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Rust Spots on Brake Disks

03/11/2015 7:45 PM

I have a vehicle that has disk brakes. I "store" it for several months at a time in a regular garage. During that time the brake disks develop rust/corrosion spots under the pads. So when I take the vehicle out of storage, and apply the brakes, I get a nice thumping when the pads hit that spot of rust. It does not go away after a lot of use. So I'm thinking of having the disks turned (if they are within spec) to remove the spots, or get new disks. So what can I do to prevent the corrosion when I store this vehicle? Is there something I can spray on and then take off later? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

OK I know someone will ask...

2003 Toyota Highlander, 240,000 miles.

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#1

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 8:38 PM

If after you've operated it for a few tens of miles with brake usage, if you pull the wheel off, do you see the rust spot still? Not just a stain, but a rough area. Is salt an issue where you drive?

This sounds to me like a warped rotor.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 9:51 PM

It's still there are many miles of use and yes we have salt here but not in the Summer when it's being stored!

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#31
In reply to #4

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/13/2015 9:12 AM

But there *IS* salt during the winter when you drive the car, correct?

I'm not an automotive guru, but I would recommend power-washing the wheel wells to remove last winter's salt residue before storing the car this summer.

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#43
In reply to #31

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/13/2015 4:31 PM

II don't think it will solve the problem, but definitely a good idea for the "salt" states. Need to get to the real wheel well hidden by plastic, all nooks & crannies, and of course the under caraige. Just make sure your car hasn't been Schwab'd though, or damaged original paint, unless you want to strip any loose paint.

But I'm with "spades"(↓ below) regarding the issue. The pads are definitely a giant part of the problem as the rotor damage is only occurring under them. Whether it's metallic pads or salt being embedded in the pad material, or both, I don't know. Or it could be a combo of that + moisture being trapped in the material over the season.

Still, if was me, I'd block the car, and if design allows, just pull one bolt out of each caliper and flip them up. That guarantees that the problem won't occur and is pretty easy. If you want to be extra careful slide the rotors off and bag em with indicating silica gel. If both bolts need removing so be it. It may be a minimal difference for others, but with my back doing this instead of bagging all 4 corners would make a huge difference. But I'd still investigate the pad material on the other stored vehicle and consider a change.

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#50
In reply to #43

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/13/2015 6:50 PM

Nice idea, worth checking out!

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#2

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 8:43 PM

There's not a lot you can do other than pull the pads out and coat the rotors with some grease, but then you'll have to thoroughly clean the grease off the rotors and reassemble the pads and calibers. Hope no one steps on the brake peddle in the mean time while it's stored. The only other option is to drive it and not let it sit for any amount of time. But with 240k on an 03 sounds like it on the road more than it sits.

Being your in Maine, winter driving on salted roads, it's going to be an on going battle for you

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#3

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 9:47 PM

The very stupid answer would of course be to oil the disks to prevent rusting.

What about a water tight sealer that should be very easy to break off with the first application, the cheapest hair spray you can find at your local dollar store. That foot long can in pink should be able to cover all four discs. Then again you might end up just igniting this thin lacquer (or whatever it is) the first time you break and be in a suddenly worst case scenario.

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 10:00 PM

I'm thinking of spraying the rotors with WD40 and then cleaning with Brake Cleaner when I take it out. Of course then there's the idea of jacking all 4 wheels off the ground and making a device that will slowly rotate the wheels all Summer long!

By-the-way, it's not driven much at all anymore. It's my Winter beater and get's maybe a few thousand miles per year. All those miles were put on commuting before I retired and bought a Prius.

It's interesting to me that my Wife's Jeep Liberty sits for weeks at a time without being moved, as does my GMC truck, and the problem does not appear with them and it's not a problem with the Prius that sits in the same garage all Winter while I use the Highlander. I'll see if I can find a Highlander forum and ask if anyone else has this issue.

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#16
In reply to #7

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/12/2015 8:56 AM

Really!

If you are going through the trouble of oiling and cleaning the disks (dangerous!) you might as well just put the vehicle up on blocks, pull off the disks, and store them inside.

