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Old 03-31-2017, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brakes on an Audi, and why fanboys cant use common sense

i thought you guys might enjoys this

so, i recently took my car in for its 25k-ish service, and i got told the squeak from my brakes is because the front pads are pretty worn. not the the sensor that will trigger a dash light, but not far off either

and brakes being wear items arent covered under warranty, even though the car is a 2015 with 22k miles on it

anyways, they tell me its going to cost me a grand to do the front brakes.. "because we have to replace the rotors as well as the pads"
wait, what?
"why cant you just re-surface the rotors?" i ask
their response is, "because the rotors of made of a material that cant be turned"
so now my BS detector is flashing..

i tell the guy i'll have to figure something else out, because i cant afford that right now
first place i can think to post is on the audi subreddit. there's occasionally some very knowledgeable people there, i outline the situation and ask if that sounds as stupid to anyone else as it does to me

first reply is, "dealers don't turn rotors, they just replace them with the pads"

i call audi north america, and they confirm that rotors and pads are replaced as a set by policy

im still left scratching my head because this makes no sense to me. if the rotors are disposable why bother making them out of steel then.. and why make them for $200 each?

then mr fanboy chimes in on reddit
"You should never turn rotors. Removing material from the rotor will make the rotor more likely to warp around the cooling fins when the rotor is subjected to rapid temperature change (hitting water after being used). It might be fine on a Toyota Corolla that is never driven over 70, but DEFINITELY not on a performance car like an S4."

so here's my response
"clearly, yours and mines understanding of the durability of steel has some fundamental differences..
rotors are supposed to be the durable part, whereas the pad is what's worn away and replaced over time.. cleary audi now feels that rotors are disposable as well.
i mean if you're going to use a system where both components are considered disposable wear items, why not use a different system altogether (like aircraft brakes, multiple carbon rotors with stationary steel parts that are squeezed together in a stack) or even better, a system that lasts longer than 22 thousand miles of city driving..."


and then he comes back with
"Both are and have always been a wear item. Yes, pads wear faster. But rotors have to be replaced too. Yes, 22k miles is a poor lifespan. I can't speak to why they wore out faster than they should for you. It's a bad idea to turn rotors, especially in a high end, high performance vehicle.
If you don't believe me, ask someone who works with brakes for a living. You won't find a single car chief or engineer telling you to surface rotors."


by this point, i have done my research, in europe, they resurface rotors if they aren't warped and it won't take them below their minimum wear limit. and on several of the audi specific forums when the topic of brake job prices from dealerships, the answer is always the same "that price is ridiculous take it to an independent shop"
so i did, they took my tires off, looked at the rotors with much scrutiny, said "the rotors are in great shape, flat, and with barely a lip on the edge

i also looked up minimum rotor widths and found out they have 2mm of wear allowed. so, if they were REQUIRED to be replaced every time you change the pads, why would they have a minimum wear limit?

so i decided to fire back to mister fanboy
"the idea behind friction braking is that one surface ablates faster than the other, making both parts require replacement at the same time is a complete waste of money.. and engineering, why bother using steel, use iron or some other kind of cheap *** pot metal, seeing as how the rotors are apparently only supposed to last as long as the pads anyways..
just because a car is performance doesn't mean that its supposed to replace parts like that every time. that defeats the purpose of making them out of different (harder) material in the first place
they are the same kind of steel as every other metal brake rotor on the planet. including the ones that can be re surfaced (even a Camry). the only difference is the thickness of the material. and they are allowed 1 mm of wear per side ON THE ROTORS
its not an R8, its not a corvette, its not a porshe, its not a ferrari, its not a car that was designed for track only. its a car that exists as a performance oriented daily driver, it has back seats, navigation, leather seats, air conditioning, and a stereo, none of these things go into cars that race.
and lastly, in Europe, they replace the pads and resurface the rotors as long as they are within their minimum wear limit and aren't warped. and they drive on the autobahn there, and drastically higher speeds. replacing the rotors every brake job is something that is exclusive to US Audi dealers.
and at the recommendation of EVERY Audi forum, i took my car to an independent shop, its going to cost me $400 for them to do it"


this was his last response
"Go ahead and surface the rotors on your $50,000 (new) luxury sport sedan then if you're so certain that you know all about it and won't believe the recommendations of people who work in the industry. Oh, and enjoy your vibrations."

some peoples kids....
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bah, only reason to not resurface them would be if they are already at or near the min spec or some other major damage.

