Front Rotors Gone but Pads Still Good


Asked by munron Oct 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just replaced the front brakes on my Cobalt SS.  The rotors were warped and I could see they were
badly grooved so I expected the pads to be down to metal.  To my surprise the pads were barely
worn.  Not even close to the wear sensors.  The slot that runs across the face of the pad material was
packed full of what appears to be brake pad/rotor material, and of course the face of the pads are
rippled to match the grooving on the rotors.

I replaced pads and rotors with stock parts, but can't figure out why this happened and would like to
prevent it happening again.  I have read up on proper procedure for rotor seasoning and pad bedding
and plan to follow that procedure.

I bought the car with 100,000 km (60,000 Mi) on it and am doing the brakes for the first time at
165,000 km (100,000 Mi).  I'm guessing the brakes were done once before I got the car, but I'm not

Anyone have any thoughts?

5 Answers

John Leone

most people just throw pads and be done, rotors on the other hand are easy to warp, all it takes is a puddle of water, when they are hot., and if you see the grooves, it means someone ignored the wear...or, it was still legal size. the easiest way is when you are driving and apply the brakes with ease, you feel pulsation in the brake pedal., if you feel the vibration in the seat, then it is the rears

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Good point. I never thought about the fact that the grooves might have been there all along. The warping definately happened this past winter. I put up with it all summer but finally couldn't stand it any longer. Feels much better now.

John Leone

note, if the vibration is felt more in the base of the seat, it is coming from the rear, and if more in the steering wheel/dash board/pedal, it is from the front....message if i can help anymore


too much heat from sudden stops or just long term wear and tear . somebody most likely drove the car till the brakes were metal to metal and just replaced the pads. i'm guessing the pads were changed at least 3 or 4 times before. factory pads usually last for around 50000 miles .

John Saffrahn

Garbage metallic pads cause this. They overheat then end up warping the rotor or squeaking or both. The vehicle is supposed to have ceramic pads but cheap people who want to sell a vehicle and add sell points put a set of $20 pads on it and say yea its has new brakes but fail to mention that they are the wrong ones. The new Chrysler's use metallic pads stock and they are overheating and having to be replaced at 20k miles. The newer rotors are way smaller and can't dissipate the heat caused by metallic pads like the old ones could. Ceramic pads create less heat and cause less wear on the rest of the vehicle.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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