Or just run the vehicle periodically to keep things fresh.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/12/2015 10:18 AM

I agree. I think just taking the car for a drive for a mile or two every couple weeks would be the best idea. I'd do it on dry summer days. It not only keeps rust from forming on the brake disks, but it also keeps oil circulated in the engine, charges the battery, keeps the tires from getting flat spots, and helps maintain the A/C (if it has one), power steering, etc.

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#5

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 9:58 PM

WD 40?

Living in AZ I don't have the problem.

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#6

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 9:59 PM

I wish there was an easy fix, I live on the beach and one of my vehicles sits for long periods and I have the same problem....I have found a method that works for me....first I drive the vehicle around the parking area a few times lightly applying the brakes, then I rinse them off....then I go out on the road and perform the light application of brakes from a higher speed, not to a stop just to about 20 mph, so from 50 to 20 and back again several times....then rinse them off....then more pressure from 50 mph to 0 several times.....this seems to work pretty good...but to get them rather smooth takes a couple of days driving around....The worst thing to do is nose dive stops right off, that seems to make it worse....

ps: a deserted road works best....lol

pps; also if you have a garage to work in and are so inclined, you can pull off the wheels and sand the rotors with a disc sander, they show this on youtube....but I never tried it....

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#8

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 10:11 PM

Just a thought: zinc. I'm wondering, if you were to attach a zinc disk to each of the pads would the zinc act as a sacrificial metal in the galvanic reaction that causes rust? Would the zinc disintegrate, leaving the iron rust-free?

Someone with better practical knowledge can maybe add their thoughts.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 10:14 PM

I thought sacrificial metals only worked with electrolysis decay, not simple oxidation.

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#32
In reply to #9

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/13/2015 9:26 AM

That was my thought too, you normally see 'sacrificial anodes' on submerged metal in salt water, so that the natural action of the electrolyte is turned to slowly 'electroplate' the vulnerable metal with the sacrificial anode. Then the anode gets replaced before it 'rots away' too far to sustain the reaction, so the vulnerable metal is constantly reinforced instead of attacked.

Out of water, vulnerable metals in structures tend to be protected by painting, painting, painting, and MORE painting, so the metal is isolated from oxidizers. Smaller metal items, such as tools, or machinery, usually get a coating of oil or grease (which is just 'thick oil') to provide the 'oxygen barrier.

Brakes don't work so well when they're lubricated (for obvious reasons), so the best solution for preventing rust by the brake pads would be to clean the heck out of the area, to remove as much salt as possible, or removing the salt-contaminated brake pads and storing them separately from the rest of the brake mechanisms.

If you remove the brake pads, I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND a large sign plastered across the front windscreen to remind anyone who gets in that BRAKE PADS ARE MISSING!

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#60
In reply to #8

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/20/2015 9:00 AM

You should try the anode, but I would choose a removalbe magnesium rod, electrically bonded to the rotor (you decide the best way to make the electrical connection. This will shift the electric potential of the steel to a point where the steel's anodic reaction is impossible. I think you could also try a vapor phase corrosion inhibitor as in Cortec see link: www.cortecvci.com/index2.php this is not supposed to be a commercial, just an example of what is out there. Remove tires, bag the wheels with these little flat sheets of VPCI inside, and tie them shut. You would probably also have to exchange them several times each season, since the bag seal is not going to be perfect. Another option is heat (probably too expensive), and/or dessicant and bag the wheels. I suspect your storage area is musty and damp in Maine, and the road salt is not helping matters one iota.

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#10

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/11/2015 10:16 PM

Try this, Before you store the vehicle drive for a mile or two with light pedal pressure to generate heat in the rotors and pads to "dry" all the liquids from them, then if you want an added protection layer you can buy desiccant sheets and insert them between the rotor and pads, just remember to remove them before driving and pump the pedal back up before moving the vehicle.

Hope this helps.

P.S. i used to live in Buffalo, NY so I know what you are going through.

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#11

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/12/2015 12:03 AM

Driving it only in the winter is crux of the problem. You have the winter road salt glazed on the rotors, you should break the glaze with 60# sand paper rinse thoroughly with non chlorinated water and dry as mentioned by driving round on dry road. Jack it up, remove the brake pads, and apply your favorite preservative. I prefer Cosmoline, great stuff, easy to put on, but ....

