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Steve101

2003 Corolla Brake Question

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Have a question about my brakes.

 

I have an 03 Corolla.

 

When I am on the highway going about 75-80mph, if I need to apply the brakes quickly my steering wheel shakes a little. It doesn't happen a low speeds (35-40mph)

 

I don't notice if its pulling to either side, so I wouldn't think its one side or the other.

 

It has the original brakes on it with 82k miles. Its not using any brake fluid and the brake fluid doesn't smell burnt either.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks :huh:

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trap
your rotors are warped.

 

 

I had a friend with a VW that had the same problem and it was the rotors. The cause is because you brake too hard at high speeds so they heat up and don't have enough time to cool down causing warping. If you get new ones try to engine brake first or tap the brakes to slow down and it shouldn't happen again.

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If they are warped, how come they only do it @ high speeds and not any lower speeds, if they were warped don't you think they would do it all the time?

 

When I am driving in the city and apply the brakes even hard & fast, the brakes grab quickly without any pulling, or sounds.

 

I have ran my finger on the rotors and don't feel any grooves, or unevenness. I have seen warped rotors and mine don't feel warped in you run your finger on them.

 

If they are warped I guess you can't see or feel it.

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Warped rotors are not always physically warped - some have an uneven or contaminated brake transfer layer. This is not very visible or can be felt with your finger. This key aspect of this behavior is the high speed vibration under braking only that seems to disappear at low speeds. All original brakes at 82K miles makes it a more likely case.

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Hi,

 

Here is the funny thing. I had my brakes checked today from a well known brake shop locally. Surprise. Surprise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

 

Instead of the shop trying to sell me new brakes and more, they told me "the rear brakes look practically new and the fronts have at least half of their life left" They said there appears to be nothing wrong with the rotors or drums, and the fluid looks very clean and was full.

 

I was surprised as they didn't tell me a whole story about what needed to be replaced just to try and sell a lot of not needed parts like most shops do.

 

I told them about the vibration @ highway speeds and they said the way my brakes and rotors look, it don't look like thats the cause.

 

I will take it back in a month and see if the wear is down further.

 

Now I don't know what the problem is?

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Also have to keep in mind, that the OEM Corolla brakes are not something that are designed for continuous high speed braking. Eventually, you will overheat the friction material and potentially strip that smooth brake transfer layer off the rotor surface. This will lead to uneven braking (vibration at highspeed). This also assumes that your tire balance has not changed, tire tread is evenly worn, hub and wheel bearing are OK, suspension is sound, and steering is fine.

 

I've got that vibration issue on my Matrix last few months - recently changed the pads (showed about 1/2 wear but were overheated from some heavy emergency braking) and replaced the rotors as a precaution old ones were starting to corrode badly from the salt in winter + they are pretty cheap to replace (Brembo blanks ~ $53 @ Tirerack). After bedding in the new brakes - no vibration from highway speed braking.

 

I also have to note that the OEM system has only adequate heat capacity (rotors are averaged size for size and weight of car) - any extra loading from heavy brake usage (ie, multiple highway speed stops, or panic braking from high speed) - will put a tremendous strain on the brakes. Sometimes you will experience "shuddering" with the first application of brakes at high speed. That is normal - not much you can do about that - as that is a limitation of the hardware on the car. But if this continues or gets worse at those speeds, then there is a good chance that the pads are cooked/glazed, rotors are glazed or overheated (bluish tint), or brake transfer layer is wiped away.

 

Here is a good article on this brake transfer layer - http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_bedintheory.shtml From one of the top manufacturers of braking systems.

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Also have to keep in mind, that the OEM Corolla brakes are not something that are designed for continuous high speed braking. Eventually, you will overheat the friction material and potentially strip that smooth brake transfer layer off the rotor surface. This will lead to uneven braking (vibration at highspeed). This also assumes that your tire balance has not changed, tire tread is evenly worn, hub and wheel bearing are OK, suspension is sound, and steering is fine.

 

I've got that vibration issue on my Matrix last few months - recently changed the pads (showed about 1/2 wear but were overheated from some heavy emergency braking) and replaced the rotors as a precaution old ones were starting to corrode badly from the salt in winter + they are pretty cheap to replace (Brembo blanks ~ $53 @ Tirerack). After bedding in the new brakes - no vibration from highway speed braking.

 

I also have to note that the OEM system has only adequate heat capacity (rotors are averaged size for size and weight of car) - any extra loading from heavy brake usage (ie, multiple highway speed stops, or panic braking from high speed) - will put a tremendous strain on the brakes. Sometimes you will experience "shuddering" with the first application of brakes at high speed. That is normal - not much you can do about that - as that is a limitation of the hardware on the car. But if this continues or gets worse at those speeds, then there is a good chance that the pads are cooked/glazed, rotors are glazed or overheated (bluish tint), or brake transfer layer is wiped away.

 

Here is a good article on this brake transfer layer - http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_bedintheory.shtml From one of the top manufacturers of braking systems.

 

Hi all,

I recently changed the rotors and pads on my 1998 prizm hoping that it will rid me of vibrations while braking. However it has not. I have tires which are about 4 months old and i rotate them with every oil change. I purchased a upper end rotor (platinum or something) and regular brake pads...So i am not understanding why my car vibrates as brakes are applied. OBviously the more I apply the brakes the more the vibration. I also noted that the brakes smell and smoke, something which was not happening with my old worn-out rotors and pads.

 

Any suggestions, tips, input?

 

Thanks,

MJ

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Also have to keep in mind, that the OEM Corolla brakes are not something that are designed for continuous high speed braking. Eventually, you will overheat the friction material and potentially strip that smooth brake transfer layer off the rotor surface. This will lead to uneven braking (vibration at highspeed). This also assumes that your tire balance has not changed, tire tread is evenly worn, hub and wheel bearing are OK, suspension is sound, and steering is fine.

