Replace Porsche Brake Pads & Rotors or Pads Only

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Replace Porsche Brake Pads & Rotors or Pads Only

Neural Blog, 22 Aug 2006

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Porsche Brake Replacement

Porsche Brake Pads

Porsche Rotors and Brake Pads

Replacing Porsche Pads and Rotors or just Pads. I keep hearing different thoughts on this. The porsche mech says you need to do both or things won't line up right and it will make

I keep hearing different thoughts on this. The porsche mech says you need to do both or things won't line up right and it will make noise. Other people tell me just do the pads.

If the rotors are scored, just throwing in a set of pads (without at LEAST cutting the rotors first) could possibly lead to brake noise (i.e. "singing"). Pads need to "seat" and freshly cut rotors help in that department. That, and taking all the usual precautions (pad noise lining, brake quiet, etc).

I can't see replacing rotors if there's enough meat on them for a cut, unless you want to "upgrade" to some sort-of cryoceramigenital rotors littering the likes of eBay ...

Rotors need to be replaced when they are worn below spec, or are cracked. You can cahnge just the pads otherwise. You do have to make sure you "seat" the pads properly back to the older rotor for proper brake function. Porsche techs, aside from the obvious but devious motive of trying to sell more parts and labor, find it easier and safer from a lawsuit standpoint to just sell you both pads and rotors at the same time.

For all prectical intents, though, if you do mostly street driving, the pads usually last so long it is probably not worth the hassle to change just the pads. Just change both pads and rotors and get it over with.

Only if they are heavily scored is it worth looking at replacing the rotors (such scoring may only be due to road gunk getting stuk between the pad and disc). Porsche parts are insanely expensive due to an enormous profit margin, so of course they want to sell parts.

The rotors are built with very little room for wear, that's in part what makes up the great stopping power. Depending on how the cars last set of brakes were used, you might be able to just put pads on.

Most of the time the smart thing to do is of course put pads on all 4. Check the wear and % left on the front rotors and rear rotors. In most cases the rear rotors will have less wear than the front, since the front system does most of the work. So, you most likely have to replace front rotors every time, depending on how you drive and in some case you can change your rear rotors every second time you switch the pads.

If your rotors are worn, get a brake package and do it all at once, it will be less expensive than going in 6 months later for more work {labor; your wheels and hubs will be off anyway, spend a few bucks now or pay another 2 hours labor for the wheels and hubs to come off again}.

And if your rotors are worn out and you don't change them they will destroy your new pads very quickly and of course the more "old" brake components you have the less braking power you will have.

I never fuss with brakes on any car. My BMW 540 got all new rotors, pads and flushes, the Porsche 924 got all new rotors, pads, drums, pads, flushes and rear wheel cyclinders and My Audi Quattro will get 4 rotors, pads, flushes and 2 new calipers.

The braking system is your parachute, don't get cheap with it.

My rotors are always at edge of spec by the time my pads are due... I replace the whole wad as per the dealer and go merrily on my way. A friend recently tried to save some money, and replaced just the pads, and had the rotors turned. His wear sensors then proceeded to stick in the on position during his track day, which he didn't really enjoy. 3 more trips to his independent and the dealer (100 miles apart) and last I heard the problem was solved by replacing the sensors and rotors... which he paid for, in addition to the extra 3 trips and haggling with the dealer over warranty versus his indy shop work.

If you have more time than money, just do pads. If you have more money than time, do it all right the first time...

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