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#12

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/12/2015 1:07 AM

I don't thing that sanding them before storage would do anything except expose more surfaces to the corrosion. When new rotors are shipped, they would be coated with a preservative to prevent rust in transit or storage. If you were to jack up the front wheels and collapse in the brake calipers. Then spin the wheels to coat the rotors with cheap aluminum paint all around. Both sides, but not on the brake pads. Next year wash it off with a can of brake cleaner. Any traces of paint you miss will get rubbed off by the brakes. Only trick I can see is remembering that you will need to pump the brake pedal up before driving. Might be a good time to remove that nasty old brake fluid, and start winter with fresh dry fluid.

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: Rust spots on brake disks.

03/13/2015 5:21 AM

I love your method. GA.

But I would just spray the disks with WD-40 after lifting the pads off.

Even if just salty. We cleaned our Helis from salt in the RN with WD-40 50 years ago. Great stuff.

Also I would place a notice on the steering wheel to say something like:-

"DO NOT DRIVE. DISKS ARE OILED TO PREVENT RUST. CLEAN FIRST!"

Then using denatured spirits, to clean them off before usage.....any minute residue of either will get burnt off immediately....

"AFTER CLEANING OF THE DISKS, START ENGINE AND PUMP BRAKE PEDAL TILL FULL PRESSURE BUILT UP BEFORE DRIVING OFF AGAIN!"

To get the pads in contact with the disks again.....

He may not be around the next time it is driven.....

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#13

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 7:46 AM

What I have done with success on a modified '68 'stang is to jack each wheel off the ground and encase as much of the wheel in a large plastic trash bag, throw in some desi-packs, then tape it off as best I can. It's not airtight, but I've never had a problem with rusty rotors.

Before I found this trick, I used to just bite the bullet and pull the rotors and drums off for the winter and store them indoors.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 8:49 AM

I like this idea of the plastic bags and desi-packs! Easy to do, and gives me an excuse to buy some new jack stands!

I'm avoiding crawling around and doing a lot of mechanical stuff just because of my age and arthritic back.

Getting the car jacked up and wheels off is pretty easy with air tools.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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#18
In reply to #14

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 10:57 AM

When I lived in the Snow Belt of the Great Lake Region, I had two cars as well... a POS for Winter and a nice one I took out after the first few big rains of spring. My storage prep was pretty intensive, but in regards to tires and brakes, I'd block the car; remove, wrap, and store the tires (with rims) flat, and I'd wrap each rotor (after cleaning) with a product akin to http://www.uline.com/Grp_92/Mini-Stretch-Wrap-Rolls and tossed a couple desiccant packs inside. Never had any issues.

Note - I never coated/treated the rotors... risk vs. benefit wasn't worth it, IMO ;-)

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 12:37 PM

Once the bag is on you can drop the car, but getting/keeping the wheel off the floor will prevent flat spots on the tires.

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#20
In reply to #14

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 10:41 PM

You might have a good excuse to buy one of the scissor lifts to lift it off the floor instead of a set of jack-stand. Obviously a lot safer then jack-stands and easier to work on. We use to use them at the race track, they were stored in the trailer under the car until we needed it. It could come in handy for other projects as well. We get good at excuses to get new tools past the wife for our benefit every time I think about the times we did not have it and had to do it the hard way with a jack.

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#15

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 8:52 AM

Mine do that overnight. First several stops sound terrible. I don't think there is a remedy to this situation.

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#26
In reply to #15

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 3:45 AM

That sounds like garden variety surface rust on the entire disc or surface of the pad which is remedied by the friction/wiping action of the pad as well the heat build up during the first few stops. Different pads would likely get rid of the nasty squeal. What type of pads are you using?

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 8:34 AM

I am not sure what kind of pads mine are. Probably the cheapest I could find.

