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Old 11-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
Angrybird 12
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Warping brake rotors

I found out last week that the biggest reason for warped brake rotors today is improper tightening of the lug nuts.
The wheels on my HHR started vibrating evey time I put on the brakes just after I had new tires put on it, I took it back to the tire store and they checked and said everythig was fine.. well the more I drove it the worse it got. I talked to a friend of mine and he said that he read that in most cases if your wheels vibrate when you put on your brakes your rotors are either warped or have hot spots., well since it never did this before I got new tires he said that I needed to check the wheel torque. I got a torque wrench and started checking at the 100 Ft LB setting the Owners manual said. I found 3 lugs were less than 100Ft. lbs, and 2 were over 100 by at least 20 ft lbs.
that was on one wheel, the other I foune one lug nut was hardly over finger tight, and the other 4 were all different.. I loosened them all up and retightened them correctly the way you are supposed to , the vibration was still there, so I assumed the rotors were already warped too badly. I bought me a new set of high performance cross drilled and slotted rotors and new Ceramic pads and installed them Saturday.. Man what a difference... I followed the manufacturers of the rotors and pads break in procedure and now my HHR stops better than ever..
So you need to insist that your wheels always be torqued to the proper level and NEVER let them use an air impact wrench to tighten them.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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I use an impact wrench every time I take my wheels off and every time I put them back on. No problems here.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandotron View Post
I use an impact wrench every time I take my wheels off and every time I put them back on. No problems here.
what year is your car? most cars nowadays use a separate rotor that is held on by the wheel/lug nuts. easily removed by taking the wheel off and the caliper, they will just slide off the wheel studs..
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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Just went to this website http://newcarbuyingguide.com/index.p...318/event=view and they say this:
Quote:
Often pulsations start after a tire has been changed and there is dirt, corrosion or rust on the inner surface of the replaced wheel. This can cause uneven clamping leading to rotor warping. This uneven clamping can also occur from improper tightening of lug nuts. For example, not tightening in the usually recommended two-step, criss-cross tightening technique, and using the improper torque (bolts, lug nets, etc. all use manufacturer-specified levels of torque.) A torque wrench must be used on modern wheels. Air impact wrenches will not torque down the nuts properly. If there is brake pulsating after changing a tire, loosen the nuts and re-torque as soon as possible and you may be able to prevent warping problems.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyman 08 View Post
I found out last week that the biggest reason for warped brake rotors today is improper tightening of the lug nuts.
The wheels on my HHR started vibrating evey time I put on the brakes just after I had new tires put on it, I took it back to the tire store and they checked and said everythig was fine.. well the more I drove it the worse it got. I talked to a friend of mine and he said that he read that in most cases if your wheels vibrate when you put on your brakes your rotors are either warped or have hot spots., well since it never did this before I got new tires he said that I needed to check the wheel torque. I got a torque wrench and started checking at the 100 Ft LB setting the Owners manual said. I found 3 lugs were less than 100Ft. lbs, and 2 were over 100 by at least 20 ft lbs.
that was on one wheel, the other I foune one lug nut was hardly over finger tight, and the other 4 were all different.. I loosened them all up and retightened them correctly the way you are supposed to , the vibration was still there, so I assumed the rotors were already warped too badly. I bought me a new set of high performance cross drilled and slotted rotors and new Ceramic pads and installed them Saturday.. Man what a difference... I followed the manufacturers of the rotors and pads break in procedure and now my HHR stops better than ever..
So you need to insist that your wheels always be torqued to the proper level and NEVER let them use an air impact wrench to tighten them.
Absolutely 100% correct!

