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Warped brake rotors with aftermarket rims installed

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Fxyz, May 11, 2014.

  1. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    #1 Fxyz, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    Had my Model S for about 9 month (6,000 miles). Took it in for check up because of wheel vibration during braking. I was told by the technician that I may have up to 4 warped brake rotor. Because I have after market wheels, brake warranty is automatically voided. I was told it maybe caused by wheel nut under-torquing.

    I always thought brake rotor warps because of excessive heat or spraying hot brake caliper with cold water.

    Question:
    Can aftermarket wheels/wheel nut torquing cause brake rotor to warp? :confused:

    New wheel is more open and lighter compared to the original 21" turbine so excessive heat does not make sense (I have many years of experience with after market wheels; both with wheel construction and quality).

    I remember braking the car hard one time, can this single event cause the caliper to warp?
     
  2. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Sudden, hard braking can cause the ROTORS to warp, yes.
     
  3. GDH

    GDH Banned

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    I came from Volvo's, 2005 up to 2013 S60 R's with Brembo calipers and I never had a caliper warp and I tracked several of those R's. Seems odd.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Uneven torque can cause the rotors to warp (i've never heard of a caliper warping). However, it usually happens in rotors that are "lightweight" like those found in econoboxes. I wouldn't think that it would be common in the beefy rotors of the Model S.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Actual rotor "warping" is actually rather uncommon, and is generally caused by extreme overheating, e.g. seized calipers. What is more common is uneven deposit of pad material on the disk.

    Last year I had the rear rotors on my former S2000 track car "warp" due to overheating on the track. The HP+ compound wasn't hacking it. I upgraded the pads to DTC60 and still had bad vibration, but after two sessions on the track it was smooth as glass. I essentially "machined" the rotors using aggressive pads - it scrubbed off the old pad material.

    A sure recipe for uneven pad material deposits (so-called "warping") is to get the brakes really hot then sit for a while with the brakes applied.
     
  6. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    #6 Fxyz, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    I was told maybe the wheels are under torqued (not uneven torqued) and may have caused the rotor to warp. Thousands of this same type of flow-formed wheel have been sold over the years with the same torque spec without any issue so what makes model S so different/special?

     
  7. Zextraterrestrial

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    Caliper or rotor?
     
  8. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    Rotor

    Thanks for correction
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The weight and power of the car. There are few cars that can match it. Of course, it's also possible that the rotor was defective, the wheel was out of spec when made, or even that there was a misdiagnosis. Without inspection, it's just a guess as to what happened.

    The basics are:

    1) The bolts/nuts that hold the wheel on need to be sufficient for the forces they will encounter.

    2) Torque on the bolts is supposed to stretch the bolts so that they will not stretch more at the highest force (but not too much or the bolts will be weakened).

    3) The contact area of the wheel nuts needs to be large enough so that they won't pull through the wheels or deform the wheels.

    4) Torque needs to be even on all wheel nuts/bolts so that when the rotor heats up the chances of warping are reduced.
     
  10. simonog

    simonog Member

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    There is one very common cause of warped disks - if the brakes are hot and you sit with your foot on the brake pedal while the car is stationary, huge local hot spots occur under the pads and the disks (rotors to the US readers :)) will warp.

    - - - Updated - - -

    There is one very common cause of warped disks - if the brakes are hot and you sit with your foot on the brake pedal while the car is stationary, huge local hot spots occur under the pads and the disks (rotors to the US readers :)) will warp.
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    As I pointed out above, this isn't actually warpage. What's happening there is pad material gets melted onto the rotors. The vibration you get is due to the surface being rough, not due to actual warpage.
     
  12. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    A variation on the 'hot spot' is that if you live down a long incline you would typically arrive home with hot discs. These discs cool off but the area of the disc that is 'covered' by the pads is insulated by the pads so cools slower. This creates stresses in the discs in random sectors each time you drive home. With regen this may be moot, or not so moot, depending how steep or fast you arrive home:smile:.
    --
     
  13. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    I was told that TM will not replace the rotor/disk under warranty since I have after market wheels so does it mean that the disk/rotor would have not warped if I had the OEM 21" wheels?

    I was also surprised that an almost brand new (since I barely use the brake due to regen) Brembo rotor/disk would warp so easily. Should TM use slotted rotor/disk?
     
  14. Man_Utd

    Man_Utd Member

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    I have aftermarket wheels and rarely use the brakes or brake really hard. I try to use the regen as much as possible yet I have the vibration issue. I read on the forums other people having the same problem with aftermarket wheels. After I got my wheels, I got a torque wrench to verify the correct amount of torque. So I don't think it is a torque issue.

    If you ever figure out the reason, please let me know. In the mean, I just try to avoid using the brakes.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It seems odd, but I suppose it's possible if Tesla uses the wheel to stabilize the rotor (I've never heard of this being done--but what do I know? :) Does anyone have this problem with OE wheels? (I don't, but mine are 19"). The one thing that's for-sure is that if you had the OE wheels and the rotors warped, you'd be covered.
     
  16. Raven5000

    Raven5000 Member

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    #16 Raven5000, May 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2014
    This is total bull****! Ive never heard of using aftermaket wheels voiding a car warranty! Thats ridiculous! I can't wait till this happens to someone with oem wheels. Tesla has nothing but excuses! I wish I never bought my model s sometimes! Not cause the car is great but they don't take care of their customers. I can complain all i want to ownership and they do nothing!
     
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  17. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    #17 AMPd, May 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2014
    Lol
     
  18. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    I have after market wheel when the car had 200 miles so it can't be the wheel. I am thinking more along the line of hot rotor/disk when I had to brake hard once around 5,000 miles.

    I am just surprised that the Brembo rotor warps so easily; specially for such a large diameter rotor. If current Model S rotor can't dissipate heat properly maybe TM should use other brand rotor or a slatted rotor.
     
  19. roadking40

    roadking40 Member

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    I would challenge Tesla. All you need to do is refer to the Magnuson Moss Act, originally enacted in 1975. Tesla must PROVE that your aftermarket product caused the issue to void the warranty. I have had aftermarket wheels on the last 20 cars I have owned, never warped a rotor. BTW - I have the same issue, 9k miles, just waiting to take my car in for the 1 year service.
     
  20. Fxyz

    Fxyz Member

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    If your aftermarket wheel is well balanced you should not have any problem.

    Also check the backpad and make sure it sit flush against the rotor (If there is a rotor retaining pin/bolt/clip, make sure it is not interfering with your wheel).
     

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