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#21

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 10:45 PM

There are corrosion preventatives which you can spray onto the disc before storage . CRC makes a rust preventative which you can apply directly , so does LPS . The LPS is a little more expensive , but you can vary the grade ( the viscosity ) according to how well you want the disc coated . I suggest LPS III , it is thick , and will coat . What you put on your calipers and brake assemblies can cause a deterioration of the ceramic/epoxy material that comprises the pad , and cause it to break down . For instance , ordinary penetrating oil can work it's way into the actual composition of the brake pad material , and when you apply brakes , you discover that the pad material has deteriorated and breaks apart . You don't want oil to penetrate a disc brake pad , they are supposed to be dry . There is another product called " Naval Jelly " , which is often a jelly like purple gooey Vaseline type stuff , which you apply directly onto a rusty disc and allow it to dissolve surface rust . It works on exposed flywheels as well. A minute or two coated with Naval Jelly , then wipe it down , and the surface rust should come clean . Of course , brakes only work because there is friction between the actual disc and the brake pad , so with any petroleum distillate applied anywhere near your disc brake surfaces , you must expect that while it is on there , application of brakes will not cause the vehicle to stop , because you have lubricated the spot which grips . Therefore , this technique is for storage , and you must remember that , and clean the disc before driving . Methanol is the recommended cleaning agent for both discs and drum brakes , for one reason because it is alcohol based , and will not only wash surfaces , but tends to evaporate afterwards , and not leave trace oil between the surfaces , between the brake pads and the contact surfaces . Trace oil caught here will cause brakes to not be able to stop your car or truck , and you can get into trouble , so clean the preventative off with alcohol or methanol , and a shot of compressed air doesn't hurt either , this will blow out any deposits and dirt . Don't forget that those pads and brake drum liners are made from asbestos , and an application of compressor air will blow asbestos dust all over your shop and in your face , and you can get lung cancer from that stuff , so if you blow out brake drums , do it outside , and stand clear of the cloud of dust that blows out of a brake drum , there will be lots of material , don't breath it . Cheers .

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#22

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/12/2015 10:49 PM

If it is only occurring at the pad location, I'm wondering if it is a galvanic reaction between the pads and the rotors.

Maybe a non metallic - organic or copperless ceramic pad - is the answer.

The fact that it is not occurring on other similarly stored vehicles or on other parts of the rotors tends to rule out prevailing atmospheric conditions as a root cause, although it could contribute to a problem if the pads are reacting with the rotors.

If you want to test this theory, park the car up with a slip of insulating material between the pads and rotors and see what happens.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 12:11 AM

I'd take a look at the pads as well. Although if you only get a bumpy pedal and no stopping issues then anything that may be happening to the pads isn't causing any effect. You could also just "crow bar" the fronts (like you would before a brake job), but that still leaves the backs to deal with. If you're turning or replacing the rotors I'd be weary of a test, unless you put time limit on it so you don't end up doing the same next year. I'm assuming you didn't mean a full season test spades, but just wanted to be sure.

Honestly though, if rust is only occurring under the pads and you're gonna block it (I would) I wouldn't go through the trouble of bagging stuff on the car. Don't know about your back, but mine would grateful for a "half a brake job" instead of bagging/wrapping. You mention air tools, so it would literally only take a couple minutes for all 4 wheels, if that. Just crow bar the fronts, take a caliper bolt out on all 4 corners, and swing the calipers up, again, just like a brake job except for those dang self adjusting rears for the e-brake. Just keep it locked so anyone that doesn't know what's going on (grandkids) don't jump in and jam the brake pedal or pull the e brake.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 12:39 AM

Although some disc calipers are fixed, most are floating, so pushing one side in puts clearance on both sides, but it would still be relatively easy to get a slip of insulation in with the fixed type. A bit of tape or a magnet will then hold the insulation slip in place.

The test could be carried out on one wheel only and would have to go for as long as it took for rust to appear on one of the discs that hasn't been insulated.

If the test proves the pads to be the problem, then replace the pads with non-metallics and it won't need to be done next year.

If the rust is only occurring under the pads, I fail to see how wrapping the wheel etc will achieve anything.

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#25

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 2:22 AM

The next time you replace the rotors look for the stainless steel models, until then I would certainly put the truck on jack stands to protect the tires and by prying the pistons in on the calipers you would allow sufficient air circulation to prevent moisture being trapped between the pads and rotors.

I would stay away from any grease or oil on the breaking surfaces, just isn't worth the risk of affecting breaking.

Usually with a warped rotor you will feel the brake pedal move up and down while applying force to the pedal. If you notice this then the rust probably isn't you problem. Where I currently live any vehicle with disk brakes that sits for very long has rust completely cover the rotors except where the pads are in contact but this causes no problems which-soever so I tend to believe your thumping is from the tires setting for so long with the weight of the truck all summer when its warm and the rubber is more ply-able then during the winter you may not generate enough heat in the tires to remove the flat spots especially if they are bias belts.

