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The center of my rotors gets rusted very fast, probably after several weeks after I replace them (See the picture). I read that it’s normal because the rotor is made of cast iron. However, I also checked ~10 other cars in the same parking lot. They are not high-end sports cars, just normal ones like RAV4, Civics, etc. But they all have all shiny rotors without visible rust.

My question is: I was wondering why ONLY my car has rust on the rotors. I don't clean my rotors at all. But do other car owners periodically clean their rotors?

To Editors: my question is not a duplicate. It is not about whether I should replace rotors due to rust. My mechanics already told me rust in the middle does not affect performance. My question is why ONLY my rotors get rusted, but other cars I saw in the parking lot do not. I want to ask if I missed any necessary maintenance steps.

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  • Your rotors are made of iron and are not a ceramic. Your brake pads could most definitely be made of a ceramic composite, but not your rotor. There are only two materials (basically) used for brake rotors: cast iron; carbon fiber. I can tell you for an assurity, these are cast iron (carbon fiber doesn't rust like this and are usually used on very high end sports cars). Oct 4, 2022 at 16:15
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    Some rotors may have either anti rust coat or plating against normally bare cast iron. You didn't miss any maintenance. Wider openings in wheel webbing tends to show more. Unless you're willing to buy replacements with coatings to prevent/forestall rust, there are ways to remove and/or treat rust prone areas cosmetically for better appearance.
    – F Dryer
    Oct 5, 2022 at 23:21
  • Cast iron rusts. Clean them by applying the brakes. Oct 7, 2022 at 19:12

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Could be various reasons:

  • The other cars have coated rotors. That are rotors that are covered in with rust preventive coating. The coating on the brake surface gets removed by braking, the coating on the center remains (but not for eternity, it gets rusty over time).
  • The other cars are housed in a garage, protected from rain, and yours not.
  • You just don't see the central part of the rotor on the other cars, because they have rims with smaller openings.

You didn't missed any maintenance. The rotor is perfectly fine. Even some minor rust on the brake surface (the shiny circle on the rotor) after a rainy day is fine. Just ensure that the brake surface is shiny again after a longer drive.

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