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I took our Honda pilot for b1 service to the dealership in Moreno Valley California that we have purchased our last three Hondas. I asked them to check the brakes because in the past couple of months we have noticed that the car shimmies as we are slowing down. I was told most likely it was the rotors when I dropped the car off. When I picked it up they said it was the rotors but my brake pads were still over 7mm? I would need to do a brake job if I wanted the shimmy to go away but it was not recommended because of the cost. We have had our vehicle for 1 year and 9 months with mileage at 22,453. The rotors are covered for 12,000 MI. I've been a loyal customer of this dealership since 2002 and get all of our service down there. I have always been a big fan of Hondas. But apparently this is a not just me issue. Whenever I've taken our vehicles to the dealership for service they have always told me that I drive the vehicle the way it should be driven because of the lenght of time between my required service lights. I am I'm extremely cautious driver especially since I usually have foster children in our vehicle. The rotors in a $39,000 vehicle should definitely last longer. This obviously has been an issue Honda is passing on to unaware buyers.
 

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More than likely the rotors are not worn out, but are warped or have a build up of material on their surface. This causes the vibration when braking. You can see about having the rotors "turned" at a shop, or replace the rotors. If you are at all handy, not a difficult job to do.

Last rotors I had turned cost me $12.00 each at an O'Reilly Auto store locally. I had taken the old rotors off and all they had to do was turn them. Took care of my shimmy or vibration when braking. This wasn't my Pilot, but a different vehicle.
 

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I going to have to say it is driving habits. I have a 2016 and i just replaced all 4 brakes and rotors. I did them as a precautionary they had about a 1/8 of a inch on all the pads with 53000 miles on them. I probably could have gotten another 4-5000 miles but didn't feel like doing the brakes in the middle of the winter. I do mainly stop and go driving. So im going to say that it is driving habits if you are heating up rotors
 

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I going to have to say it is driving habits. I have a 2016 and i just replaced all 4 brakes and rotors. I did them as a precautionary they had about a 1/8 of a inch on all the pads with 53000 miles on them. I probably could have gotten another 4-5000 miles but didn't feel like doing the brakes in the middle of the winter. I do mainly stop and go driving. So im going to say that it is driving habits if you are heating up rotors
I concur, especially because of this part:

I am I'm extremely cautious driver especially since I usually have foster children in our vehicle.
I wonder if OP rides the brakes? I didn't have to do brakes on our '12 Touring until somewhere around 50K as well.
 

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The OP said that the brake pads are still over 7mm, which is a safe measurement and doesn't indicate riding the brakes. The rotor(s) have a build up of lining deposit which has created an uneven surface for the pads to press again. This is resulting in the vibration or shaking in my opinion. With 22400+ miles on the vehicle, and 7mm of pad left, there are still plenty of miles left on the pads. Getting close to 50k with these pads doesn't seem to be out of the question at this rate of wear.

Have the rotors "turned" or replace them. We have all heard of "warped" rotors which is what the build up of material on the rotors is, or improper torquing of the wheel nuts when the tires have been rotated or removed.

Rotor "warping"
 

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Unfortunately your barking up the wrong tree. Rotors are not just a Honda issue......almost every car made now has crappy rotors.......because they are made from crappy metal. Gone are the days when rotors would last dam near the life of a car and they could be cut 3-4 times. My mechanic has been telling me for years its usually cheaper just to put on a brand new set. The metal is not hardened the way it used to be, lower grades of metals are used.

One little trick a learned years ago to help prolong the life of them is this. When your wrapping up a trip in your car and if your on your brakes the last bit before parking the car Do Not put on the parking brake unless you really need to. Applying the parking brake when the rotors are hot (and not moving) only hold the heat longer in the metal on that one spot. Doing that will add to warpage.

FYI.......I have a little over 13K on my 2019 EX-L. Around 12K I started to notice a very slight wrap in my front rotors
 

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I dont have any warping issues on any of my cars since I make sure to torque the lug nuts correctly. My CRV has 130K on its original rotors and it stops as smooth as it did on day one. 3rd set of pads. Don't trust anyone to torque correctly. You have to do it yourself.
 

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Before spending any money, search google on how to properly "bed in brakes." If your shimmying is caused by brake deposits, a proper bed in can eliminate the issue. Worth the 15 min it takes to find out! If this doesn't work, get the rotors replaced or machined (turned). Despite what the dealer tells you, you won't need new pads, and this should significantly reduce the labor charges they quote you. (Changing pads all around and properly greasing the calipers probably adds another hour or so to the labor time, not to mention more cost of parts).

Also, I give this advice a lot: Don't hold your brakes firmly when you come do a stop. More details here: https://www.piloteers.org/threads/brake-rotor-problems-on-17-pilot-elite.158275/post-1623143

Regardless of whether the bedding in process helps your brakes this time, my advice above (and some of the other advice in that thread) should reduce the chances of it happening again.
 