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#59
In reply to #25

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/16/2015 10:23 PM

That's the first thing I looked at, stainless steel, but at $1000 per corner forget that...

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#28

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 8:12 AM

Rust is a result of condensation, so you could try to stop the condensation by placing small incandescent bulbs under each rotor. A timer could be used during the hours of the day when the temperature and humidity climbs and the rotors act as condensers.

I try to preserve my old Chevelle by sealing the whole car in a silage bag with blankets, desiccant bags and an incandescent rope light and purging the whole silage bag with CO2 to ward off oxidation. It seems to work well.

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#29

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 8:21 AM

If your rotors are still thick enough get your rotors resurfaced by a professional shop.

Otherwise you might want to look into getting alternative rotors that will not rust.

I do not advise messing with one of your vehicles critical operating systems.

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#33

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 9:56 AM

Has anyone thought about the pad being a metallic compound? Why not change to a ceramic compound that should eliminate the problem. I had the same problem with my MarkIIV Lincoln when it set for some time between driving it, it would get rusty and sanding it did not work I had to turn the rotors to fix the issue. After turning the rotors I installed ceramic pads and the issue has not appeared for some time now, about two years since doing the switch to ceramics. The cost of the ceramic pads were a little more expensive but worth not having the teeth chattering when the brakes are applied. And I am located in the midwest with lots of salt on the roads here in Indiana.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 11:54 AM

From the experiences I've had with my old (pre-ABS) Jeep during 'damp weather' such as the say AFTER a heavy rain, I had thought that brake pads were generally some fibrous substance, since after long exposure to high humidity the brakes became more sensitive and acted 'digital' (went from 'no braking' to 'full braking' with no transition in between, as opposed to 'analog breaking, where you hava a range of braking from none to light to heavy to full to 'locked wheels') at city traffic speeds until the brakes 'warmed up'/'dried out.' My assumption was that the brake pads had swollen with the moisture (thus the added sensitivity) and become somewhat 'tacky' (thus the no braking to full braking jump). Due to the distances I had to drive to get to the expressway ramps, the braking always returned to normal before I had to test them at highway speeds.

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#35

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 12:22 PM

I agree with Lock Duke, change to ceramic pads and change the rotors, an aftermarket supplier will recommend a rotor / pad combination. Another important step, completely wash the car the body and underside, its best to use deionized water, this is the same water that dealers use to wash autos on the car lot ( some self serve car wash places use this type of water) , then dry everything, drive the car a short distance to get the undercarriage and brakes dry too.

A little on cosmoline. When motorcycles are manufactured, the bikes painted and metallic surfaces are sprayed, this helps to prevent surface corrosion and rust from forming on the surfaces, when the bike is assembled at the dealer, the bike is washed prior to the bike being driven.

WD 40 , grease and oil, never apply these compounds to pads or rotors, they will absord the oils etc and make the brakes inoperative.

Contrary to popular belief, pads do not contact the rotor surface, they float slightly above the rotor.

I never heard of the " crowbar" method, when a brake job is done, a brake piston compression tool is used. Remove caliper, take an old pad, place this between the compression tool and brake piston, open bleeder valve slightly, tighten knob on tool, piston will retract, brake fluid will drain from bleeder valve, close bleeder valve, remove tool, install new pad, slide and position caliper over rotor. Using a crowbar can cause damage to piston seal and may cause piston to jam in brake cylinder bore. A gentleman I know who has a master in automotive technology and raced NASCAR for 30 years taught me the correct method.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 2:25 PM

You've missed a lot in your life, as you don't appear from your statements to have ever used WD-40, or even to know the way it works either.

I have been using it for around 50 years!!!

If you want to know more, I can improve your knowledge dramatically!!

Furthermore the "crowbar" method is probably used when replacing pads by (guessing) at least 50% of the people doing the job. I don't know another method!!! Am I ignorant? Any method, and any tool that pushes the pads back forcefully, can be called the crowbar method.....just in case you want to tell us that you use the "big screwdriver" method.....

As many know here, I actually am always willing to learn something new, so please do tell us, how do you replace disk pads? How do you move the piston(s) back?

My impression is that you have probably never done the job, maybe just seen it done.....once?

