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Warped Rotors Whats my options?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Blup85, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Blup85

    Blup85 Member

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    Turns out I warped my rotors ever so slightly, don't remember driving all that hard on my p85, but with the weight and build-up on the rotors from under-use, maybe thats harder on them? Anyway, Rocklin Service center took care of me (awesome service BTW, took care of a rear door handle just out of warrantly and replaced my rear drive unit without question when I complained about a little extra noise when I get on the on-ramps). I didn't see the value in spending $900 on a set of front stock rotors from Tesla when there has to be something better out there. I spent $200 a piece on Maserati cross drilled performance rotors that I beat the hell out of and I've never had a problem (much funner in the corners and mmmmm.. the sound!). So, I don't want to spend 8k on a big brake kit on a electric car that I don't drive hard (acceleration only) but am looking for something simple. Anyone have any ideas? I found a post that the fronts are 355mmx32mm, but am having a tough time finding options.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    Tesla brakes were an option on gen 5 cameros. Check NAPA or amazon. You should be able to figure it out. If youhaven't done this before, you might leave install to a pro.
     
  3. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Almost every new car I ever owned has had warped rotors within 2 years. That included Hondas, Toyotas, VWs, Acuras, and Lexus. Exceptions were: Porsche 911C4, Lexus RX400h and so far Teslas (though never reached 2 years on one yet, in May I will). A mechanic once told me it's because I don't brake much, except when driving on the highway when the brakes get nice and cold, then heat up a bunch when exiting, causing rapid temp change. Porsche brakes are legendary, so I understood no problems (and I drove that car hard, I was in my 20's). Lexus hybrid, possibly because I always tried to do most of my braking via regen. On the Tesla's I also try not to touch the brake over 15mph, so between higher quality brakes and mostly using regen, hoping to never have to deal with warped rotors.

    So my advise to you is, brake earlier using regen more. :)
     
  4. Nick B

    Nick B Member

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    I always thought the rotors could seize because they were under used so I would suggest the opposite (like OP said): use your brakes a little more frequently. I always do a few harder brakes in the first stops after leaving the house just to remove the dust and heat them up a little: they're brembos (correct me if I'm wrong?) and are made to withstand a little punishment from time to time. I ask my garagiste to have have a look a them when they rotate my wheels.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  5. tls

    tls Member

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    One major cause of warped rotors is uneven lug torque -- typically overtorquing of one or more lugs when the wheel is put on using air tools. The rotors *can* and *will* heat up and cool down without warping if everything involved is properly made and properly installed.

    Do what you can to ensure that when wheels are put on your car, tightening beyond finger tight is done with a torque wrench. Even at shops that use air tools with "torque limiter" adapters, the best technique is to use a limiter that stops the air tool well below the torque spec for your wheels, then make a final pass with a torque wrench to set it all precisely.

    Has anyone here successfully had a set of Tesla rotors turned? They look thick enough I bet it's possible, but of course they will then be thinner (though flatter) and more susceptible to warping even if not abused. Should be able to get away with it at least once, I'd think.
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. Blup85

    Blup85 Member

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    I may try and turn them once just too see if I can. 14" rotors are not that common! Even z06 rotors are 13.5"
     
    • Helpful x 1
  7. Lbkmxp100d

    Lbkmxp100d Member

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    I have often wondered why Tesla doesn't offer a carbon ceramic brake upgrade on their "P" lineup. I have them on a couple of my other vehicles and they are sooo much better than the steel brakes.
     
  8. Lbkmxp100d

    Lbkmxp100d Member

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    They have Brembo calipers not rotors. I'm curious to know if someone contacted Brembo if you could get some ceramics rotors. Anyone know if there is a CCB aftermarket option.
     
  9. Drewflux

    Drewflux Member

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    I would get the rotors on a brake lathe, I highly doubt you would have worn them to the minimum thickness. Keep in mind each cut is only taking .254mm or 10 thousandths of an inch. I suspect the rotors have a working range of 2 millimeters. Plenty of room for a quick skim to remove thae surface thickness variation that you have.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Member

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    I'm on my third set of front rotors, most recently replaced in April at 49,000 miles. I'm at 53,000 and am starting to feel the same shimmy yet again. It progressively gets worse over time.

    For the record, I have never warped disk brake rotors in all the cars that I've had since 1983. And the vast majority of Tesla owners are not experiencing this. I think it's time for me to let Tesla do a root cause analysis rather than the band-aid.

