Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 21:47:30 +1100
From: Peter Wilkins <>
Subject: Re: 9-5 Rotor Life

Posted and emailed. On Tue, 07 Mar 2000 04:09:13 GMT, "Scott Turnamian" <> wrote : >Hello: > >I have a 1999 9-5 (got it in Nov 1998). It has 20,500 miles on it. I just >had to replace the front rotors. The dealership tells me that 9-5 rotors >are so thin to begin with that they can't be turned. This seems awfully >early to be replacing rotors. I don't race, autocross, ride the brakes, or >abuse the car in any way. Most are highway miles. I've had a couple of >Mazda 626s that only required one set of new rotors in 160K miles. > >Any thoughts? > Hi Scott, I've been following this thread with some interest - I have a 1998 9-5SE automatic with 28000km on it, so I am a potential target for a new set of discs (rotors). However, after reading your post I looked at my discs and there is not a trace of wear or warping. No-one seems to have asked the key question. As your car is still under warranty, were the discs replaced under the warranty? If not, you have a good cause for complaint. The disc pads are consumables and you pay to replace them when they wear out, but the discs themselves are not, and should be covered by the warranty. So if you had to pay, complain long and loudly, firstly to your dealer, and if that doesn't work, to Saab, and get your money back. My second thought is that you can't really wear out discs in 20,000 miles, probably not even if you did race the car! My 9-5 hasn't even worn out more than 50% of the first set of disc pads in 28,000km! I have had 7 or 8 Saabs (99's, 900's and a 9-5) over around 27 years, driving around 100,000 miles on each, and never had to have the discs themselves replaced. Once on a 99 I had the front discs reground, but only because the pads had worn a groove. What you CAN do to the discs in 20,000 miles is warp them - perhaps by getting them red hot then cooling them suddenly or unevenly. For example, the discs can warp if you do a lot of hard braking then stop the car immediately, before the discs have cooled down a bit. The discs cool unevenly because there is less air circulation around the pad area when the car is stationary. Driving through water immediately after heavy braking can have the same effect. The 9-5 discs are ventilated, so they cool much better (quicker) than the old solid discs, so should last longer, but naturally there is less metal to grind if they do warp. Also, the ventilation only works when the wheels are going around, so as I said above, you should drive sedately for a while after a heavy braking session before stopping and leaving the car. I wouldn't worry about the dust - except to clean it off every now and then. It started happening with most cars, particularly automatics, once they stopped using asbestos in the pads. But hey, the dust means that the PAD is wearing not the disc! (We only use the term "rotor" here in Oz to describe the bit inside a distributor that distributes the spark to each plug, not the disc in the disc brakes). That shows how old I am - most cars these days don't have distributors! Hope that helps. -- Regards, Peter Wilkins (

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