Pulsating Brakes...at High Speeds

kohokohoSeptember 22, 2005

When I slow down from 60/70mph in my 88 Camry, my brakes pulsate. But this doesn't happen much at slow speeds. What could be some possible causes? I know any issues with brakes could be serious, but I wanted to get an idea from you all before I hit the service shop. I must mention though that the rotors are old and rusted since this is an old car. Thanks.

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wrencher42

Rusted rotors or warped rotors are the most common cause of brake pulsation.If your rotors are not rusted to bad a shop may be able to resurface them.
HTH. Bob

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 9:31PM
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vstech

I don't like to resurface the thin rotors on the light duty imports. the new rotors are very reasonable, but not as cheap as trimming off the highspots on an old rotor. this is an ok temp solution, but new rotors are better. are you going to do the repairs yourself, or have it done at a shop? if having it done, don't take it to a "brake Expert" shop. they charge quite a bit. get a quote from a few general repair shops as well. it is a pretty simple repair to change the rotors, and having a shop turn them is usually only about 5.00 per rotor. new rotors are usually between 15 and 50.00 each.
John

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 10:30PM
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earthworm

Your rotors are probably thin and warped...rust usually means little or nothing...
Resurfacing works well on thicker truck rotors where there is "excess" material...
IMO, it is better to go to the expert shops, particularly for brakes.....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 1:30PM
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airforceguy

My 98 Camry does it as well. My car mechanic stated its most likely the rotors. At his garage they rarely ever resurface them anymore, for a few $$ more one can get brand new ones.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 2:53PM
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skagmobile

I read this thread when it first appeared here on 9-22-05 and didn't respond because of all the flak that my response would probably garner BUT!!! I'm gonna dood it if I dit a whippin anyway. As far as I'm concerned disc brakes are something that should never have been made. If kohokoho had had the old drum type brakes this would never have happened but if it had happened the drums could have been turned (ground down) with no adverse effects. Resurfacing the rotors is a waste of time and money because it simply won't last. The rotors get hot quicker because they are now thinner and warp all over again. I'm aware that disc brakes are supposed to stop the vehicle faster than drum brakes but I've driven many mile with drum brakes and never once had to drag my feet on the road in order to slow down. And then there's the calipers. Has anyone ever had the caliper piston get stuck in the caliper because of rust? Sometimes I've had to force the pistons out with lots of air pressure. Not a safe thing to do but it works and it beats selling someone with little money a new caliper. This didn't happen with the old type wheel cylinder. Most everything in life comes down to money so I suppose the disc set up is cheaper to manufacture than the old drum type. That is to say cheaper to manufacture but more expensive to repair. The manufacturers did the same thing when they switched to front wheel drive, cheaper to make more expensive to repair. You don't really think they did it for the consumers benefit do you. My personal vehicle is a '99 S-10 and right now my brakes are doing the same thing which means I'll replace the rotors instead of resurfacing them. I have never ever had to replace a drum on the older vehicles which is what I mean about being more expensive to maintain. Now people, it's your turn to tear this response apart but you know opinions are like a--ah--well faces most everybody has one and this one is mine. Later Skag

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:53PM
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gary__

I'll bite. No whipping, but imo disc brakes are better in every way. If they were cheeper from a manufacturing standpoint, I'd think everything would have had disc brakes all around long ago.

Drum brakes fade faster. If you live in a rainy climate like I do, you'd appreciate having the ability to stop after driving through a puddle. Water gets between the drum and shoe creating a barier so you get an extra high, extra firm pedal, but no braking whatsoever. When they do finally start to grab, they pull hard one way or the other till the water is all removed. Not a problem with disc brakes.

Disc and drum brakes both have minimum thicknesses. Cut a drum too thin and they'll go out of round just like a rotor will warp. The only difference is when a rotor warps, you'll feel it in the brake pedal. Not with a drum, though you may feel the vehicle surge to a stop. I had the rotors turned on our '93 Ford tempo about 60k miles ago. No problem since. Had the rotors turned on our '98 dodge durango 6 months ago. No problem there either.

If you never replaced a drum, you haven't done many brakes or you never measured them. They tend to get bell mouthed. By the time you cut them till they're smooth all the way across they're often times out of spec. Fords were especially bad. Don't know why. Throwing away the drums on ford products was almost automatic at brake relining time.

I like old cars and old technology, but I'd have to say disc brakes are superior to drum. jmo

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 11:06PM
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vstech

I gotta agree with both of you.
drums are cheaper to service, and they don't need resurfacing any where nearly as often as discs do.
if they get scored up, they sure are hard to remove though!
the spoons for releasing tension are difficult to adjust.
then again, when was the last time you bought a rebuilt kit for calipers? new calipers loaded with bolts for my 97 suburban 14.00 each! rear drum piston kit 28.00
HMMMM?
John

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 12:28PM
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