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Hi all, I will be calling other dealers (and local shops) soon but wanted to hear thoughts on average lifespan of the rear rotors in a 2.5 2013 Altima. The courtesy inspection revealed I'm down to 2mm of rear pads left at 45k, mostly highway. The service desk worker only went off the inspection sheet (sheet doesn't mention rotor thickness, just pad thickness) and recommended that both the rear pads and rotors be replaced due to the rear rotors being thinner. $389 in a Chicago suburb. Have a Nissan coupon to bring it down to $345.

I should have asked to talk with the actual tech for more info but didn't and am asking here before I commit to anything. Sure the rear rotors are thinner than the fronts but that doesn't seem to be justification enough to always change the rotors. I totally understand to change them if they won't last with my 2nd set of pads but I wasn't told that.

Given Chicagoland winter and I do not have a home garage, it's either a dealership or local shop. I do have an extended warranty but I have no issues with a local shop. Thanks for everyone's time and thoughts!
 

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2013 Altima 3.5 SV no nav
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Hi all, I will be calling other dealers (and local shops) soon but wanted to hear thoughts on average lifespan of the rear rotors in a 2.5 2013 Altima. The courtesy inspection revealed I'm down to 2mm of rear pads left at 45k, mostly highway. The service desk worker only went off the inspection sheet (sheet doesn't mention rotor thickness, just pad thickness) and recommended that both the rear pads and rotors be replaced due to the rear rotors being thinner. $389 in a Chicago suburb. Have a Nissan coupon to bring it down to $345.

I should have asked to talk with the actual tech for more info but didn't and am asking here before I commit to anything. Sure the rear rotors are thinner than the fronts but that doesn't seem to be justification enough to always change the rotors. I totally understand to change them if they won't last with my 2nd set of pads but I wasn't told that.

Given Chicagoland winter and I do not have a home garage, it's either a dealership or local shop. I do have an extended warranty but I have no issues with a local shop. Thanks for everyone's time and thoughts!
Get a second quote and don't tell them what the other dealer said. The rotors should be fine, just replace the pads. Also, I would not let them "turn" or "resurface" the rotors, I've had bad luck with that every single time.
 

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Do you ride your brake pedal while driving? Two-foot driving? Most of the time, excessive wear on a new car is due to driver, not car.

Here's the service schedule for Nissan cars, though it doesn't specifically come out and say when they should be replaced. They do say the OEM brakes are warrantied for 12 months/12,000 miles. I'd say 45k is about normal for pads.

Rear rotors could be turned instead of replaced. That'll be cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No brake riding etc. 45k does seem fine to me for pads, it was just the way this particular service front desk guy said to change the rear rotors as well, "because they are thinner". I take that to mean that they are thinner in general, which is true (Nissan's guides show factory 9mm rear rotor thickness to 26mm for the fronts) but nothing was said that mine measured near the minimum allowed as I don't think they measured them in their inspection (8 minimum rear, 24 minimum front).

Front pads have near the same relative life left on them.

Def sounds like I should have it checked out one more time and also call different shops and see if they all say they advise to replace the rear rotors each time with pads.
 

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The rear rotors are thinner because they are solid. The front rotors are thicker because they are ventilated. Essentially the front rotors are cast so that there are two rotor faces with an air gap between them. Each of the faces is probably no thicker than the single rear rotor and may actually be thinner.

So don't let them Bull-$h!t you into thinking the rears need replacement just because they are thinner. An independent brake specialist should have no problem simply replacing the rear pads and letting them bed-in themselves. At the most, some minor resurfacing of the rotors may be required, but they should not have to be turned unless they are noticeably warped.
 

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the rear rotors are thinner because they are solid. The front rotors are thicker because they are ventilated. Essentially the front rotors are cast so that there are two rotor faces with an air gap between them. Each of the faces is probably no thicker than the single rear rotor and may actually be thinner.

So don't let them bull-$h!t you into thinking the rears need replacement just because they are thinner. An independent brake specialist should have no problem simply replacing the rear pads and letting them bed-in themselves. At the most, some minor resurfacing of the rotors may be required, but they should not have to be turned unless they are noticeably warped.
im with cold forged, dont take the dealerships word for it. Never have i heard of rear rotors needing to be replaced this soon. There just trying to take you for a ride.
 

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My is 2014 altima 87k everything still original.... maybe you use cruise control too much... try to talk to service advisor they could give you discount
 

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Rotors do not wear away for replacement, they either warp or they don't warp. If they told you to replace them because they are "thinner" they are assuming a warp. A solid disk does warp easily, that's why around 2002 (that I've noticed working on friends cars) most of the front disks went to vented centers.

It shouldn't take a shop 10 minutes after lifting a car to inspect for a warp. All they do is take off the wheel, place a dial indicator on the face of the brake disk, and then they spin the disk around and see if the hills/valleys are within a tolerance. There is no reason that this dealer shouldn't have checked them when they measured the pads depth. Makes me think they either did check them and they tried to sell you rotors anyhow, or they didn't even take the wheel off the car and look to see the depth of your pads.
 

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2013 Altima 3.5 SV no nav
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Rotors do not wear away for replacement, they either warp or they don't warp. If they told you to replace them because they are "thinner" they are assuming a warp. A solid disk does warp easily, that's why around 2002 (that I've noticed working on friends cars) most of the front disks went to vented centers.

