How to prepare new brake rotor before installing on your car
Cleaning a brake rotor properly before installation reduces brake noise
This article is part of a series. Read these other two important brake job “musts” before installing new brakes
You must properly prepare new brake rotors before you install them or you can actually create a condition where they make noise. New brake rotors are often coated with an anti rust coating at the factory. That coating must be removed to achieve proper braking. You can use spray brake cleaner and a clean rag to dissolve the coating, but don’t stop there.
Remove anti-rust coating from the new brake rotor
Remove the brake rotor from the box and look for the anti-rust coating. In some cases it will look like oil, in others it looks almost like varnish. Remove this coating with aerosol brake cleaner and a clean shop rag (no oil on rag).
Then wash the brake rotor with hot soapy water and a brush
Yes, you read that right. Never heard of that step? Welcome to the club. Brake parts manufacturers now require this step to remove any residual metal filing left in the rotor finishing grooves. If you skip this step, those metallic particles will embed into the brake pads and cause noise.
Fill a tub with hot soapy water and use a scrub brush to remove cleaner residue. You may not think this step is important, but it is. Aerosol brake cleaner does NOT remove these metallic particles. It actually drives them deeper into the machined grooves.
Think I’m “full of it?” Watch this training video from Federal Modul’s Wagner brake division. This is now the official prepare new brake rotors advice from all manufacturers
Take a look at these cleaning images showing how much metallic debris is left on a new rotor after cleaning with just aerosol brake cleaner
©, 2015 Rick Muscoplat
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- coating with aerosol brake cleaner
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- prepare new brake rotors
- soapy water and a brush
- water and a brush