Tag Archives: brakes

Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement 102

Almost 2 years ago I wrote my brake pad and rotor replacement 101 post detailing some of the stuff I went through to replace the brake pads and rotors on my 2004 Pontiac Sunfire. A few weeks ago I noticed that the car was pulsing a bit under heavy braking. That’s never a good sign. I took the car into my mechanic for a regular oil change and asked them to take a look at my brakes. With the good luck we recently had on the Pontiac Vibe brakes, I was hoping for the best but really expecting the worst.

Sure enough, my brake rotors are shot. Now, the interesting part – my brake pads were still in fantastic condition.

I actually had to come back home and read my original post to jog my memory about what parts I had put on the Sunfire. Turns out, I put the high quality Monroe brake pads from Canadian Tire on the Sunfire. Unfortunately, I put the cheapest rotors on as that was all they had at my local Canadian Tire the day I went in. I had been looking for the Monroe rotors at the time. Crap. Yes, the rotors lasted about 40,000km but having my mechanic tell me that the pads are still in fantastic shape irritates me.

What I’ve taken from this, and why I’m calling this post “Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement 102”, is that it’s probably better to spend money on good rotors instead of good pads. Well, at least don’t mix and match quality. ;)

Anyways, due to some recent changes in real life, I didn’t have time to do another brake pad and rotor job on the Sunfire myself so I dropped almost $450 at the garage for the brake inspection, adjustment and replacement, my oil change and my tires getting rotated. Barf. Here’s hoping I don’t have to do any brake work for at least 50,000km.

Pontiac Vibe Brakes

We recently noticed some new grinding sounds coming from our 2006 Pontiac Vibe when you used the brakes first thing in the morning. The first thing I thought was “Oh Crap.”. The second thing I thought was “Damn, I haven’t done anything with the brakes yet on this car.”.

That’s right folks, our 2006 Pontiac Vibe was over 85,000km on the factory brake pads and rotors. Now, admittedly, we do a lot of highway driving and very little in the way of stop and go driving. Even so, I figured that over 85,000km was a little much for a car to go on factory pads and rotors. We got the car into our local garage for them to take a look and let us know what the damage was going to be.

“There’s nothing wrong with your brakes.”

Yup, that’s what the mechanic said to The Boss. He mentioned that there were a few “hot spots” on the rotors that he was going to grind down but otherwise the fronts still had about 50% and the rears were still about 60%. Even the mechanic was very surprised when he realized these were the stock factory brake pads and rotors.

I really can’t complain about our 2006 Pontiac Vibe. We have only had to pay for a set of winter tires, oil changes and tire rotations. I think we’re in for a new set of all-seasons next spring but the car will be near 90,000km by then and again, I can’t complain about getting that much mileage out of a set of stock factory tires or a set of pads and rotors!