- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What’s wrong with this scenario? You go into a brake shop for the first time expecting that the pads are going to need replacing and you are told that the rotors are too worn to be machined so they have to be replaced as well.

In their drive to shave pounds off the curb weight, some auto manufacturers are asking their suppliers to provide lighter and thinner brake rotors.

The result is rotors that fail standards for machining when pads wear down the first gouges in the rotor. The solution is to get your brakes checked earlier rather than later, say 30,000 miles, so the rotors can still be machined.

I hear on the grapevine that General Motors is advising dealers to get special brake lathes so that the rotors can be machined on the vehicle for better alignment and faster work. That takes advantage of the exposed rotors, as engineers originally planned.

These rotors are so thin when new that they can be distorted when the tire shop technician gets overly zealous with his air-powered lug wrench.

The solution is to remind tire shops that they need to use the correct torque on the wheel lug nuts.

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