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2017 Did I get had on my rear brake job?

1811 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  phattyduck
Hi, I have a 2017 Volt with about 68k miles on it, I've had the car since new.

Went to a local shop I've been to before and have had generally good experiences with for the 68k service. I've known the rear brake rotors have been pretty badly scored for a while now as some other owners have experienced, see e.g. Gen 2 rear brake pad/rotor change, sorry I can't immediately find pics of the original condition of my own.

They said they thought the front brakes & pads were still pretty good with about 50% life left, but that the rears should be done and I agreed to that. They asked if I'd like the regular rotors or the FNC rotors and I asked for the FNC.

First problem I noticed was that about 2 days after the work was done there was a driving rainstorm in my area for the better part of a day. I went out the next day and the "new" rears were covered in rust. But the front 6+ year old rotors had no rust on them. So it seems they at least maybe didn't replace them with the FNC-rotors I asked for, okay not the end of the world I guess..

Second problem however is that now, a couple weeks later after a few hundred miles of driving, I'm starting to notice an odd wear pattern on the rear rotors. I'm unsure if this is normal for new rotors but it looks suspiciously similar to the "rusty grooving" my old rotors had, just not nearly as bad.

I've attached pics of a rear rotor and corresponding front (which again have never been replaced since new), each side looks similar. I'm not a mechanic and don't look at rotors every day so I don't know enough to say if what I see on the rears is normal or not, but my amateur opinion is for "new" rotors they look kinda like crap! So at best I have concerns they didn't put on the FNCs as I asked, at worst that they maybe just turned down the old rotors and slapped them back on. First is rear, second is front:

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Any comments or suggestions appreciated, thanks.
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You would have needed to view them right after the brake job to be sure. The rear brakes get very little wear on the Volt. I'm at 120k on my 14 and they still work fine.
Thanks for getting back. I looked at them incidentally after the job was done but I didn't get down and look carefully. From a distance they looked new enough.

One usually only sees slight surface rust for quite a while unless they live in an area with massive amounts of winter road salt
The heavy rusting on the "FNC rotors" after the first rainstorm they sat out in was the first point I had concerns and kept an eye on it since then and, yeah..still have concerns. I live in southern New England but the weather has been fairly mild this year, probably not as much salt on the roads as usual...

I'm moving from the area within a few months and likely won't ever be going back to this shop again anyway, they don't know that but I'm wondering if it's worth the aggravation approaching them about it at all, other than the FNC issue I don't know that I can finally prove they didn't do the job right, I just have suspicions. "Coated rotors" is definitely what they charged me for on the bill, though.

And if I take the time to take it to another shop that looks at them and agrees with me I might as well just have that shop do it right, I'd never let the previous place work on it again regardless! :rolleyes:
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The rotor looks like it has seen 10k miles of driving, not a couple hundred. Odd to see so much scoring. They didn't reuse the pads did they?
I've added a few more pics of the rear if it's any help.

If I didn't know better, would say these are used rotors.
Seems plausible, I was a bit surprised they were just like "Ok boss" about the FNCs and had me bring the car in that week for a
one day turn-around, and didn't have to order parts.
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I would find out the difference in price between FNC treated rotors and non-treated rotors to make up my mind on hashing it out with the shop, or just chalking it up to a lesson learned.
Right, $450 in parts and labor is a wobbler for me, particularly since it's unlikely I was going back there again anyway. I think it's unlikely they just turned down my old rear rotors, they were pretty far gone. I think it's more likely these maybe just aren't brand new, and maybe aren't the type I asked for.

Glad I didn't bother with a full set..
This is exactly what it looks to me. The OP seems to be gotten had.
I'm unsure at this point, the condition of the old rear rotors was pretty rough, I'm not sure they could've ben turned down to look like this "good" again. Unfortunately I don't have before-pictures at hand but I don't have a garage, so the car has lived outside through many New England winters. As I understand it the rear brakes on hybrids like the Volt sometimes deteriorate through disuse compounded by exposure to the elements, and I think that was what happened in my case, they had wide "rusty ridges" on them (for lack of a better term) that no amount of mashing the brakes in neutral would clear off.

My alternate explanation of why new FNC-rotors could look coated in surface rust right after install: I drove home just a couple miles from the shop and parked the car, without breaking in the new pads much at all. The rotors are FNC-treated but the pads aren't, maybe the new rotors got coated in dust from manufacturing that spalls off new pads. Then a heavy rainstorm came, and it was the crap that transferred, that rusted. Or just dust from the shop, some other source. Not a materials scientist, here..

But I think it's plausible the rotors are new treated rotors, and that was just a weird coincidence. I've had a good relationship with this shop for some time.

Next big rainstorm that comes up I'll see what they do to test my "theory", have to see what happens now that there's a few hundred miles on them and the pads have worn down a bit. I have some concerns about the wear pattern but maybe that's a separate issue I'll bring up.
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