KIA replaced my front rotors and brake pads Aug 2014. One year later my brakes were not functioning well and KIA said the right front rotor was grooved because of rust and should be replaced, adding I should do both to keep them even and change pads, which were hardly worn. Are they ripping me off? My car sits outside in a plastic temple garage. I live in 4 seasons - winter lots of snow, summer can be very humid for a couple of weeks. I do not drive my car often as I'm retired. Can non-use speed up rusting of rotors?

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    Could you elaborate what you meant by brakes not functioning well. Reduced stopping distance? noise? If it is just rust on rotors, slamming on the brakes once in a while should get the rust off(do it is a safe place with no traffic/snow). 1 year is way too soon for a brake replacement specially with limited driving.
    – rana
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 14:26
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    Something seems wrong to me, but it could just be due to not knowing the full story. "The rotor was grooved because of rust" sounds like hogwash. Yes, rotors rust, but it doesn't effect stopping after the first minute or two of driving. Rotors only get significantly grooved from stuck foreign objects, e.g. rocks. Braking performance is usually not affected by grooves on the rotors. We don't like grooves on rotors because it causes pads to wear faster. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 16:02
  • I used to take my 2001 Honda Accord to a dealer for service until I realized they were selling me a brake job every 20,000 miles or so, this on a car that was driven 90% on the freeway, where I seldom touched my brake peddle. I stopped taking my car there. The service advisors at most dealerships are on commission, so they have "motive" to sell you stuff. If I were you, I would find a reputable mechanic and get a second opinion. I did that once when the dealership said my brakes were almost gone, and the mechanic said I still had 80% left on them.
    – BillDOe
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 18:15
  • @BillOer - Along the same lines, mechanics at dealerships also get increased % of revenue from work they discover while making a different repair. An unscrupulous mechanic could cause issues to pad their wallet. Not saying it happens regularly, but it does happen. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 21:41
  • @Paulster2, that probably explains the frequent brake jobs. When I checked my records, I knew I was being ripped off.
    – BillDOe
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 23:27

2 Answers 2


Take the car somewhere else for another opinion, as it sounds like this particular KIA dealership is trying to pull a scam. Pads typically last 30,000-80,000 miles depending on driving style, pad type, etc. So, replacing the brakes every year is not typical, especially with limited driving.

Surface rust can appear on the rotors if they sit for a while, but this goes away after using the brakes a few times and does not impact pad/rotor life in any significant way.


If you had problem in right front tire, when you brake, the car would pull to left or you would have uneven braking marks if you brake so hard that tires slip on asphalt. You can test this easily.

In either case, your problem is probably something else but the repair shop puts some extra work. Because you need to lose a chunk of your rotor for rust to make an effect. There are rotors full of holes to help cooling. If tiny holes made so big difference, they wouldn't work at all.

I would try to get an opinion from another repair shop.

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