GM Volt Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took my 2011 Volt in for servicing today - at around 118k miles, I had noticed a brake pulsation on moderately hard deceleration from about 70 MPH (friction braking). Upon inspection at my Chevy dealer, I was told I still have about 50% of the original brake lining left, and I don't need pads. BTW, I very rarely use "Low", so you see, you still get the regenerative braking in D.

However, the pulsation required resurfacing of the rotors and a test of the brake fluid showed it needed to be replaced; brake fluid absorbs moisture. Fair enough. You may wonder why the rotors needed resurfacing if the pads were okay. My theory, backed up by the time I worked at GM technical service, is that in rotating the wheels every 7500 miles, the service technician used an impact wrench instead of tightening them without power tools, and the rotors got warped from that - cars with aluminum wheels are especially susceptible. I remember an essential tool, a "torque stick" that was supposed to be used with the impact wrench, if that's how wheels were mounted.

I also chose to replace the shocks / struts all around, with the front end alignment needed afterwards. The original ones were starting to leak oil, and it would just get worse. In particular, the antilock brakes would be eager to kick in over rough / wavy roads when coming to a stop light, with the wheels not tracking the pavement real well. The suspension isn't much different from any other car, plus if you have experienced the poor shape of Michigan roads, you would understand. We can pay now in the form of higher gas taxes, which the honorable politicians have not had the will to raise, or car repairs later.

This is the first major expense on my Volt (other than tires - still on my second set) that I have had to pay. Everything is running strong, and I just completed a 1,700 mile road trip earlier this week.

Best car I've ever had - and the most miles I have ever registered on any of my cars (I had a 1970 Chevy Malibu that reached 100k).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,833 Posts
Great report! I look forward to having my new 2014 for the next 20-some years. Your experience reinforces my belief that my goal will be met.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,677 Posts
Awesome news confirming just how well the Gen I Volt was engineered/built. I've owned/driven a lot of cars during my 50 years of driving and am a hardcore enthausiast and could immediately feel how special the Gen I Volt is. GM really built a world class car.

What's sad and funny at the same time is either long time owners or subsequent owners will be the ones to prove this.

Pity how the lame stream media trashed the Volt and no telling how many sales it cost GM.

I hope the Gen II Volt is built as well.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,880 Posts
You're spot on about the rotors and their method of tightening. I had the same thing happen to a Honda Civic I owned previously. I try to do all tire rotations on my own now for this very reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
Warped rotors are primarily caused by over tightening the lug nuts. Dealers will tell you that is not true so they can charge you for resurfacing. That is the main reason I do my own rotations. Since I started doing my own I have never had a warped rotor. Tell the mechanic to torque the nuts to manufacturers recommendations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
I'm not surprised about the brake pads. At 36k miles mine are like new.

I love the fact the front wheels aren't constantly coated with brake pad dust. Car looks good all the time.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
I'm not surprised about the brake pads. At 36k miles mine are like new.

I love the fact the front wheels aren't constantly coated with brake pad dust. Car looks good all the time.
Here's part of the reason the brakes are never covered in dust (along with the fact we rarely have to use the friction brakes. :) )

https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2011/Nov/1130_fnc.html

My Volvo C30 was notorious for getting the front wheels covered in brake dust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You're spot on about the rotors and their method of tightening. I had the same thing happen to a Honda Civic I owned previously. I try to do all tire rotations on my own now for this very reason.
Yeah, I used to do all my tire rotations myself until I got my Volt. The lack of a spare tire, and very low clearance precluding the use of my hydraulic jack caused me to go to the dealer for free tire rotations that came with buying the tires from them. Even if I were willing to buy a jack and a spare (let's not go there), I see no way to re-learn the position of the tire pressure sensors in the manner of previous GM cars; it appears to take special service equipment. And yeah, I suspect the guys doing the oil changes and tire rotations aren't among the sharpest knives in the drawer at the dealer service department.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,008 Posts
Yeah, I used to do all my tire rotations myself until I got my Volt. The lack of a spare tire, and very low clearance precluding the use of my hydraulic jack caused me to go to the dealer for free tire rotations that came with buying the tires from them. Even if I were willing to buy a jack and a spare (let's not go there), I see no way to re-learn the position of the tire pressure sensors in the manner of previous GM cars; it appears to take special service equipment. And yeah, I suspect the guys doing the oil changes and tire rotations aren't among the sharpest knives in the drawer at the dealer service department.
My solution is to drive te front tires onto some 2 by 10 chunks of wood to gain the clearance. The rear tires are fine with my jack. Plus, luckily my wife's car is a 2004 CTS which has the exact right sized spare. One more thing, torque the bolts is a star pattern going around lightly the first time around then using the second round to tighten to the proper torque. I stopped using the dealerships for brake and tire work years ago when I would mysteriously get warped rotors shortly after any work on the tires or brakes. I haven't warped a rotor since I've started doing my own brake work. I also haven't rotated any tires for decades until I got the volt and subaru (subaru drivetrains are sensitive to uneven tire wear). my BMW 535i owner's manual specifically stated not to rotate tires as it hides any wear issues and doesn't buy that much extra miles on a set of tires. Plus their suspension setup causes the tires to wear a certain way,mane mixing up the wheels messes up that wear pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I am afraid that you will removed completely the FNC hardened and corrosion resistant layer on your rotors by resurfacing. Your Rotors got a Ferretic Carbo nitriding (FNC) heat treatment in order to prevent corrosion because of low usage on an electric car. This layer must be quite thin, they says one-tenth of a human hair in the press release!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,396 Posts
Yes, the general consensus is to not resurface volt rotors, but replace if necessary.

At least you got 118,588 miles out of them before they will now rust to hell :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brake rotors wear, so if the treatment was truly 1/10th the width of a human hair, it would have been worn off by now anyway.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top