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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings
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    SQ5 Brakes- Ceramic pads vs Stock Rotors

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    For those of you running ceramic pads with OEM rotors- do they still wear your rotors like the stock pads do?

  2. #2
    Active Member One Ring
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    Maybe a bit less, though I couldn't say to what degree. The best thing you can do, whether you install new rotors or not, is to do a proper break-in procedure on them. They will have to form to each other and transfer material from the pads to the rotors in order to provide not only the best braking but also the longest life for all components.

    Long walk to a little house, but yes, they will still wear.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Maybe a bit less, though I couldn't say to what degree. The best thing you can do, whether you install new rotors or not, is to do a proper break-in procedure on them. They will have to form to each other and transfer material from the pads to the rotors in order to provide not only the best braking but also the longest life for all components.

    Long walk to a little house, but yes, they will still wear.
    So you still pan to replace rotors with pads whenever the pads wear out?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DR Vette View Post
    So you still pan to replace rotors with pads whenever the pads wear out?
    Let me preface that I'm not an expert with this, so I'd certainly take this with a block of salt and do some research.

    I just replaced my front pads and rotors. The OE rotors were done, as were the pads (~2mm by the time I got around to it), so it was an easy decision.

    I'll assume that your rotors still have good life in them and could accept another set of pads (hence why you're asking). Even if you are changing material, the rotors should be fine. My understanding is that the new pads will strip off a lot of the previous pad transfer material and will then have to transfer its own material to be fully effective. That's why I make the comment above that a proper break-in will be beneficial (if not necessary) to maximize the life of each part.

    To your point, if the life of the rotor will withstand the life of the pads, then yes I would add it atop. Or you can get nice rotors for relatively cheap so it may be worth it. All up to you.

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Let me preface that I'm not an expert with this, so I'd certainly take this with a block of salt and do some research.

    I just replaced my front pads and rotors. The OE rotors were done, as were the pads (~2mm by the time I got around to it), so it was an easy decision.

    I'll assume that your rotors still have good life in them and could accept another set of pads (hence why you're asking). Even if you are changing material, the rotors should be fine. My understanding is that the new pads will strip off a lot of the previous pad transfer material and will then have to transfer its own material to be fully effective. That's why I make the comment above that a proper break-in will be beneficial (if not necessary) to maximize the life of each part.

    To your point, if the life of the rotor will withstand the life of the pads, then yes I would add it atop. Or you can get nice rotors for relatively cheap so it may be worth it. All up to you.

    I understand pad material transfer and proper break-in, but my question arises from the literal wear on the brake rotor (not material deposit). When I examine my front rotors specifically (the expensive ones), there is a clear "lip" that has been worn into the outer edge of the rotor. As in, the pad has eaten away steel rotor material. I will try to get a picture of it later. These lips aren't a function of material transfer, and cannot be fixed by traditional turning on a lathe- the rotor itself is considered a disposable wear item, which I think is somewhat ridiculous (though admittedly I, too, am not a brake engineer).

    When I asked my indy shop, they noted it was odd, but they sometimes see these designed to wear out as a set and be replaced together (pads and rotors). My service adviser mentioned the same- Audi SOP is to replace both pads and rotors at when brake service is needed.

    Since our front rotor options on the SQ5 are extremely limited (basically Audi OEM @ $250 per), I'm hopeful a pad change to ceramic would be easier on the rotor itself, and prevent it from wearing out. I don't mind swapping pads when due (that is, after all, what they are designed for), but adding $500 to each brake job for rotors as well seems silly.

    Are you currently running ceramic pads and OEM rotors on your SQ5? If so, how many miles do you have on them, and is the rotor wearing?


    And if anyone can tell me why (from an engineering perspective) having rotors wear is a desired outcome, I would love to hear it. :)

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Three Rings SDV325's Avatar
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    Not too sure of the history of my brakes (bought the vehicle at ~40K miles) but all my rotors have a very clear lip as well. When i was purchasing the car (from out of province/state) the Audi dealer mentioned the front brakes have been replaced. They forgot to mention it was pads only...and I am sceptical if they are even OEM pads at that.

    Sometimes its not too bad but more often than not I get a very noticeable vibration/shudder coming from my front brakes. Not sure if this is the rotors reaching their end of life or the fact the new pads were just not bed properly. The inspection report i was given stated that the rotors were still within spec, however the vibrations im getting and the massive lips tells me something isnt right. Ceramic pads are very very easy on rotors (i think) so you should be ok with wear but I dont know how long they could last.

