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· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2012 Mazda 6 i Touring 2.5L 4 cyl automatic

I can not figure out why my rotors keep warping every year now and I'm looking for ideas. I've had the car to at least 2 shops and they have both seemingly been wrong about what's going on here.

I have done 3 brake jobs in 3 years (probably will be 4 brake jobs soon), even though after the first brake job i did on this car with much less than perfect workmanship on my part lasted 3 years. Next three brake jobs were done with much more care while being excessively obsessed over making everything perfect, and now I have problems very frequently. one of my theories is that I messed something up when I bled the brakes in November 2020 since i had never bled brakes before that time, but I don't really see how that could have messed anything up.

I drive in Upstate NY with terrible snowy salty winters. i drive mostly highway, about 20,000 mi/year. and i am very easy on my brakes, usually braking lightly and nice long slow stops and long periods of no brakes at all. Did not change my driving style at all, but after a few years of driving with my first brake job i started having problems. mind you, during the first brake job i used the wrong type of grease on the caliper pins and the rubber parts swelled up and cause uneven pad wear and i drove it like this for about 3 years before i had any issues and never had issues with warping rotors.

Sorry for rambling.

Here is the history of the vehicle:

August 2017, front rotors/pads, done by me

January 2018, rear rotors/pads, done by me

August 2020, Brakes smell hot, find seized sider pins, and replace all slider pins and start using Sil Glide rubber compatible brake grease since they were getting jammed due to swollen rubber parts on slider pins (due to my error of using the wrong type of grease).

Nov 2020, time for the rest of the brakes to be replaced. install new pads/rotors, brake fluid replaced and bled until clean fluid was coming out of all 4 bleeders. done by me

May 2021, vibration when braking, shop told me the front's were warped because i didn't install the brakes correctly (false, I had been in there and removed the pads effortlessly with 2 fingers a week before I brought it in to be looked at by a professional). Replaced all 4 pads/rotors, installed all 4 new (NAPA remanufactured) calipers. done by me

April 2022, Vibration again, bring it to shop, ask why my rotors keep warping, says RR wheel bearing is causing the warping but all four rotors have excessive runout, replaces that. I redo pads and rotors and rear brake hoses myself.

February 2023, notice slight pulsing under braking just like last year when i was in denial that the rotors were warping again.

Any ides???

· Administrator
18,943 Posts
Sorry to hear about the issues.

Couple of things:

  1. What brand pads/rotors are you replacing them with? Mazda had some recalls on their older rotors for warping issues so, if you keep getting those, they'll keep warping.
  2. Mazdas are somewhat notorious for the pins locking, but it sounds like you already fully replaced/lubed those - still worth checking to see if they've seized again.
  3. If you've replaced all the parts, done all the things, and it's still happening, your braking habits are probably causing the problem :)

· Registered
8,306 Posts
  1. If you've replaced all the parts, done all the things, and it's still happening, your braking habits are probably causing the problem :)
This. Long slow braking will heat them up, and then you sit at the light with the brakes on allowing the rotor to cool disportionately, which deposits pad material on the rotor and cooks the pads.
Not torquing the wheels to a high enough value, i torque mine to 110ft/lbs.

If you want brakes that will last, look in my sig, then change your driving habits to putting the car in Neutral at stop lights, maybe keeping the e brake on enough to keep the car from moving as they dont so much braking so they wouldnt heat up at much as the fronts.

· Registered
2,129 Posts
The number of drivers who don't drop a gear or two going down long, sustained down-gradients continually amazes me. I don't even have to be looking for brake lights on continuously (I could be blindfolded!); I can smell the unmistakeable aroma of burning brakes...

Mechanical sympathy (lack thereof)...

· Registered
3,744 Posts
It's highly, highly unlikely you are heating your rotors to the point of warping them. Especially on a regular basis. Instead, it is more likely have pad material embedded into the surface of the rotor.

Use a dial indicator to check if the rotors are actually warped. Also pick-up a 3M rotor resurface kit and see if it doesn't take care of the pulsing.

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