Reader Question: Hello,
My father has a 2002 Chevrolet Impala with the following brake problem. The rear rotors rust very quickly and do not ever clean themselves. The dealer replaced the rotors during warranty period, but need replaced again.
The car is driven regularly and does stop properly.
The front rotors on my truck rust overnight on wet nights, but on the first few stops the pads knock off the rust. I would go to a deserted parking lot and try to stop the vehicle with the emergency brake only (pull up and hold the release cable with your left hand so the emergency brake will not lock and you can control the stop) from about 35 PMH.
If the emergency brake does not stop the vehicle, I would assume your rear brakes are not working like they should. I would have the rear calipers checked to see if there is a problem like a fluid restriction or lack of brake fluid or if the rear brake pads are worn to thin to stop the vehicle or the rear rotors are too thin and the brake pads cannot grab onto them.
He could have a brake master cylinder problem, which is not supplying the rear brakes the needed fluid to operate. However, keep in mind the front brakes do the majority of the stopping power and will wear out twice as fast as the rear brake pads.
I would be curious as to why the rear rotors need to be changed again. I would/could expect the rear rotors to be resurfaced once or twice in the life of a 5-year-old vehicle and maybe replaced once, but needing to be replaced twice, something is probably wrong.
I would also not expect the rear rotors to be “warped” or need to be replaced if you suspect the rear brakes are not working if they are not working, why the rear rotors are damaged? More about warped brake rotors