It shouldn't take a shop 10 minutes after lifting a car to inspect for a warp. All they do is take off the wheel, place a dial indicator on the face of the brake disk, and then they spin the disk around and see if the hills/valleys are within a tolerance. There is no reason that this dealer shouldn't have checked them when they measured the pads depth. Makes me think they either did check them and they tried to sell you rotors anyhow, or they didn't even take the wheel off the car and look to see the depth of your pads.
Also, I would think that if they really are warped you would have some vibration every time you use them.
 

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Also, I would think that if they really are warped you would have some vibration every time you use them.
Yes case in point, this is very true in deed.:nerd
 

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A rotor should be resurfaced or replaced when changing out pads, this allows proper pad to rotor bedding, especially when the surface of the rotor is glazed from the previous pads
 

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A rotor should be resurfaced or replaced when changing out pads, this allows proper pad to rotor bedding, especially when the surface of the rotor is glazed from the previous pads
I've been through 35 years of this and every single time I have them resurfaced there is vibration and/or noise. Every time I don't have them resurfaced the pad beds fine and there are no issues. I'm at 100% with this, it can't just be a fluke. Has anyone ever had a resurface go well ?
 

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I've been through 35 years of this and every single time I have them resurfaced there is vibration and/or noise. Every time I don't have them resurfaced the pad beds fine and there are no issues. I'm at 100% with this, it can't just be a fluke. Has anyone ever had a resurface go well ?
I have on 2 of my past cars. I've only had to have the fronts turned. never the rear rotors.
 

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A rotor should be resurfaced or replaced when changing out pads, this allows proper pad to rotor bedding, especially when the surface of the rotor is glazed from the previous pads
If you resurface them then they are more prone to warp because there is less mass to take up the heat. You can use a block of wood and sand paper to get the surface ready for new pads. If there a grooves in the rotor significant enough that you would need to machine turn them then you likely had a problem with the caliper or previous pads. That said everyone has their maintenance routines that they picked up from somewhere but I've never had an issue with a routine brake wear out, and I've not once resurfaced my disks.
 

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I normally just scuff up the rotors before putting the new pads on just to get rid of the glaze. I have not had any problems with noise of vibration
 

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The rotors should never be replaced unless they're wrapped. They're wrapped if you wore the pads to the end and the pads go metal on metal. Normally you'll hear the squeaking sound. Now, some pads will have an indicator which will give out a squeak to let you know that the pads are need to be replaced to prevent the wrap, but it may not be on all pads.
Don't take dealer's/stealer's word. Just touch the rotor with your finger and move up/down the surface. If it's smooth - no need to replace. If you feel like some grooves - it's likely to be replaced. You don't have to take the tire off on alloy wheels where you can see the rotor.

Side note: DIY job ceramic brakes +/-$40/pair. If rotors needed +/-$100 pair. Can find even for less online.
Time - less than 1h for no pro mechanic.
 

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The rotors should never be replaced unless they're wrapped. They're wrapped if you wore the pads to the end and the pads go metal on metal. Normally you'll hear the squeaking sound. Now, some pads will have an indicator which will give out a squeak to let you know that the pads are need to be replaced to prevent the wrap, but it may not be on all pads.
Don't take dealer's/stealer's word. Just touch the rotor with your finger and move up/down the surface. If it's smooth - no need to replace. If you feel like some grooves - it's likely to be replaced. You don't have to take the tire off on alloy wheels where you can see the rotor.

Side note: DIY job ceramic brakes +/-$40/pair. If rotors needed +/-$100 pair. Can find even for less online.
Time - less than 1h for no pro mechanic.
Um.... you know rotors have a minimum thickness spec, so they will eventually have to be replaced
 

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The rotors should never be replaced unless they're wrapped. They're wrapped if you wore the pads to the end and the pads go metal on metal. Normally you'll hear the squeaking sound. Now, some pads will have an indicator which will give out a squeak to let you know that the pads are need to be replaced to prevent the wrap, but it may not be on all pads.
Don't take dealer's/stealer's word. Just touch the rotor with your finger and move up/down the surface. If it's smooth - no need to replace. If you feel like some grooves - it's likely to be replaced. You don't have to take the tire off on alloy wheels where you can see the rotor.

Side note: DIY job ceramic brakes +/-$40/pair. If rotors needed +/-$100 pair. Can find even for less online.
Time - less than 1h for no pro mechanic.
1. Warped. And rotors typically warp way before pads are worn down to metal on metal (if they're going to warp).

2. You can't necessarily feel rotor runout -- it can be in the thousandths of an inch.
 

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"1. Warped. And rotors typically warp way before pads are worn down to metal on metal (if they're going to warp).
2. You can't necessarily feel rotor runout -- it can be in the thousandths of an inch. "

1. Happens very rarely, unless the caliper is bad or pads aren't smooth. Not normal condition.
2. Right, you can't feel when rotors runout, but thousandth of an inch doesn't counts as warned unless you can touch and feel unevenness.
But most of the time, if the pads are replaced on time, the rotors will be fine.

On a side note, I saw when people installing pads on the warpped rotors in countries where rotors are hart to get or too costly and there is no resurface machine around. So the pads in time adjust to the grooves and do the job well. You don't always have to go by the book. It's good that in America everything is available and relatively cheap, so you can do a "better" job :)
 
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