    Oh, and at the 49,000 mile service the pads (original) were 8mm, so it's not like I'm pushing the brakes hard. And this is just a 70D.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Ludicrous + you say, well I got Ludicrous -

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    #11 Tech_Guy, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Personally id guess your rotors are fine... In fact id suspect most Teslas are fine due to the lack of heavy use... What your feeling is brake judder due to a lack of proper bed-in procedure with a new car / brakes... Thats also why some people above are noting multiple replacements over time. Tesla doesn't mention anything about this in the manual so you didn't miss anything there. If you look online about how to properly bed-in your brakes you will find lots of info. Im going to copy and paste the important bits below from 2 websites on proper Bed-In Procedures.



    https://www.tirerack.com/brakes/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=85

    Brake Pad & Rotor Bed-In Procedures

    All brake pads must be bedded-in with the rotor they will be used against to maximize brake performance. The bedding-in process involves a gradual build up of heat in the rotors and pad compound. This process will lay down a thin layer of transfer film on to the rotor surface. Following the bed-in procedures provided by the manufacturer will assure a smooth, even layer of transfer film on the rotor and will minimize brake judder.


    Failure to follow these procedures may result in brake judder, excessive noise, or other difficulties in bedding-in the new brake pads. The pads need a fresh surface to lay down an even transfer film. Residue from the previous pad compound on the surface or an irregular surface on a used rotor will cause the pads to grip-slip-grip-slip as they pass over the rotor surface under pressure. The resulting vibration will cause noise and telegraph vibrations through the suspension and steering wheel. This vibration is known as brake judder or brake shimmy. This is typically caused by an uneven transfer film on the rotor surface or an uneven surface on the rotor not allowing that transfer film to develop evenly. This is often misdiagnosed as a warped rotor.


    Tesla uses brembo brakes heres the procedure to bed-in your brakes properly. Try this to fix your issue!

    BREMBO
    In a safe area, apply brakes moderately from 60mph to 30mph and then drive approximately 1/2 mile to allow the brakes to cool. Repeat this procedure approximately 30 times.





    And heres another article on the issue
    http://www.formuladynamics.com/brembobedin.php

    Brembo Bed-In Technique

    The bedding procedure is an important step with new rotors and pads.

    Correctly bedded pads form a transfer layer of material on the surface of the disc which improves overall "bite" and performance. Without proper "pre-bedding" that simulates the correct heat and torque loads seen in actual driving conditions, a pads true potential cannot be realized. This process will also ensure that the pads will produce a rotor finish with a consistent transfer layer which prevents "judder" from occurring.

    It is very important to follow proper brake bedding procedure following installation. This is necessary not only for optimum performance of the system, but also to avoid onset of judder (vibration felt through brake and steering).

    The discs are delivered with a thin zinc coating to prevent corrosion. Prior to beginning the bedding procedure, this plating must be removed from the braking surfaces by driving the car slowly (under 30mph) and performing very light brake applications in order to remove the plating without generating heat. With too much heat or pedal pressure, this plating can be deposited unevenly on the disc, and impregnated into the pad, further increasing the likelihood of judder development. Once a visual inspection of the braking surfaces confirms that the plating has been evenly removed, begin with the bedding procedure as specified below.

    Drive vehicle to a remote area and perform at least 30 brake applications of 3 second duration. Use light/ medium deceleration with varying starting speeds. Leave at least mile between each brake application. The purpose of this procedure is to gradually increase the temperature in the components without thermal shock, and to mate the brake pad and disc friction surfaces. After the repeated stops, drive the vehicle for several miles with little or no braking in order to adequately cool the components. The system is now ready for normal use

    NOTE: This entire procedure must be complete before driving the vehicle as normal. It is especially important that this process is completed before any extended same-speed driving is done (i.e. freeway travel). Failure to follow these instructions greatly increases the likelihood of judder development


     
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  12. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Interesting info. Strangely, I have has the opposite experience. In driving over 600,000 miles in decades of driving Acuras, Toyotas, Hondas, and Chevy, I have never had any rotor issues. Maybe I am just more lucky or drive differently.
     
  13. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    #13 whitex, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    It must be my driving style. Obviously most people don't experience it while it happened to me on most cars (and I used to swap cars every 2 years, usually with right after new rotors) so mine must be somehow unique. About 14 years ago my wife an I got matching cars - other than engine size (V6 and W8) they were identical - same options, same year, I bought them both new on the same day (same transaction). After about 2 years my car needed new rotors, but not my wife's. Another possibly relevant fact - while I've changed tires, done alignments and other services during my years of driving cars, I never ever had to change brake pads on ANY of my cars - ever! My wife had a Toyota Sienna AWD while I had a Lexus 400h for about 7 years. During that time I did more miles, yet the van needed new brakes while I sold the Lexus with the original brake pads (which passed state inspection too)! I kind of credited the last one to regen braking, but my driving style was probably a factor too.

