New Rotors for 2002 Explorer


Asked by Jul 09, 2013 at 01:30 PM about the 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I had new rotors put on my 2002 Explorer at 136,082 miles.  Took my vehicle in for inspection today and was told that I need new rotors again.  Explorer now has 161,992 miles on it.  Both times it was serviced by Ford dealership.  Dealer can't explain why this happened.  Dealer said that nothing is "hanging" with brakes, calipers, etc. to make this happen.  Can't explain why it happened.  Spoke with Assistant Service Manager and the Service Manager.  They don't know why.  This seems very suspicious as to why I need new rotors when they can't find anything wrong.  They assured me that Motorcraft rotors were put in the last time.  Only drove 26,000 miles on them and now I need new ones?  Anyone have an explanation?

10 Answers

how are the pads? Did they wear an equivalent sum? 30,000 is plenty for a set of rotors....perhaps the pads were too hard....use a softer brake pad this time~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Brake pads are fine per the dealer. Both sides were the same. I just would like to know how come I got 136,000 miles out of the rotors that came with the vehicle but only 26,000 out of the replacement ones. That's 110,000 mile diference.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

rack it up to quality Chinese re-cycled American Steel~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tracy Hooks

Have the rear brakes inspected thoroughly. Is the dealer doing an actual measurement of the rotors or just a "CYA and swap the rotors because it's faster and the labor's the same?" What are the actual measurements of the rotor thickness, run-out and the specifications? In the flat-rate mechanic's world, that's a quick brake job! Compress the caliper pistons, unbolt the calipers, swap the rotors and pads - done in 45 minutes and it pays 2+ hours. We call that "Gravy" Fast, easy and profitable - it's the wrong way to do things but shortcuts are the flat-rater's livelihood. Ford trucks are hard on brakes (especially front brakes) - I don't think they equip the vehicles with much more than they need to stop the truck (bare minimum). With the premium materials (metallic and ceramic) being used in the pads today - it doesn't surprise me to see rotors worn out almost as fast as the pads wear out. In our fleet, the Dodge trucks wear rotors out as fast and their noisy! judge_roy has a point - the cheapest parts from the lowest bidder has something to do with it too. You might consider a second opinion from a (reputable) independent shop.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tracy Hooks

BTW - Service Managers are usually former Parts Managers. They rarely attend any kind of training as to the actual technology of the vehicles. Ask to see their technical credentials (Ford or ASE certifications) Talk to the mechanics AWAY FROM THE SERVICE MANAGER.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the input.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tracy Hooks

No problem! The best way to find a reputable independent shop is just like finding a new doctor - ask your friends where they go and ask people that drive vehicles similar to yours. Since it's an Explorer, you may even consider a 4x4 or off-road specialty shop. They know suspension and brakes.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Just to add a little business info. The state inspection station states you need new rotors. You take it to a dealership. The dealership doesn't care if the roters are perfect and installed new yesterday. They'll do another brake job and hand you the bill. Now for the tricks of the trade. Had a brother who retired from being a certified GM mechanic since 1963. Here is how it works. GM states a certain repair should take 3.5 hours (for example) The mechanic is paid at his hourly rate for 3.5 hours. If it takes him 6.6 hours he gets paid for 3.5. If it takes 45 minutes for the repair he gets paid 3.5 hours. The time alottments for repairs are not generous either. At least not years ago as warranty work was calculated by the same book. See the possibilities here. Here is a good recommendation if you do not want to learn how to do such repairs yourself. Find yourself a good mechanic shop. A good shop will most often have the owner getting his hands dirty along with the other people in the shop. Stick with him. Bring your car in for oil changes and repairs, they like return business. You will be much more likely to get what you pay for once they know you're coming back again and again. Personally, I'd learn how to change the brakes on the explorer myself. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the difficulty scale it's about a two. If you can take the wheel off the car you can fix rebuild the brakes yourself with top of the line parts and pocket a few hundred bucks in savings at the same time.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

sure shootin' ain't like the old days where you needed a special tool to release the needed a special tool to put the spring on and off, you needed several special tools to adjust the star wheel adjuster...disc brakes are the ultimate self-adjusting trouble free gig out there...imagine if we had "band brakes" like they did before drum'd have to replace your brake band~


You think band brakes are bad, take a look at a early 50's model Rolls. There were four shoes to each wheel. The the power brake method used back then ran off servos attached to the transmission. Over a dozen springs for each wheel and every one slightly larger or smaller than the other.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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