    I have a full set of Zimmerman Rotors and Hawk HPS 5.0 pads waiting to be installed thankfully.
    2014 Audi SQ5 Technik - Estoril | Lunar | EPL STG 1 | B&O | NAV | RocEuro | 034 Transmission Insert |
    2015 Toyota Rav4 - Family Wagon

  7. #7
    Active Member One Ring
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DR Vette View Post
    I understand pad material transfer and proper break-in, but my question arises from the literal wear on the brake rotor (not material deposit). When I examine my front rotors specifically (the expensive ones), there is a clear "lip" that has been worn into the outer edge of the rotor. As in, the pad has eaten away steel rotor material. I will try to get a picture of it later. These lips aren't a function of material transfer, and cannot be fixed by traditional turning on a lathe- the rotor itself is considered a disposable wear item, which I think is somewhat ridiculous (though admittedly I, too, am not a brake engineer).

    When I asked my indy shop, they noted it was odd, but they sometimes see these designed to wear out as a set and be replaced together (pads and rotors). My service adviser mentioned the same- Audi SOP is to replace both pads and rotors at when brake service is needed.

    Since our front rotor options on the SQ5 are extremely limited (basically Audi OEM @ $250 per), I'm hopeful a pad change to ceramic would be easier on the rotor itself, and prevent it from wearing out. I don't mind swapping pads when due (that is, after all, what they are designed for), but adding $500 to each brake job for rotors as well seems silly.

    Are you currently running ceramic pads and OEM rotors on your SQ5? If so, how many miles do you have on them, and is the rotor wearing?


    And if anyone can tell me why (from an engineering perspective) having rotors wear is a desired outcome, I would love to hear it. :)
    Gotcha, okay I was taking a few things for granted.

    I know the lip you are speaking of - my last ones were substantial hence the replacement. I did not go with OE rotors or pads; I switched to Zimmermann coated rotors and ceramic pads. The ceramic will not wear on the rotors as much as the OE semi-metallic (nor will they dust as much). The reason I mentioned the break-in/transfer was because the better the material transfer, the less wear on the rotors and pads (so my understanding goes - adherent friction vs abrasive friction) and also better performance. I mention that to say that yes the ceramic is easier on the rotors, and especially so given the previous explanation.

    Hope that helps a bit. If it were me? I think it's $500 well-spent in this instance, and you won't have to worry about it for a while.

  8. #8
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Gotcha, okay I was taking a few things for granted.

    I know the lip you are speaking of - my last ones were substantial hence the replacement. I did not go with OE rotors or pads; I switched to Zimmermann coated rotors and ceramic pads. The ceramic will not wear on the rotors as much as the OE semi-metallic (nor will they dust as much). The reason I mentioned the break-in/transfer was because the better the material transfer, the less wear on the rotors and pads (so my understanding goes - adherent friction vs abrasive friction) and also better performance. I mention that to say that yes the ceramic is easier on the rotors, and especially so given the previous explanation.

    Hope that helps a bit. If it were me? I think it's $500 well-spent in this instance, and you won't have to worry about it for a while.
    I may gave that a whirl- where did you get your Zimmerman rotors from?

    I'm definitely going ceramic on the pads- I loved the Akebonos I had on my S4. Just trying to decide between them and EBC.

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDV325 View Post
    Not too sure of the history of my brakes (bought the vehicle at ~40K miles) but all my rotors have a very clear lip as well. When i was purchasing the car (from out of province/state) the Audi dealer mentioned the front brakes have been replaced. They forgot to mention it was pads only...and I am sceptical if they are even OEM pads at that.

    Sometimes its not too bad but more often than not I get a very noticeable vibration/shudder coming from my front brakes. Not sure if this is the rotors reaching their end of life or the fact the new pads were just not bed properly. The inspection report i was given stated that the rotors were still within spec, however the vibrations im getting and the massive lips tells me something isnt right. Ceramic pads are very very easy on rotors (i think) so you should be ok with wear but I dont know how long they could last.

    I have a full set of Zimmerman Rotors and Hawk HPS 5.0 pads waiting to be installed thankfully.
    Glad you've got parts already lined up. Vibration could just be pad wear issues- my old Lexus was like that. I was positive I'd warped the rotors (4300 lbs being driven like a sports car probably didn't help), but it wouldn't vibrate EVERY time. Best guess I ever had was that the pads were wearing a little oddly, and the shudder/vibration was them not contacting smoothly and consistently every time.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Three Rings SDV325's Avatar
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    Jan 20 2014
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    My Garage
    12' S4
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    Calgary, AB

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DR Vette View Post
    Glad you've got parts already lined up. Vibration could just be pad wear issues- my old Lexus was like that. I was positive I'd warped the rotors (4300 lbs being driven like a sports car probably didn't help), but it wouldn't vibrate EVERY time. Best guess I ever had was that the pads were wearing a little oddly, and the shudder/vibration was them not contacting smoothly and consistently every time.
    Maybe once the roads dry up here I might go and try to rebed them, see if that helps any, who knows maybe I could get a little more life out of them.

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    2014 Audi SQ5 Technik - Estoril | Lunar | EPL STG 1 | B&O | NAV | RocEuro | 034 Transmission Insert |
    2015 Toyota Rav4 - Family Wagon



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