone here resurfaced their rotors twice? They still look solid just a few scratch marks and little rust, but I figured néw would be better than resurfacing a second time. Maybe not
No, $99.95 for the front brake kit ( semi-metallic pads plus contact point grease packets & 2 rotors ).
 

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Hard to know what brand of rotor to buy, anymore. In general, the quality and thickness have diminished to the point where they are considered "throw-aways" at each brake job. I still migrate to Wagners for no other particular reason than I've relied on them for decades. My opinion remains...buy cheap rotors/drums and expect to get what you paid for; i.e warpage and deep grooves.

As for pads, I've tried ceramic and found that they do wear well...but, they can be very hard on the rotors. I've since gone back to Wagner's semi-metallic Thermoquiets and have been very satisfied.
 

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Hard to know what brand of rotor to buy, anymore. In general, the quality and thickness have diminished to the point where they are considered "throw-aways" at each brake job.

My opinion remains...buy cheap rotors/drums and expect to get what you paid for; i.e warpage and deep grooves.
What is your " advice " for my situation ? Pay auto repair shop or auto parts store to " resurface " the new rotors ( if it makes logical sense ).

I replaced the front rotors because of one time brake " pulsation " in early 2021 and Ace Auto Repair & Tires mechanic " noted " rotor pulsation down hill on paperwork after he replaced lower-right ball joint & tie rod ( April 2021 ) and test drove the car.
 

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Last I checked with my local O'Reilly's Auto, they wanted something like $25/rotor or drum to turn them. That was 7-8 yrs ago or more. Not sure they even do it anymore. Because of our winter use of road salt, they get pretty crusty by the time a brake job is in order and that drives my decision to just replace them...regardless of light scoring. On my Sable DOHC w/280K miles, I have actually found practically new replacements at the JY for around $10. Of course, my rationale with that car is with so many miles and rust taking it's toll, I'm just looking to get by not knowing if it will last another day/week/month/year. Matter of fact, I have a like new set of drums I pulled last Fall that I painted and will be installing this week. Just changed the rear valve cover gaskets and installed a new set of plugs yesterday (talk about being optimistic that it still has some life left!).
 

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I use Wagner Rotors and use Thermoquiet pads and shoes. Never had a problem rotors warping but did have one new drum that was out of round. I buy rotors locally because shipping is ridiculous. I recently purchase Wagner rotors on Amazon Prime for my Nissan Xterra. I have an add on program that tracks price and I can see significant drops and got rotors cheap. I was able to buy a rear rotor "Used" but in original box for $5 and new is $45 to $50. You take a chance but they are free returnable. Got rear Thermoquiet shoes "used" which were never installed for $10
 

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One of the many car YouTube channels I watch mentioned that he got his drums turned the other day by either Autozone or O'Reilly (I don't remember which). IIRC it was about $30 per drum. If they do drums, I'm sure they'll still do rotors.

If the rotors on your car are either originals or a good quality aftermarket, and they have no serious issues I'd absolutely have them resurfaced......

The last rotors I fitted to my '95 Taurus were Duralast from Autozone; IIRC the middle priced set. They've been fine for about four years and 20k miles.
 

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This online reading material correlates to what Jeff @ Walnut Creek Automotive said to me 2 weeks ago and suggested I use a wide open space or take a drive on the freeway in early morning hour on weekend to " bed-in " the new rotors. My #1 problem is I use my Taurus mostly for local 2-4 mile errands ( brake more often @ low speeds ) and 1-2 occasional out of town errands a month.

* What to do after installing new rotors? How is it done?
  1. Speed up to 35 mph.
  2. Use moderate brake pressure to slow down to 5 mph.
  3. Repeat 2-3 times.
  4. Speed up to 55 mph.
  5. Use strong brake pressure to slow down to 5 mph.
  6. Repeat 4-5 times.
  7. Drive for 5-10 minutes to allow the brakes to slowly cool down.
  8. Park the vehicle and let the brakes cool for an hour.
It will take approximately 400-500 miles of moderate driving for the new brake pads to be fully embedded into the rotors which will then give optimal performance.

* Why does my car thump when I brake ?

A thumping sound while braking, usually coming from the front wheels, which do the majority of your braking — can indicate that your brake rotors have gone “out of shape.” In other words, they've become warped.
 

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Some people believe that improper torqueing of the lug nuts will warp rotors and also improper cleaning of the wheel hub also causes warping. Then I had a rotor warp on my Xterra after 14 years and 70k miles without any wheel removal or anything, just happened one day.
I just do a few quick stops to burnish the pads, nothing else.
 

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I've been doing my own brakes for decades and have never taken any steps to break in the rotors. Maybe I've just been lucky in that my daily driving habits replicated the steps recommended. I always believed that the best way to avoid warping a rotor is to avoid locking up the brakes in a panic stop. That, and avoid buying the cheap, low priced rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lots of great pointers here everyone thanks! My rotors are still original, and I believed they were turned once already (maybe about 10 years ago when car was about 10 years old with 80k miles or so). Now it has over 210k miles. The only place around me that says they'll do it is NAPA and they charge $35 each rotor! I will take them by and have them measure the thickness. If it's kinda dicey, I'll just buy some new ones on Rock Auto, not the cheapeast...probably will try the Wagner ones Automender mentioned here. I'll try those thermoquiet pads too. I've replaced pads on other cars before and used either Bosch from RA or Duralast from advance. But I've never actually bought replacement rotors before, just had resurface done. It definitely seems like not too many places want to do it anymore. I called Meinke and offered to pay for the machine work and buy pads from them but they refused to unless I allowed their mechanics to do that whole job, would be closer to $800 then!!! No way for a car this old!
 

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I called Meinke and offered to pay for the machine work and buy pads from them but they refused to unless I allowed their mechanics to do that whole job, would be closer to $800 then!!! No way for a car this old!
That's highway robbery !

Ace Auto Repair & Tire four months ago in February 2022 quoted me $659 for new rear brake shoes & wheel cylinders & RESURFACE the drums plus brake fluid change. Too much, that's how I ended up order the parts from 1A Auto and hire a mobile mechanic.
 

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UPDATE: Someone @ another fordtaurus site answered my May 24 post last night June 10

Make sure your brake mounts and brake components are securely fastened. The other thing to check -- and this might not produce a "clack" -- is the shims on the front disc brake pads. The 4th gen Taurus uses shims with its brake pads, yet another example of Ford's neglect of modern engineering that led to the disappearance of the marque, at least temporarily, in 2005.

I had a bunch of brake work done last year on my 2002. This started with a frozen caliper, another common occurrence on 4th gen Taurii. New rotors, pads, brake lines later I figured I was good for no brake work for a good long while.

But at inspection time, my regular mechanic pointed out that the shims installed with the new pads were not properly seated, a process that requires driving the car and generating some heat in the new brakes. Another mechanic's failure to do this had left the shims working their way out of position.

NOTE: This is a safety issue. A shim that escapes while you're driving can do significant damage, starting with but not limited to a blown tire. At first I told my regular mechanic it was a warranty issue and I wanted to take the car back to the brake guy for a "discussion." After some thought, I told my regular mechanic to go ahead and take care of it. I wasn't going back to the brake guy anyway; why manufacture high blood pressure with somebody I don't intend to use? (My regular mechanic straightened out the shim issue at no charge.)
 
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