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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question. When I am traveling at normal speed and begin to brake in order to slow down, my car shakes. Does that mean my rotors are bad? or do I have a bad engine mount? I don't think it is an engine mount b/c it only shakes when I'm braking. Also, I would like to replace the brake system for a better performance/less dust. Can anyone recommend a brand or system to look into?

Thanks a bunch.
 

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I have a question. When I am traveling at normal speed and begin to brake in order to slow down, my car shakes. Does that mean my rotors are bad? or do I have a bad engine mount? I don't think it is an engine mount b/c it only shakes when I'm braking. Also, I would like to replace the brake system for a better performance/less dust. Can anyone recommend a brand or system to look into?

Thanks a bunch.
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How many miles do you have on your present rotors? Chances are fairly good that your problem is deposits of brake pad material on the rotors, which can be removed.

I have been looking into the same replacement issue myself, at least for the front (pads about gone; rotors will have to be turned for new pads; and not enough thickness would be left in the rotor after turning to be safe). At the present time, I am leaning toward (not yet committed to) DBA "standard" rotors from a site sponsor and Hawk Performance Ceramic pads. The questions remaining in my mind are whether the DBA rotors are sufficiently better than the stock rotors from another site sponsor to justify the price differential (just about double: $60 per rotor, plus shipping vs. $229 per pair of rotors, shipping included), and whether Raybestos (a trusted brand name) rotors (less expensive than Mazda-sourced rotors) are just as good as Mazda-sourced rotors.

As to pads, everybody in warm climates has good things to say about Carbotech Bobcats, but I have heard some questions raised whether they warm up quickly enough to drive safely in 40-50 degree (F.) weather and lower temperatures.

There is a very informative post by a fellow named Rob Levinson in a BMW forum here. (I found it helpful, at least.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many miles do you have on your present rotors? Chances are fairly good that your problem is deposits of brake pad material on the rotors, which can be removed.

I have been looking into the same replacement issue myself, at least for the front (pads about gone; rotors will have to be turned for new pads; and not enough thickness would be left in the rotor after turning to be safe). At the present time, I am leaning toward (not yet committed to) DBA "standard" rotors from a site sponsor and Hawk Performance Ceramic pads. The questions remaining in my mind are whether the DBA rotors are sufficiently better than the stock rotors from another site sponsor to justify the price differential (just about double: $60 per rotor, plus shipping vs. $229 per pair of rotors, shipping included), and whether Raybestos (a trusted brand name) rotors (less expensive than Mazda-sourced rotors) are just as good as Mazda-sourced rotors.

As to pads, everybody in warm climates has good things to say about Carbotech Bobcats, but I have heard some questions raised whether they warm up quickly enough to drive safely in 40-50 degree (F.) weather and lower temperatures.

There is a very informative post by a fellow named Rob Levinson in a BMW forum here. (I found it helpful, at least.)
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Thank yo so much for your info. My car is a 2004 and just turned 30K. So you think the rotors have brake deposits?
 

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if they do have deposits, you can take them off and sand them, or get them turned by a brake shop.
 

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Mine shake also. My rotors are shot, as are my pads. I just ordered a whole replacement, Rotora rotors and Hawk pads, from RPM. Hopefully they won't squeak too much or I'll be ditching the pads.
 

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This is one of the few questions that I absolutely hate. The thing with brakes is at best any recommendation is going to be subjective. Way too many variables exist that should be taken into consideration when discussing brakes. What you read and hear are merely generalizations 'hopefully' based on the person's first-hand experience. The biggest variable is the driver. There are drivers who engage in heavy braking, there are those that will ease to a stop, there are those who use their brake to maintain speed, there are those who avoid using the brake and probably a million other scenarios. Unfortunately what works for somebody else might not work for you.

With that said, you mentioned two key factors in your original post; you use your brake to slow down and you prefer your pads to produce minimal dust. Without knowing anything else I say it would be smart to go with a ceramic pad. (Full disclosure: I'm biased toward Hawk). On average, ceramic pads produce less dust than other compounds for most drivers. Next, ceramic pads have a less aggressive 'bite' when compared to other compounds. Unless you're racing your car, it sounds like you don't need an aggressive set of brake pads that would probably do 'some' harm in the long run.
 

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If you get a shudder also consider the possibility of warped rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for all your feedback. I do agree that my question is loaded and the brakes depend on the usage etc. I am a typical female and I don't know who else to consult others than you guys who have the same vehicle as me. I think I am going to take the car to the dealer though and have them check out why it vibrates when slowing down. I don't use my brakes excessively or heavily so I don't need a hard set. I just need a set of brakes that won't produce as much dust and won't squeek. (Doesn't sound too much to ask for, does it?)

:)
 

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not saying it isn't brakes but i would definatly check your engine mounts anyway, because someone just posted that thiers broke not too long ago. search archive.
 
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