The reason most places won't do it anymore is simply liability.

That and not many people know how to use the equipment anymore. If they even have the equipment anymore.

I would bet that the dealer you went to doesn't have the equipment and likely doesn't have anyone who would know how to use it even if they did have it.

That and cheap parts have also negated resurfacing in most cars.
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I machine my own stuff because I understand how to bed in brake pads... Most customers do not.
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can resurface them. If you're not hitting the track Go to town. If they are true you can just pad slap it to.

They replace them because they make money on parts and the labor to install them. It's also quicker then resurfacing so less bay time = more cars processed per day. They also charge by the book not actual time. Quicker in and out the more a mechanic/dealer makes for the day. + what they make when they hit you for parts.
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cougar20th View Post
Bah, only reason to not resurface them would be if they are already at or near the min spec or some other major damage.

The reason most places won't do it anymore is simply liability.

That and not many people know how to use the equipment anymore. If they even have the equipment anymore.

I would bet that the dealer you went to doesn't have the equipment and likely doesn't have anyone who would know how to use it even if they did have it.

That and cheap parts have also negated resurfacing in most cars.
pretty sure that's hitting all the nails on the head about whats up

i just couldn't believe how adamant that guy was about replacing the rotors

"ask any engineer or car chief"

seriously? one of those groups pursues perfection of a system, so of course they will recommend new rotors every time, and the other group has an almost unlimited budget for racing, where anything can go wrong at a moments notice, and variables are bad..

that's like saying "ask a software engineer if you should repair windows, or install linux"

i almost wanna reply with "i will, thanks" but he strikes me as the type that just HAS to have the last word. so ill let him.. at least then i don't have to keep reading his stupidity
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that Europeans have different requirements as far as NVH qualities go compared to North America... some noise is considered normal over there, whereas here it's cause for alarm. Machined rotors don't always have the best finish, depending on the operator, so they can be a little noisy (IE: squeals, grinding, etc).

I would agree that machining makes sense... but for a lot of cars it's more cost effective to replace than machine, and definitely less time consuming.

What was the cost to machine the rotors? I think a normal charge around here would an hour of billed time at the door rate, so $100-120 depending on the shop.

As for making money - of course, mechanics and shop owners want to make money, they need to pay bills like everyone else. The door rate is not what goes into pocket, it's what pays for shop maintenance, updates, repairs, etc.
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And God turned to Gabriel and said: “I shall create a land called Canada of outstanding natural beauty, with majestic mountains soaring with eagles, sparkling lakes abundant with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, and rivers stocked with salmon. I shall make the land rich in oil so the inhabitants prosper and call them Canadians, and they shall be praised as the friendliest of all people.”

“But Lord,” asked Gabriel, “Is this not too generous to these Canadians?”

And God replied, “Just wait and see the neighbors I shall inflict upon them.”

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Old 03-31-2017, 09:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well the dealer originally quoted me $1155 to do just the fronts, after the 15% off coupon he so graciously applied it got it down to $1033

i know its about $600 in parts if i bought OEM at price

i don't mind replacing the rotors every other time. but canning $400 worth of rotors every brake change is completely insane..

the local shop im taking it to (old friend of my wife's, been running his brake shop for about 20 years now) quoted me $400, and that includes resurfacing the rotors there's about .01' worth of lip on the edge, and putting on the best pads he can order me

still high for a brake job, but a lot more tolerable than over a grand
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know much about brakes, but my guess is the average Audi owner nods "OK" and writes the check
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I don't know much about brakes, but my guess is the average Audi owner nods "OK" and writes the check
Most people probably do. It's a byproduct of our disposable society and lack of knowledge.

For the mechanic working on flat rate job system it is much much faster to slap new rotors on then resurface the old ones.
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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vw does the same thing took the jetta to midas after he 600 dollar quote cuz vw cant turn vw rotors... Midas turned them as there is a factory min spec on the vw rotors in thier books.

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