 

I've got that vibration issue on my Matrix last few months - recently changed the pads (showed about 1/2 wear but were overheated from some heavy emergency braking) and replaced the rotors as a precaution old ones were starting to corrode badly from the salt in winter + they are pretty cheap to replace (Brembo blanks ~ $53 @ Tirerack). After bedding in the new brakes - no vibration from highway speed braking.

 

I also have to note that the OEM system has only adequate heat capacity (rotors are averaged size for size and weight of car) - any extra loading from heavy brake usage (ie, multiple highway speed stops, or panic braking from high speed) - will put a tremendous strain on the brakes. Sometimes you will experience "shuddering" with the first application of brakes at high speed. That is normal - not much you can do about that - as that is a limitation of the hardware on the car. But if this continues or gets worse at those speeds, then there is a good chance that the pads are cooked/glazed, rotors are glazed or overheated (bluish tint), or brake transfer layer is wiped away.

 

Here is a good article on this brake transfer layer - http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_bedintheory.shtml From one of the top manufacturers of braking systems.

 

Hi all,

I recently changed the rotors and pads on my 1998 prizm hoping that it will rid me of vibrations while braking. However it has not. I have tires which are about 4 months old and i rotate them with every oil change. I purchased a upper end rotor (platinum or something) and regular brake pads...So i am not understanding why my car vibrates as brakes are applied. OBviously the more I apply the brakes the more the vibration. I also noted that the brakes smell and smoke, something which was not happening with my old worn-out rotors and pads.

 

Any suggestions, tips, input?

 

Thanks,

MJ

 

Oh, i forgot to add: I replaced the brake pads and rotor last Saturday (04/5/08) and the vibration was immediate.

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Brakes will smell and smoke a bit in the bedding in process. But if there is an excessive amount of odor or discoloration of the rotors - then you might have a locked caliper causing issues. If the caliper and/or sliding pins do not properly release or slide - then you could have a pad that is constantly pushed into the rotor. This will cause the rotor and pad to wear unevenly and introduce excessive vibrations at speed - due to the one side of the rotor being heated up.

 

Keys are bedding in brakes correctly, making sure that the torque plate and clips are in good shape, and all moving parts (calipers and sliding pins) are working correctly. If anything binds in a sliding caliper design - generally the give away symptoms are vibration during braking and uneven pad wear (inside pad generally wears first). Also assuming that you got every bit of contamination off the new rotor. I can easily go through an entire can of brake cleaner and some nylon parts brushes to remove the protective film off of new rotors. Also doesn't hurt to hose down the pads - as they will inevitably pick up some contaminants along the way.

 

If you just replaced the pads and the vibration immediately popped up during test braking - then you have something wrong with the install, a bad caliper, bent torque plate, loose suspension, bad tire/wheel, or loose steering components. How did the original pads and rotors look? Evenly worn?

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Brakes will smell and smoke a bit in the bedding in process. But if there is an excessive amount of odor or discoloration of the rotors - then you might have a locked caliper causing issues. If the caliper and/or sliding pins do not properly release or slide - then you could have a pad that is constantly pushed into the rotor. This will cause the rotor and pad to wear unevenly and introduce excessive vibrations at speed - due to the one side of the rotor being heated up.

 

Keys are bedding in brakes correctly, making sure that the torque plate and clips are in good shape, and all moving parts (calipers and sliding pins) are working correctly. If anything binds in a sliding caliper design - generally the give away symptoms are vibration during braking and uneven pad wear (inside pad generally wears first). Also assuming that you got every bit of contamination off the new rotor. I can easily go through an entire can of brake cleaner and some nylon parts brushes to remove the protective film off of new rotors. Also doesn't hurt to hose down the pads - as they will inevitably pick up some contaminants along the way.

 

If you just replaced the pads and the vibration immediately popped up during test braking - then you have something wrong with the install, a bad caliper, bent torque plate, loose suspension, bad tire/wheel, or loose steering components. How did the original pads and rotors look? Evenly worn?

 

No they were not evenly worn. the Right wheel (passanger side) has uneven wear. The inside pad was worn out alot more then the outside. According to your post it would be the caliper.

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No they were not evenly worn. the Right wheel (passanger side) has uneven wear. The inside pad was worn out alot more then the outside. According to your post it would be the caliper.

The inside pad getting significantly worn out compared to the outside pad is almost a sure sign of the sliding pins in the caliper not "sliding". Those need to be pulled out and the lubed regularly. There are rubber dust boots on the end and bushings inside - if dirt or moisture has gotten in there, could mean trouble.

 

Could also be issues with the brake hardware or the caliper itself - though my money will be on the pins. Just part of the design of a sliding caliper used in about 90% of the cars on the road. When you apply the brake, the caliper's piston pushes on the inside pad, which makes contact with the rotor, the pressure then directs the caliper to slide and pull the outboard pad into the rotor. Sounds like the sliding portion is sticking causing the inside pad to constantly touch the rotor (not releasing) or takes an excessive amount of force to slide (sticking caliper). By heating up the inside of the rotor more than the outside + constant contact will cause the whole assembly to not turn "true" - that is a sure fire recipe for vibration at high speeds.

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i think you have it backwards. slides usually eat the outer pad, stuck piston usually eats the inner pad. re read your explanation of how the sliding caliper works.

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I have seen brake inspections and they usually check the amount of wear and also the thickness, but seldom do they actually remove the rotor or check them for warping.

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i think you have it backwards. slides usually eat the outer pad, stuck piston usually eats the inner pad. re read your explanation of how the sliding caliper works.

Doh :blink: - yeah, your right - I was typing it backwards from the way I had it in my head - long couple of days + not much sleep.

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