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Grooves etched into rotor, why and what to do?

jesusbowls

Member
Dec 11, 2019
59
9
Albany, NY
2020 Model 3 Performance, 14,800 miles, Noticed this troubling etching on my front right rotor. The brakes have felt fine while driving.

imgur.com

I'm going to schedule an appointment with the local service center, but any idea what is happening here?
 

Sam1

Member
Sep 11, 2019
954
866
NV
Looks like you got something between the pads and Rotors.... either that or that's your warning track.... LOL

I'm super interested at this point... really not sure how it would be possible to get something in between the pads and rotor that would be capable of that kind of damage unless the pad itself has broken off.
 

AGARubberDuck

Member
Nov 19, 2019
59
66
MN
We had a CPO Chevy Bolt with all 4 rotors that looked like this. Dealership is calling it "lot rot." Apparently if the brakes aren't used for a very long time, the rotor rust gets bad enough that it will actually eat groves into the pads. Then, where the pad is making decent contact the rotor looks fine. Where the pad has been chewed out, you get these gnarly grooves.

Could be a service adviser talking out of their @$$, but made sense for a vehicle that rarely uses brakes. Brakes replaced prior to purchase in this case.
 

Ludalicious

Active Member
Feb 22, 2018
1,105
1,194
Vancouver
I'm super interested at this point... really not sure how it would be possible to get something in between the pads and rotor that would be capable of that kind of damage unless the pad itself has broken off.

You do realize that the pads are not in contact with the rotor 100% of the time. Maybe there was something that got between them in the assembly process. As mentioned maybe the calipers were sticking and burned into the warning tracks.
 

flyingowl

Member
Sep 25, 2019
321
371
NY
Ok I don't remember where I saw this but one guy had same issue with his Model 3 rotors. Comes to find out there is some kind of plate either next to a brakes or behind a brakes came lose and damages his rotors. Schedule a service asap and something is lose that causing this damage. I tried to find a forum where I saw this, but couldn't. I'll keep searching....
 

Sam1

Member
Sep 11, 2019
954
866
NV
You do realize that the pads are not in contact with the rotor 100% of the time. Maybe there was something that got between them in the assembly process. As mentioned maybe the calipers were sticking and burned into the warning tracks.

Yes obviously I understand that, but The pads are pretty much in light contact with the rotor all the time. If you look at that rotor that is not like a little surface scratched it looks like it’s actually cut deep into the rotor. For something that size to get in between the rotor and the pad would be pretty much impossible unless the pad itself has disintegrated in some manner.
 

jesusbowls

Member
Dec 11, 2019
59
9
Albany, NY
Ok I don't remember where I saw this but one guy had same issue with his Model 3 rotors. Comes to find out there is some kind of plate either next to a brakes or behind a brakes came lose and damages his rotors. Schedule a service asap and something is lose that causing this damage. I tried to find a forum where I saw this, but couldn't. I'll keep searching....

Service is scheduled for next Thursday.
 
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Sisko99

Member
Oct 5, 2020
100
41
North Carolina
A long time ago (on an ICE car) I had a set of pads where the pad material was riveted in place. When I wore the pads enough, the rivets started cutting grooves into rotors.

But it definitely could be something stuck between the pad and rotor.
 

karbomusic

Member
Aug 23, 2020
110
90
Charlotte NC,
My 2012 BMW had 1200 miles on it when the two front rotors developed similar grooves but only one on each rotor. They replaced the rotors and pads under warranty. My guess is it was the pads themselves, something wrong or embedded that happened in manufacturing, which cut into the rotors. They certainly weren't worn, they were brand new and the car hadn't been there that long when I purchased it.

After they replaced them, I put 45k more miles on it and the rotors were still in great condition.
 

Ludalicious

Active Member
Feb 22, 2018
1,105
1,194
Vancouver
Yes obviously I understand that, but The pads are pretty much in light contact with the rotor all the time. If you look at that rotor that is not like a little surface scratched it looks like it’s actually cut deep into the rotor. For something that size to get in between the rotor and the pad would be pretty much impossible unless the pad itself has disintegrated in some manner.

Calipers are not exactly installed fully extended. Lots of room to have something between a fully retracted caliper with pad and rotor. I am sure they also wouldn't be the first factory in history to install pads backwards either if that was the case... LOL You never know
 
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P3dStealth

Member
Nov 12, 2019
918
991
USA
Is that actually a groove or just streaks?

I'd guess a pebble got stuck in your caliper.
Your caliper has a stuck piston.
Your wheel is not mounted flush or tight enough.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,019
4,630
MA, NH
SC won’t warranty it. Use your brakes more. Don’t let the car sit if it gets wet driving or after washing. Model 3 Perf are more prone to it because the brakes are huge for “normal” use so they are less prone to burn off moisture from light use (one pedal driving). You get heavy duty brakes you need more heavy duty use to keep them in shape.

I highly doubt there is/was a pebble in there, which wouldn’t be covered either.

That groove happened gradually. If a pebble got stuck in there to make that groove you’d know in an instant.

There are other threads about this.
 

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