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Rusted breaks
Old 05-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Rusted breaks

So after 3 months of my car sitting in a carport in the Virginia winter while we're in the warm caribbean we come back to find our break rotors rusted out. The wheels were making a horrible noise synchronized with the wheel turning, especially when the breaks were applied. I've heard of tires developing flat spots, batteries going dead, but never heard of breaks rusting out.

The shop wants $380 for break job, which I authorized, but now I'm wondering if just driving the car around would wear off the rust.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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Some advice can be found here...
News summary | JournalNews
I park my midlife crisis car in the garage all winter, however I start it up periodically and move it back and forth several times in the driveway to avoid flat spots (tires) and rotor rust. Got a trusted friend or relative to do this for you next winter?
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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If you are in the least bit handy, brakes are one of the simplest repairs to do on a vehicle and the second time around is even easier. I'm guessing the rotors have some light rust on them. If the car is stopping and does not pull to either side while driving just keep driving. That isn't a bad price for all four brakes if he is replacing shoes and rotors with labor. You could take some steel wool to the rotors and they will shine up like new. The hardest part of the job is taking the wheels off and putting them back on.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I went ahead and got the job done at the shop. Turned out it wasn't only a rust issue, the front pads were also pretty thin, so guess it was time for a break job. It only took me a day back in Virginia to continue my streak of things breaking down with large costs over the last 12 months. This one was minor compared to the heat pump and the toilet overflow.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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I bought an old Volvo 30 years ago that had been sitting out in the elements for quite a while- the brakes had rusted up, and the owner thought the clutch was also seized up. I was going to college, had very little money, and needed a car; was working part-time in a gas station and thought maybe I could get some help getting it running, so I paid him $100 for it, and went over with the tow truck to get it. We were winching it out of the parking spot when it gave out a horrendous shriek, shuddered, and started rolling- we had broken whatever was rusted stuck loose. We started it up, I drove it home and cleaned it up, steel wool and brake cleaner on the brakes, never touched the clutch...and then put another 40,000 miles on it, got $900 in trade for it when I bought my first and only brand-new car.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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I have a "toy" Miata. The brake disks rust when you just look at them. Since the car sits for most of the winter, by the Spring there's a lot of brown on those rotors! A drive and a bit of pressure on the brake always has them shiny again.

Rich
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:25 AM   #7
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Next time you see a bunch of new cars being hauled down the highway look at all the rust already on the rotors.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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This is also a problem with new cars that sit on the lot for months before being sold......and with motor homes......and with summer cars
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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Agree with the posts above. The surface of a rotor is untreated metal that can rust in a few days of not being driven. On disc brakes, the caliper is always in slight contact with the rotor, so it "wipes" the rotor clean when you brake.

I would suggest some local stop and go driving to see if the squeaks and creaks to go away. Best of luck.......
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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This is also a problem with new cars that sit on the lot for months before being sold......and with motor homes......and with summer cars
This gave me an idea - start a within-parking lot car moving service for auto dealerships. Show up, drive the cars around the lot a few times, and/or rearrange the cars on the lot to their spec.

I think my long winter hibernation period has finally gotten to me.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #11
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I think my long winter hibernation period has finally gotten to me.
don't you mean ...has finally gotten to us?
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
This gave me an idea - start a within-parking lot car moving service for auto dealerships. Show up, drive the cars around the lot a few times, and/or rearrange the cars on the lot to their spec.

I think my long winter hibernation period has finally gotten to me.
They have scary minimum wage kids called lot attendants that do that already.......

Of course, they could always use a retired engineer to explain the differences in tensile stregth between regaular sheet metal and hydro-formed sheet metal.........
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
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They have scary minimum wage kids called lot attendants that do that already.......

Of course, they could always use a retired engineer to explain the differences in tensile stregth between regaular sheet metal and hydro-formed sheet metal.........
Not my field...you need an automotive engineer or metallurgist for that.
However......I could bore the folks with talks about speed detection radar technology, or maybe digital imaging technology used for inspection for auto parts, or Snell's Law in rearview mirrors, and for dessert...how to make a fiber optic connector from scratch.
Or reminisce about IBM punch cards and FORTRAN with my age peers. Or I could explain why constant friction between asphalt and tire rubber is important and how different kinds of weather affects that.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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