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Old 07-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
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Brake rotor rust

After picking up my new car I noticed on the drive home the rust on the rotors did not come off. I saw it at the dealer and thought it would just come off while braking...well it didn't. So now I'm wonder what will remove the rust. I have heard of people using steel wool or sandpaper and some brake cleaner. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

P.S.- Trying to find products that I can find locally.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Brake rotor rust

drive the car some more and the rust will go away. just takes some time.

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Brake rotor rust

It's being driven for the next 5 days. So I will have to see how much does come off.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Brake rotor rust

If you are talking rust on the rotors and not the wheels, if you get it off it will come back. the type of metal rotors are made of rust very easy so any time the car sits it will rust. here on the Oregon Coast we get rotor rust over night.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Brake rotor rust

There is still surface rust on the face of your rotors? Do you have a picture you could post? How new is the car? If the brakes have been properly broken in, you should be able to do a couple of full pressure brakes from 60mph to 20mph. Just be careful where you're doing this to avoid unsuspecting drivers having to brake unexpectedly behind you. An open stretch of highway with nobody around is best. I personally would not sand my rotors or use any chemicals that could eat away at the brake pad material. I believe Sonax makes an all wheel cleaner that lifts impurities in wheels. That could possibly work on your rotors.

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: Brake rotor rust

I get rust on my rotors overnight here in CO too... it is a thing we all have to live with...

The only rotors that have seen that don't rust are the full carbon ones and they are not very practical for a DD financially or otherwise...

If you get some zinc plated rotors they won't rust as much until the zinc is worn off...
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Brake rotor rust

CRC makes a brake cleaner, but unfortunatly, it doesn't remove rust. Harsh stuff, really...

I would worry about it unless the rotors aren't braking properly. You can replace your rotors down the road with some premium drilled and slotted, zinc coated (avoid any made with cadmium; cadmium is a toxic metal to us, last I checked) ones. Just make sure you get the ceramic brake pads. Big money, but you may find that they do not rust as easily?!?!
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: Brake rotor rust

see the attached image.

"1" is where the rotor is squeezed by the brake pads. this area is prone to rust over some time.

2 is the portion of the rotor that CAN have some rust problems that can be irritating.

3 is the portion that can also have rust.

if you are having issues with rust on "1", drive the car more, or keep it stored in a low humidity environment.

if you are having issues with rust on 2 or 3, remove the rotors and have them powder coated in the color of your choice. the painted portion that the brake pads ride on will wear away the paint in a short amount of time. be cautious when driving with the newly cured & coated rotors!

Most shops will tape off the portion of the rotor that the pads glide across, however they usually like to cover 1/8" to 1/4" with paint to be sure the rust doesnt return.

Even that little bit will take a few miles of driving before the painted portion has worn away to reveal metal the pads can "bite". before the pads can "bite" the rotor, the response and strength or your brakes will be equal to that of a 74 pinto; dont expect to stop if a ball bounces in front of your car, so choose your route accordingly.

hope it helps!
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:58 PM   #9
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Re: Brake rotor rust

^ that.

If the rust isnt in the area of where the pads rub (it most likely isnt, or else your pads arent actually stopping the car), you can look into powdercoating, or maybe zinc-coated rotors. I got rotors with a black zinc coating on them for my wifes car, and the edges and the "hats" (the portion where the lug studs come through) have never rusted.

You'll get some rusting where the pads rub from humidity, or even just washing your car, but a few uses of the brakes should make that go away.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #10
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Re: Brake rotor rust

Thanks for the advice everybody! I ended up using steel wool to remove the rust and then found out that some how the calipers aren't clamping the brake evenly. So that explains why the rust wasn't coming off. Ended up taking the wheel off and cleaning everything in sight. Very clean now
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