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Old 12-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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the key points are to torque the lug nuts in a star/cris-cross pattern and to have them at consistent torque. What torque they're at matters less than whether or not they are torqued evenly.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyman 08 View Post
I found out last week that the biggest reason for warped brake rotors today is improper tightening of the lug nuts.
The wheels on my HHR started vibrating evey time I put on the brakes just after I had new tires put on it, I took it back to the tire store and they checked and said everythig was fine.. well the more I drove it the worse it got. I talked to a friend of mine and he said that he read that in most cases if your wheels vibrate when you put on your brakes your rotors are either warped or have hot spots., well since it never did this before I got new tires he said that I needed to check the wheel torque. I got a torque wrench and started checking at the 100 Ft LB setting the Owners manual said. I found 3 lugs were less than 100Ft. lbs, and 2 were over 100 by at least 20 ft lbs.
that was on one wheel, the other I foune one lug nut was hardly over finger tight, and the other 4 were all different.. I loosened them all up and retightened them correctly the way you are supposed to , the vibration was still there, so I assumed the rotors were already warped too badly. I bought me a new set of high performance cross drilled and slotted rotors and new Ceramic pads and installed them Saturday.. Man what a difference... I followed the manufacturers of the rotors and pads break in procedure and now my HHR stops better than ever..
So you need to insist that your wheels always be torqued to the proper level and NEVER let them use an air impact wrench to tighten them.

You CAN use an impact IF you have torque sticks to use with the impact gun. They work and they are consistent. Using an impact without a torque stick is asking for warped rotors and installing lug nuts without using a torque wrench by hand is also asking for warped rotors. It isn't a matter of what you use to put on the lug nuts...it is how the tool is used.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryTucker View Post
You CAN use an impact IF you have torque sticks to use with the impact gun. They work and they are consistent. Using an impact without a torque stick is asking for warped rotors and installing lug nuts without using a torque wrench by hand is also asking for warped rotors. It isn't a matter of what you use to put on the lug nuts...it is how the tool is used.
Well maybe true but have you ever seen it used at a tire store? I haven't. They are in too much of a hurry to get you out the door and someone else in to care about that.. ALWAYS check the torque yourself as soon as you can after someone uses an impact wrench on your wheels.. It is the best thing to do in my opinion.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:36 PM   #9
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Well maybe true but have you ever seen it used at a tire store? I haven't.
I totally agree. If you find a shop that's willing to take the time to make sure your tires are torqued to spec you've got a real winner
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:58 PM   #10
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Mine were last done at a shop - impact wrench. I just went through them this morning with my torque wrench and about half were below 140 ft lbs. Had to get her ready for the track tomorrow so now, she's ready!
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #11
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I am never in that much of a hurry that I have to use an impact wrench to install my wheels. I always use a torque wrench and tighten in a criss-cross patern not getting to full torque until three or four rounds of tightening at increasing torque measurements.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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I've let Gateway tire know how I feel about their toruge stick usage after finding my lug nuts at varying amounts of torque that were much higher than spec. The salesman told me that they stopped using them and only use torque wrenches now.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:22 PM   #13
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I am never in that much of a hurry that I have to use an impact wrench to install my wheels. I always use a torque wrench and tighten in a criss-cross patern not getting to full torque until three or four rounds of tightening at increasing torque measurements.
I'm real anal about this one. I had a "competent" shop install new tires on a custom car I built up about 25 years ago. Got on the freeway and up to 65 or so and the right rear wheel started to come off. I nearly wiped out a highway patrol car as well as mine as I fought to keep her under control. Only one loose lug nut was still holding it on. Two lug nuts were missing and two studs had snapped off. I'm the only one that has torqued my wheels since -- by hand, in a progressive star pattern and with a well-maintained and occasionally calibrated Snap-On torque wrench. Call me crazy, but I've never had a repeat occurrence on the street or at the track.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #14
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I'm real anal about this one. I had a "competent" shop install new tires on a custom car I built up about 25 years ago. Got on the freeway and up to 65 or so and the right rear wheel started to come off. I nearly wiped out a highway patrol car as well as mine as I fought to keep her under control. Only one loose lug nut was still holding it on. Two lug nuts were missing and two studs had snapped off.
It's pretty scary to think of the incompetence (or at least lack of care) of some automotive techs
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