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 2:32 PM

Jimmy: Hey Ralph do you know how to do a disc brake job?

Ralph: No, I just let my mechanic do it. Brakes are just too important.

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#40
In reply to #37

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 3:36 PM

Seems as if you've ruffled Andy's feathers.

Let me just cancel that OT vote for you.

.

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There. I just transferred it over to Andy.

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 2:36 PM

Andy,

You are a rude, arrogant bully.

Only a complete idiot would compress a disc brake piston with a crowbar!!!!!!!!

You use a c-clamp or a disc brake compression tool for this job.

Have a big glass of WD-40 and give it a rest!

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#41
In reply to #38

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 3:47 PM

It depends on your viewpoint, if you KNOW how to do a job properly with another tool that you have and how NOT to damage any parts when using it, then that is what a good DIYer does.

He is so clever and adaptable, he does not need to buy each and every tool made.

BUT, and here you are fully correct, if you are NOT a clever DIYer, then its better to give out a shed load of money and buy everything on offer.

Only the really skillful home mechanic can do a good, safe job using other tools.

Answer me some questions:-

1) HAVE YOU EVEN WORKED ON A CAR AND USED THE "WRONG TOOL" TO DO A JOB ON THAT CAR, EVER?

2) DID IT WORK FOR YOU AS YOU WISHED (MAYBE NOT EVERY TIME), BUT LET US SAY 50% OR BETTER?

I am really interested in your answers to my questions, but as usual, I bet you will find a way to NOT answer them!!!

I am waiting!!!!!

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 4:10 PM

I use a C-clamp to compress caliper pistons.

Now, go take a nap. I have no desire to argue with an old fool.

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 5:05 PM

No issue with using a crowbar. I've done it probably 90% of the time, my dad it for ~20 years working in a garage. Only to provide a little wiggle room at the beginning of the job though. Makes it much easier to get past the lip on the rotors. I don't bother turning the rotors unless I have the shaky brake pedal, but do mic them in a couple spots to make sure they're within spec. Be sure to seat the pads correctly and you're good to go. Then comes the C-clamp, which is the correct tool for nearly every front brake job.

In my experience you'd be prying for quite awhile trying to compress the piston enough for new pads to fit, and they still wouldn't. You'd be prying FOREVER on the back discs though :D

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#47
In reply to #44

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 5:32 PM

I never turn rotors either, when I do my own brake jobs. Just did my fronts on the pickup the other day.

Never had enough of a lip to resort to a crowbar though.

Andy's got enough lip for two crowbars.

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#51
In reply to #44

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 6:56 PM

Good post, I bet most DIYers do exactly the same....why buy tools you will never need?

I clean the pistons carefully with brake fluid, which lubricates them well and removes any crud, they then slip back really easily.

Sometimes there is a rubber bellows that needs to be pushed gently aside to allow better access to the sides of the piston, depends upon the model....

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#49
In reply to #42

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 6:48 PM

You wrote:-

Now, go take a nap. I have no desire to argue with an old fool.

Warning to you, avoid looking in all mirrors!!!!

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#46
In reply to #35

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 5:26 PM

Crow bar is just an added tool, used while everything is still assembled. Only used with single piston calipers and pressure is applied to the disk opposite the piston. Just provides a bit a clearance to make things come apart more easily, not to compress the piston fully, and certainly not used to apply direct pressure on a poison.

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#39

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 3:33 PM

Stainless steel rotors?

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#45

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 5:24 PM

Thankyou Lyn for sticking up for me.

I would be more than happy to answer Andy's questions. First let me say that although I took 2 years of German in highschool, I have forgot most of it, so I will have to respond in English. From what I remember about German education is that the Germans are generally very precise in engineering and language, for example: we call it a submarine and they call it an unterwasser boot which makes more sense than calling beer an amber colered liquid that makes you fall off the stool if you drink to much, so crowbar might be the English translation for a more precise German word.

Here in the states, the wd40 cans have two words on them, rust preventive & penetrant, but nowhere on the can do I see the words " spray on brake pads". Its possible that on German cans of wd40 it says its OK, but not on ours. Fifty Years ago people may have used crowbars on brakes, but I live in the modern world and we use the correct tool for the job. So, it would be fair to say that although 50% of the people use a crowbar, then the other 50% use a brake piston compression tool. Kinda balances things out.

