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Chrysler PT Cruiser: Rotor Replacement

Q--Have you ever heard of replacing front brake rotors after only 23,000 miles? What about replacing rotors before the first set of pads wear out? This is what my local Chrysler dealer is telling me to do with my PT Cruiser. I took it in with the brake light coming on during quick starts. Turns out the brake fluid was low because the pads had worn a little and, as they say, the rotors are shot! How can rotors wear before the pads do? Please give advice. Can I get Chrysler to replace what is obviously cheap parts? Why would rotors wear so quickly?

A—Although it is a bit unusual for the rotors to wear out before the brake pads, I am seeing this happen more often lately. Cars are now equipped with rotors not a millimeter thicker than necessary as part of the effort to trim weight and cost. Coupled with aggressive friction materials, those rotors are often unable to be machined and instead must be replaced.

Whenever the brake calipers are removed to get access to the rotors, I suggest replacing the brake pads, too. But you might want to consider a different brand of brake pads. But neither the pads nor rotors will be replaced free.

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