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William B
William B, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 393
Experience:  Associate Degree Automotive Technology, Master ASE, Master BMW, Master Mazda, 30+ years experience
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Suzuki Aerio: AWD..pedal..performance drilled/slotted rotors and pads

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I have an'04 Suzuki Aerio (SX AWD) with a recurring brake problem (at least I fear it may be a recurring brake problem from what I read on Edmund's car review r.e. people dissatisfied w/ Aerio brakes: short lifespan;short lifespan after repair or replacing; pedal freezing up/immovable when freezing/snowy/icey conditions exist) I really like the car and I am NOT a heavy footed, hard on the brakes at the last moment driver, aand yet I need to have (at least) my font brakes repaired or (more likely replaced for a second time in less than 30k miles) My question is: Should I again have the dealer repair/replace with OEM or is ther,as I read on Edmund's, performance drilled/slotted rotors and pads that will work on my Aerio and last and perform as I believe my front brakes should?
HeyCustomerthanks for the question,

The performance drilled or slotted rotors are for racing and high performance car applications and I doubt that they are made for your Suzuki, plus the cost of this kind of conversion can run into the thousands of dollars so I would not consider this to be an option.

A lot of the brake wear is due to driving conditions, so a fully loaded vehicle that goes up and down a lot of steep hills will naturally wear out faster than a vehicle driven on level ground at slow speeds. The front brakes on ALL vehicles do the majority of the braking on every vehicle. Especially since the weight of the vehicle is on the front of the car and the weight transfer of the vehicle moves forward as you brake, this is true of all vehicles. The front brakes also take a little more wear and tear if you have an automatic transmission versus a stick shift since with an automatic the brakes have to keep the vehicle from moving forward when at a stop.

But another factor to consider is that if the rear brakes on your vehicle are drum brakes, and they are, then the rear drum brakes can get out of adjustment. Disc brakes, like the one on the front of your vehicle do not need, or have any adjustment, they normally drag slightly on the front brake rotors and are applied almost instantly when you apply the brakes, but the rear drum brake shoes do not touch the rear brake drums until you apply the brakes and as they normally wear slightly they do not make contact with the rear brake drums until you brake slight harder than a normal stop, so in essence you can be driving around town using the front brakes a lot more than the rears.

So how do the rear brake shoes get adjusted? They are self adjusted when you use the emergency brake, so when you park and apply the emergency brake the self adjuster works to keep the shoes correctly adjusted. Naturally if you have an automatic transmission you usually do not apply the emergency brake, but even if you do have an automatic you should use the emergency brake at least every once in awhile to keep the rear brakes adjusted up like they are suppose to be, that way when you apply the brakes you are using the fronts AND the rear brakes to the full capacity stopping power. It is not that uncommon to find cars that have had their front brake pads replaced a couple of times and never having had their rear brake shoes replaced. I own one of these cars myself, it is a small Mazda that has self adjusting rear drum brakes.

The grade and quality of the front brake pads can also determine the rate of wear. A high grade hard brake pads might last longer, but might make noise and take a few brake applications to warm up, a slightly softer, usually cheaper brake pad will not make noise but will wear out faster. The auto parts stores will sell both so you do have options, but as a general rule the dealer brakes are sometimes the best of both worlds, soft enough not to make noise, but hard enough to give you maximum braking.

If it were me I would go for the highest quality brake pads and make sure that the rear drum brakes are adjusted up all the time, just use the emergency brake to insure the rear brake are working like they are designed to.

Hope this helps. Click "accept" for payment. Let me know if you have any questions. All bonuses and feedback appreciated!

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