Have I ever done a brake job, ya, once or twice. The tool I use is made by OEM # 25265, it doesn't really look like a crowbar but I suppose you could use it for one.

I hope that answers most of your questions, if I missed any, feel free to shoot me a message/ Tony

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#52
In reply to #45

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 7:12 PM

More proof that you read with very little comprehension.

Please mention the post where I say spray WD-40 onto brake pads! Simple job!

This is actually a simple FURTHER figment of your imagination, as are most of your posts.

COME ON, PROVE ME WRONG!!!!

I did say spray it on the disks with the pads lifted.....

I was agreeing with #12, in my post of #27.....

All simple English......but nothing like what you misunderstood!!!

COME ON DON'T WANDER OFF, PROVE ME WRONG!!! At least try!!

But you are just like Lynette, long on bigmoutH, short on brain cells and comprehension.

FISH IN A BARREL AGAIN!!!

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#48

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/13/2015 5:38 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions - and yet another interesting thread! I'm gone from this one.

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#55
In reply to #48

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/15/2015 1:09 AM

BS! You started this crap, be man enough stick it out till the end.

You need stainless steel rotors, carbon ceramic pads, nitrogen sealed front end, heated garage and who knows what else. Try this on for size.

SEND IT SOUTH IN THE SPRING!

Get some collage frat house to transport it to Ft. Lauderdale. I will babysit it for you, and when the snow returns, I will drive it back to you. All you need to do is provide is a pair of plane tickets, and expenses. What could go wrong?

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#61
In reply to #48

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/26/2015 12:31 PM

OK Brakes are fixed! There was NOT rust on the surface of the rotors as I thought but the inside (the vents) had rusted to the point that some were collapsing, causing "bumps/warps" in the rotors. I had them replaced with coated rotors, which hopefully will help prevent this problem in the future. Here's some pictures!

The entire rotors is dipped so the inside is coated too. The coating on the braking surface wears off. It's a world of difference now!

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/26/2015 12:42 PM

How old were the rusty rotors?

Amazing that was the problem, well done!!

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#53

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/14/2015 4:57 AM

Hello, friend.Once the disc get rusted and the surface of the disc get corroded and become uneven surface where the brake disc contact the surface. so for safety reason change the disc and get it tuned as the brake must be effective while driving.

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#54

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/14/2015 6:49 PM

The arthritic back comment shot down my best ideas.

That leaves me with either take it around the block once a month, or pay someone to do so.

The bagging comments are interesting though and might be fun. Most formulations of desiccant crystals can be renewed by heating, so not much recurring cost.

As for the comments on crowbars, my delightful German car has a pad life that roughly matches the allowed wear on the rotors.

The allowed wear leaves quite a lip on the rotor.

I keep a very large Craftsman screwdriver for the initial compression of the puck so I can get the caliper off the rotor.

Then I drop the pads and rotors and install new.

But the screwdriver showed up when giant multi-puck truck brakes first hit my driveway.

But then I'm at best a shade tree mech.

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#57
In reply to #54

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/15/2015 6:10 AM

Nice post, funny too.

GA

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#56

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/15/2015 1:38 AM

I am 66, and now retired from the automotive repair business. But before I quit, I changed brake pads almost every month for years.

Tools? I have purchased two different houses that did not cost as much as I have invested in my tool boxes. Any tool that saved time I bought. Three different design brake caliper piston compressors. The only design I use is the design that rotates the piston back in on parking brake systems. The others are just too slow. I have a favorite pry bar tat has a flat end with a bend about 2 " from the end. It works perfect for prying the outboard pad away from the outermost part of the caliper housing. Hose over the open bleeder valve, and push that piston all the way home. Not enough travel, no problem, I have a small piece of HDPE that is 3/8" thick. Push the caliper back against the outboard pad, and insert the plastic between the inner pad and rotor, and pry again between the outer pad, and the outer part of the caliper housing again. Some times there is not a large enough space in the design of the caliper-pad design for the nice big pry bar. In those cases. I use a small lady finger to get the pad far enough away to fit the big plastic handle pry bar.

Close the bleeder, remove the hose, and done. It takes longer to type it here, than to do it.

