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I bought a Mustang Mach-E two days ago. Been very happy with it, except it rained last night and today the brake disks are covered in rust on all four wheels. We do live near a salt water bay, but my VW Atlas, which is parked right next to it, has never had this issue. So a few questions:

  1. Is it normal for the rotors to rust so quickly?
  2. Does the rust compromise the braking function at all?
  3. Other than driving it (and braking) is there anything I should be doing to prevent or counteract this? (I know not to put any coating on the brakes.)

Thanks!

P.S. Yeah I know I should keep it in a garage, but unfortunately that's not an option.

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  • the answer from jwh20 can't really be improved; it's a pretty common experience. Perhaps some of the better alloys for brake disks also are more prone to rust. I've recently learned that EVs with regenerative braking configured for one-pedal driving may be more problematic for disk rusting problems, as the brakes can be used so little as to remove insufficient rust, compounding the problem over time. Driving and braking is probably your best solution.
    – fred_dot_u
    May 1, 2023 at 21:45
  • Update: Driving them a half mile and braking at stop signs / stop lights was all it took to clean off the rust.
    – Aaron
    May 8, 2023 at 17:12

2 Answers 2

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Many cars do that in very short order. It's just light surface rust that gets rubbed off the first time you brake.

Bare metal, often hot, plus water and even salt makes for quickly forming rust.

Perhaps your VW uses a different alloy that doesn't rust so quickly.

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I think it's normal. Dealers coat the discs with oil to prevent them from rusting, but during handling and fitting, the oil can rub off and the discs start to rust. Logically, this protective layer also wears down during braking, so if the weather is humid and the car is not used for a while, the discs can rust.

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    The disks are oil coated from the disk factory, so they won't rust in storage. During install the operator must clean the oil from the disks, so the oil won't ruin the brake pads. That's why we have "brake cleaner".
    – Martin
    May 2, 2023 at 19:47

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