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i found doing the bedding of the brakes helped. thing is i havnt changed my style of driving and braking and the pilot is the first to do this. so after driving 30+ years its my problem the brakes are doing this because my technique is worng? NAHHH i dont think so. honda put some crap hardware that it does this to begin with. once the need to really change the rotors, im definitely not getting OEM
 

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i found doing the bedding of the brakes helped. thing is i havnt changed my style of driving and braking and the pilot is the first to do this. so after driving 30+ years its my problem the brakes are doing this because my technique is worng? NAHHH i dont think so. honda put some crap hardware that it does this to begin with. once the need to really change the rotors, im definitely not getting OEM
You're spot on. Likely your other cars had larger/beefier/better cooled rotors and/or a different pad compound. If our suspicions are correct, this issue is due to the rotors possibly being under uneven forces due to over torquing (variable 1) getting too hot (variable 2) and not cooling fast enough (variable 3) to prevent some melting of the pad compound (variable 4). Fix one of those and it might prevent it from happening all-together. OR, totally change your braking/stopping techniques honed through your driving career until you get a different car. I wish i had better advice!
 

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This is a common problem, but not a serious one. One of the replies above said it correctly. Brake pads deposit some material on the rotors. When the deposits are not consistent and one is gently braking it can appear that the rotors are warped. They generally are not warped. It is the inconsistent braking as the pads and disk engage inconsistently when gently pressing on the brakes. I would guess that the problem disappears when you brake hard. I currently have this problem with my 2005 Pilot. I've replaced the brakes several times when they were worn out (I have 233K miles). In the beginning I have no problem, but it comes back over time.

Bedding the brakes may help. It didn't for me, but it is worth a try. Bedding is a series of very hard stops when the brakes are hot that transfers brake pad material to the rotor. Do some homework on how many stops and at what speeds are appropriate. Turning the rotors will remove the think layer of disk pad material and some metal from the rotor. Then you can bed the brakes again and hopefully the problem won't return.

Or you can ignore it unless the problem becomes severe, in which case it probably isn't what I described above but another problem.

Also, warped brakes can occur if the rotors are cooled rapidly and not evenly. For example you were braking down a steep hill and then drove through a puddle of water. The rotors could cool rapidly but not evenly. Then you should turn your rotors.

Replacing rotors and pads is not a difficult job. The costs if one orders through RockAuto or another on-line retailer are not that much. New rotors are not much more than the cost of turning the old rotors. However, the cost of turning rotors includes the trip to the shop to turn them.
 

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We currently have 72k miles on our 16 Elite AWD with the original rotors and pads. Driving 50/50 freeway/ city. On our next service I will be asking them for a look at rotors and pads. How long should they last?
 

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Every service the repair shop should be looking at the brakes to be sure they are OK. Previous visits probably documented if your brakes were OK then or perhaps would need replacing on the next service.

How long brakes last is highly variable. It depends on how much you use the brakes and what type of material used in the brake pads. There are specific specs for the minimum thickness of the pads. There are also specs for the thickness of rotor. You can look both of those up for your vehicle. 72K is a lot of miles, but not impossible for a set of brakes.

There are three points of view on rotors when replacing pads: turn the rotors to make them perfectly flat, replace the rotors or just leave them and replace the pads only.

Probably the rotors are well within the minimum spec. The may not be completely flat. If you look at the rotors you might see circles where the pads and the rotors have mated. That would not be optimum for replacing on the pads. Probably there will still be enough thickness in the rotor turn them and reuse them. However, it might be cheaper just to replace the rotors. A repair shop will not want to just replace the pads because there is a chance the new pads won't wear into the exiting rotors. Repair shops hate call backs.

The price of the parts through the dealer will be well more than double what you would pay through an on-line retailer. And, even more of the cost is the labor. I do my own brakes, but I like doing it and I have the time. I looked up on RockAuto the cost of rotors and pads for a 2016 Pilot. The fronts are about $100 for pads and rotors. The backs are about $78 for pads and rotors. Plus $38 for shipping to my location. You can compare that to the what the repair shop quotes.
 

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We are at about 33k miles on our 2017 pilot and no issues with the brakes or the rotors. My 2016 accord is at 63,000 miles and still have 1/2 of the pads left, no issues on that one either.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How did they perform the measurements to determine that the rotors were "warped"?
LOLOL!!!! I have no idea. That's why I go to the service dept. mechanics at the dealership. I expect them to tell my whats wrong and how much to fix it. Not how the do it. But I only buy New cars off the lot so I do not have issues like this so soon after purchase. I have not had issues with rotors anywhere near the short amount of time I have owned this car.
 

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also dont forget that the pilot is a big heavy car, it wears out the brake pad and the rotors much quicker than lighter cars.
 
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