    Maybe it was because at 17 years old I got myself a 2 seater sports car (Toyota MR2) - no trunk or back seat, so always kept my school books on front passenger seat. Very quickly learned that braking even a little hard results in books all over the floor, so my driving style has since been "accelerate hard, but avoid braking when possible". I can get on a highway and drive for 60 miles without touching the brake, then when exiting, even without braking hard, that is a lot of heat generated over few seconds - think about how light 60KW regen feels on a Tesla at 60mph, so typical braking getting off the highway is like putting a 200KW+ heat gun to the brakes for few seconds!
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.28 c528869

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    I put 205,000 on my CR-V and never had any rotor issues. In fact, I didn't even have the brakes serviced until 185,000 miles thanks to lots of highway driving. On my old Dodge that I had in college, the rotors were warped before 80,000 miles and needed to be replaced.

    Only 6400 miles on my Model S so far. Hopefully it will be a few years before I have to worry about the rotors.
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. HyperMiler

    HyperMiler Member

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    Warping can often be produced by a rigorous braking maneuver followed by holding the brake clamped as the car sits at a standstill, e.g coming down a hill, a ramp into a redlight or a semiurgent or emergency stop from higher speed.

    This will lead to the brake rotor (disk) unevenly cooling, which can produce very significant warping. It is easily avoided by letting the car creep just a few inches.

    It happens more often to the engaged driver, but might also be entirely a function of your commute, coming down a hill with a full battery, or down that exit ramp with the nasty redlight at the bottom.

    The entire kinetic energy of the car is loaded as heat into the disk. You are acting like a blacksmith hammering onto a hot piece of steel with your brake pads. Entirely understood that this needs to happen evenly.

    No problem, just allow for 40 inches (not much more!) of slow creep. The circumference of your wheel will be between 80 and 90, so too much may be less effective.
     
  16. tga

    tga Supporting Member

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    Old racing trick - when you get off the track, never hold the brakes, for this reason. You coast/idle to your parking spot, shut off the engine to stop the car, get out and chock the wheels, then restart the car in neutral to idle and cool if necessary.
     
  17. banterer

    banterer Member

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    I've been driving since I was 16 and am 59. I have had two sets of rotors that needed "turning" but never had ANY rotors that needed replacing due to warpage. I have owned many different cars from Chevy Malibu, Camaro, Volvo S60, Porche Cayman S, Lexus LS430 and many others and never had brake problems. My brakes seemed to last forever until this Tesla.

    I have a P85 and on my third set of rotors (I'm at about 71k miles and just got my original tires replaced in May of 2017). Do any of you with the warped rotor issues have powder coated wheels? If so, I believe I that they are coated on the area where the wheels mate with the hub. I am going to grind that off of mine but just in case have asked my service tech to see if he can get me a discount on new 19" Dark Gray Slipstream wheels.

    After my first two sets of rotors and about to get a third, I implored Tesla to give me an answer and the service center finally got word from Engineering which seems to make sense to me. I'm waiting to get the paperwork for my repair order via email but in the meantime would like to hear which of you if any, have powder-coated wheels.
     
  18. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    That amount of rotor wear is unusual. Rotors warp if not used and rusting or overheating or bad batch of cheap castings. Overheating should not be a problem because most braking is done on the Tesla via Regen. I have over 146,000 km ( 90,000 miles ) on my P85D Ludicrous with original rotors and pads. No warpage.
     
  19. banterer

    banterer Member

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    You probably do not have powder coated wheels. They are saying that because my powder coated wheels do not have bare metal exposed to the contact area of the rotors, they are not allowing the rotors to use the wheels as a heat sink, they are warping.

    I just posted this to another thread:

    I asked Tesla to give me a definitive answer or cause for this and Engineering mentioned my powder coated wheels. Does your car happen to have powder coated wheels? They believe it may be that the contact area between the wheels and the rotors does not allow heat transfer/dissipation from the rotors to the wheels and thus cuases heat build up.

    I am on my third set of rotors.

    Until I saw these posts I was certain that it was just my car because Tesla said that they had never seen this before.

    So, I have a couple of options:
    1. Take the wheels off and grind the powder coating off on the rotor contact area then put them back on and hope that this now allows the wheels to be heat sinks for the rotors.
    2. Buy a new set of 19 wheels and see what happens.
    Option 1 is the cheapest fastest and almost the least hassle since I can do it at home. If that is the problem, I'm golden and the brakes should almost last me forever as I had originally thought. However, if that is not the answer and the rotors warp again, Tesla will not comp me the rotors again. I will then have to spring for new rotors and pads as well as then get the new wheels.

    Option 2 costs me about $12-1400 depending on what kind of discount they are willing to give me for the hassle. They can come get the car, do the work and we see what happens. The thing is that if it happens with the new factory wheels, they would now have to come up with some other suggestions and from now on and it would be on their dime since I also purchased all the extended warranties and would have followed all of their suggestions.

    I would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
    Jorge
     
  20. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    With Regen I hardly use the brakes and heat build up in the rotors to the extend that it needs the wheels as a heat sink I find hard to believe.
    If you decide to go via option 1. then make sure you evenly level sand the coating off. Use sandpaper on a flat board. Any unevenness might even aggravate the problem.
     

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