2003 GS300 front brake pads and rotors

hi everyone,
At 30,000 miles, the dealer informed me that i need to replace the front brake pads AND rotors. it was ok to replace the pads, but the
rotors too? seemed too much at that milage! This is the first time to replace any front brake parts.
My question is: is the lifetime of the rotors the same as the pads? in other words, any time i need to replace the pads, i should replace the rotors too? my understanding is that the rotor lifetime is much longer than the pads!! people usually replace pads many times before replacing the rotor. The dealer also never offered the option to reserface/refinish the rotor. I usually use engine braking whenever i go downhill, so i don't overheat the brakes.
The car is Lexus GS300 2003, I'm the first ownwer.
your opinion really matters, and much appreciated,
Thanks, Mourad
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mourad snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Mourad: I am assuming that you have not done the brake job yet. If you haven't, what you need to do is ask the dealer to measure the thickness of your rotors. From that information you can determine if you can keep your old rotors or not. If they are within specifications have the dealer install new pads and resurface the old rotors. If he won't do it go somewhere else. My opinion is that after 30k miles (of maybe hard stopping) your pads might be worn out but your rotors (if not scratched) are still good. Mike
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Thanks Mike for you reply,
the brake job was already done. i admit i didn't do a good job discussing the problem with the dealer before doing the work! a week after i called the dealer, asked if the pads are completely worn out, but he said no, there still some friction material still left! I don't know how the pads are not yet worn out completely while the rotors are gone!!! is there a way to ask the dealer to give me back the old parts so i can do the measures? the dealer advised me to call Lexus corp. They said the rotors are NOT under the warantee because ther are a wear parts (like tires, well even tires have a 4 years warrantee from the manufacturer)
Mourad
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On 2 Feb 2006 23:05:23 -0800, mourad snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If the rotors need to be replaced at such low mileage the should be warrantee, much to early for normal ware out. I suggest you find a couple good independent brake shops in the area and have them check it. ***************** Santose for PRESIDENT PLEASE Soon While there is something left to save.
Thank You snipped-for-privacy@msbx.net
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Thanks KG,
unfortunately, the job was already done about 3 weeks ago, only a week after when i felt i've been fooled by the dealer. The car was stopping good, only little shakes/vibration when i press the brake. Lexus corp won't compensate since the rotors are not under the warantee since there are wear items, but i still think 30K is a low milage to replace rotors, especially they are the original parts comes with the car.
Mourad
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What you have heard so far was good advice. However you last note is the key, "only little shakes/vibration when i press the brake". That little shake and vib can mean warped rotors. Also in my opinion it is cheaper to use your brakes to stop than the engine/transmission.
Rob

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Thanks, Rob
Rotors warp in less than 30K (well i feel the vibrations at 25K, say) that is very questionable! it means a very bad quality parts used in a Lexus line of cars. I'd like to mention also, the dealer replaced the back pads and rotors at 21K with NO CHARGE, cause they know of the bad quality of the parts. but they refused to do the same with the front brakes.
You mentioned a good point about engine braking. is it harmful for the engine/transmission?
Thanks much, Mourad
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mourad snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

No it's not harmful.
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Rear rotor warpage is not very common so I can see why the dealer would replace them under warranty.
On many modern cars, when the rotors warp, machining them is a stop-gap measure and it is very common for the warpage to re-occur in a fairly short time because there is less mass to dissipate the heat.
Rotor warpage is caused by excessive heat and/or very rapid cooling, like hitting a puddle with hot brakes. Excessive heat comes from continuous use or from a stuck caliper slide. If the dealer found a stuck caliper slide, the repair may have been covered under warranty but if the calipers are functioning normally, then the cause is usually continuos use, like riding the brakes down a long hill, or resting a foot on the brake pedal.

Engine braking in itself is not harmful for the engine and transmission and will save some wear on the brakes during a long conutinuous downhill. However, downshifting from drive to a lower gear does put some wear on the friction surfaces in the transmission, so applying the brakes instead of downshifting will put less wear on the transmission. If you downshift in anticipation of a long downhill ride, you can save wear on both the transmission and brakes.
--

Ray O
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Or, if you had the tires rotated and the shop didn't use a torque stick. I have seen that cause a problem before.
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I've also seen over-torqued lug nuts warp rotors and/or wheels, but the condition generally shows up right away, not 10,000 or 20,000 miles later.
--

Ray O
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On 3 Feb 2006 13:13:16 -0800, mourad snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The dealer replaced our rotors under warranty, but there was a TSB on the rotors (this was for the 04 RX330). The car had a vibration when applying the brake and as I said, they replaced the rotors under warranty.
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i've checked to TSB's or recall for my car model, but couldn't find anything related to brake system, may be not advertised! Both Lexus corp and the dear say the rotors are not covered by the warantee!
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dude,
its too bad you didnt ask for a measurement of the rotor thickness before the dealer replaced the rotors. like you said, sounds like a case of bad quality rotors, as was the case wth the rear brakes.
i think you got ripped off.
imho.
Fish.
On 2 Feb 2006 23:05:23 -0800, mourad snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Certainly i feel i got ripped off. i should have asked about the thickness.. BUT, while i do my best to learn about the technical issues about my car, i don't expect to reach the level of a professional, however, i do expect to be treated with some honesty by the dealer. it's worth to mention that while i was arguing with the dealer regarding this matter over the phone, he mentioned that most customers really don't know anything about cars, and they simply pay what they are asked to pay, then take their cars and leave.
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look, rotors DO and CAN warp (and crack), but they are a lot LESS common than the public is lead to believe. This might leave you something you can think about: http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_warped_brakedisk.shtml
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I purchased a new volvo 740 turbo in 1989, within 2000 miles the dealer replaced pads and front rotors due to warpage. There was a TSB from volvo if I recall. Quality can have something to do with it and all the other suggestion also. Use your brakes as they were intended for .... braking, use your engine as it was inted for .... going. (:-}) All I can say is live and learn, question the dealer just like you would your doctor.
Rob

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Rob, Thanks for the advice, i surely learned a good lesson, but i'm going to fight more to get my money back, mostly through the small claim court, against either the dealer or Lexus corp. I still need to decide which one.
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