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Discussion Starter #1
Das Auto wasn't driven for a few weeks while I was on travel, though a friend moved it every few days. After my return - given, to a rainy humid Florida summer - the brakes, especially front, vibrated and pulsed. After a week of driving, it got better, but I thought I still check with a dealer. The car is under full warranty until spring of 2010, and then CPO warranty.

But I have not one but two problems: I'm exceedingly stupid, and I grow money on trees. One of our local dealers (first visit ever; bought the car in CT) told me that

a) I have dry rot on all four pads and rotors,
b) I need to replace all pads and rotors, and pronto
c) they are not covered by warranty because the car wasn't driven 24h/day, and
d) that'll be $1,490 please.

I very politely denied, picked up my car, had Rennie from Red Line BMW in Pompano look at it (who was superfriendly, professional, and had some interesting comments about dealerships in general) and now feel a bit better after he assessed my brakes.

Still, I'm fuming, and now have one stealership less I'll turn to while das Auto is under warranty.
 

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My rotors have rust on them as well and they work fine. My mechanic said it's fine as long as the surface the pad touches is still in good condition.
 

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engine brake FTW!
 

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I got all four rotors and Hawk pads for like $231 + shipping. Not one bit of rust (they were coated) and not one problem yet.
 

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We have an e30 that sits around outside for weeks at a time, and its rotors get rusty also. I've never had any trouble with pulsating or vibrating - at least not in the car.
 

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cast iron rotors will always rust. sometimes, it rusts so quickly that it will rust when you wash your car. No need to worry.
Even if it has been a few weeks. Drive around for a bit the rust will go away.
The vibration you felt was due to, probably, excessive build up.
The "dry rot" thing the stealership was telling you. Did you smell the B.S.? and how big was his shovel?
 

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most rotors will rust. its scratched metal open to the elements. the longer they sit the more rust that will build. as long as the pads still make connection with the rotors the friction should take the rust off. if your brakes are pulsing they may just need to be re-cut. many places can do it rather cheap. don't pay 1500 because its a waste. worst case scenario buy new brake parts from an online vendor and diy.
 

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$1500 is roughly 5 times what it cost me to do brakes, rotors, and one sensor on our 330.
 

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I like the comment about dry rot. I guess it could be worse, he could have said your brake pads have termites.

Rotors rust when not used. Driving with rusty rotors will not harm the car and the simple rotation of the rotors through the pads will remove the rust.

Its normal.

I've never heard of anyone needing to replace pads before they were worn out due to excessive build-up from rust and certainly not dry-rot.
 

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The only reason I can think of to replace pads and rotors is if they go below the minimum thickness. For the pads, that's about 3mm when the pad warning light will tell you (although you won't know if it's the front or rear when the light comes on until you look more closely at them).

The rotor minimum thickness is stamped on the outside of the hub in clear view (after you wipe away grease, brake dust and maybe rust).

Buy your parts direct from the vendors people mention here like autohausaz and tirerack. Easy to do pads yourself, a little more difficult to do rotors if they are rusted onto the hub. I did my pads (about $150 for the 4) and paid my independent $200 to do all 4 rotors. I think my total spend was about $500 when all said and done.

The stealership quoted me $1600 for all 4, parts and labor. They also said that they do rotors and pads together no matter what. That was my clue (after being educated here) to walk from that horrendous deal.
 

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I spray the insides and exteriors of the rotor hats and internal vanes with self etching primer (dark grey) twice a year. Its so easy to do and makes the car look like it just had a brake job last week.
 

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You should see the rotors on my volvo.....

The car still stops fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have seen rust on all types of rotors, especially here in FL it's common. But I never had braking problems (including steering wheel shake; now diminishing, went for a 200mi drive Friday), and certainly never had a dealer try to pull such a stunt on me. I too thought about asking if I had termites too...
 
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