Frozen pistons, rusted hardware, corroded calipers, sure, I have found those things. We all have. But, 95% of the time, I have compressed the caliper in less time than it takes to take the wheel off.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/15/2015 6:15 AM

Bob C,

what can I say to such a perfect post from a longterm "in the business "professional.

I feel totally vindicated. (thats basically how I used to do it.

I have actually never even seen any special tools for such work as I simply did not need any....so I never looked either!!

Many thanks, you earned a GA!

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#63

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/27/2015 2:00 PM

This has been the most ridiculous bunch of Blah, Blah, Blah, because the poster didn't take time to analyze the condition of his parts before jumping to a conclusion that he had a problem that required a staff of engineers to solve. I put up with solving nonexistent problems my whole career to the point I don't believe anything other than the fact the person has a problem. So many times they are their biggest problem because its so much easier to yell help than to do a little analyzing themselves. The same way many of you point out to others how easy it is to google something before requesting others invest their time to do things for them.

Ya,ll have a nice day,

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/27/2015 2:18 PM

Well I did do the analysis...it just wasn't as timely as you would have liked and now the problem is solved. You have a nice day too.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/28/2015 12:27 AM

Sorry Tom he must have had a bad Friday. I was having one of those until I realized that I finally got everything done. Now all I have to do is give my daughter away at 4:30 tomorrow evening. Then my week is done and she is his problem unless she learned a few things before she leaves the nest tomorrow evening. Then maybe he wins one for us men. She does like to work though, that is a good point Hmmmmm.

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#70
In reply to #63

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

04/01/2015 1:05 AM

When it comes to safety I will take my punches weather due or not.

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#66

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/28/2015 9:48 AM

My apologies for being a little harsh on my last post but safety is something I take very seriously. With almost forty years of working in an industrial environment I have never had an injury more than a cut or scrape. I know people that have lost fingers on both hands and some with more than one on the same hand from different accidents. I have heard the stories of people being impinged so bad that they had to have body parts removed buy rescue teams to free them. I have not had one person working for me to ever have a serious injury and I thank the almighty and good safety practices for this.

I have spent my whole life working on automobiles as a hobby and sometimes for pay, I have built race-cars for NHRA, NASCAR, ARCA and other organizations. I take pride in proper construction and ensuring that all safety equipment is more than adequate.

In this thread when I saw what the cause of this mans issues were it shocked me that this problem had been going on for a considerable amount of time and at any moment he could have killed himself or others. Life is to short to take chances with things like this. Then to top that off the suggestions of placing lubricants on a vehicles brakes, the instructions to remove brake parts and leave them off for extended periods of time without further disabling the vehicle and placing warnings inside the car as to what has been done. Our memories don't tend to improve over time, what if he passed away and another family member needed to move or use this vehicle with no knowledge of the brakes being lubricated or parts loosened or removed?

I ques I have said too much already, but please don't mess with things that might harm yourself or others without following up with things such as lock-out tag-out.

Again my apologies, next time I will try to be more suddle.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/28/2015 10:35 AM

You tend to assume an awful lot about me and my abilities. But I accept your apology.

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

03/28/2015 4:17 PM

Come on man, I don't think a single post that advocated removing or moving a part or of the way left the car in anything resembling a drivable condition. IE no wheels, on blocks, etc. If he couldn't lock the car or out a warning not to step on the brakes the worst that could happen would have pistons pushed out of calipers and one hell of a mess combined with the much more significant job of rebuilding the calipers. NOT something you miss when you go to make it drivable again.

As for the rotors, I was just as surprised as you. Never in my life have I seen vented rotors in that condition. I kinda want to see a YouTube video where those are left to rust more, put back on, then drive in parking lot until one fails. Public service announcement for "lifetime brakes" in a salty environment, and get people involved in the inspection of their own vehicles instead of failed 10 point inspections at tire shops or brushing off recommendations with thought of "they're just trying to milk me."

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Guru
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#69
In reply to #66

Re: Rust Spots on Brake Disks.

04/01/2015 12:14 AM

I can agree with you on the importance of safety in the work place. When I was a kid, working in my father's grocery store, there was a small pizza place run by a family. Mother, father, and young children. First the mother, then the older son lost fingers to an old meat chopper that lacked a safely designed feed hole in the machine. The guilt that man had to live with would be more than I could have taken.

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