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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013 Outback with (4) new rotors and pads installed mid June. The rotors are really rusty in this short time period. Kind of annoying and doesn't look that great. Is there anything I can do? Any products? Please advise.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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Rusty rotors is normal in those areas.

The only real thing you can do is get painted rotors when you install them but even that will eventually rust.

Since it's a wear item and the pad cleans the rust off the rotor braking surface it's not typically going to cause any issues.
 

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The rusty surfaces in the pics are mostly non functional surfaces so it is a non issue but the appearance is not pretty. .
 

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All of the above posts apply. I tried the high-temp paint and it works, but not for long, especially if you are in a dusty area with gravel (chips will happen from thrown gravel in the 'central hat' area), ice and road salt, etc. The best solution is to get the coated rotors. While my experiences are decidely NON-SCIENTIFIC, I have found the fast rusters are also more prone to warpage. Paying more is far less work that trying to paint and keep them clean if you figure it on a $ per hour for your time and trouble basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate the comments about different rotors that are rust free! I just wish I would have known this before I had new rotors installed at my Brake place and I would have spent a little more and gotten the rust free rotors. The rotors installed by the Brake place rusted so quickly and don't look very good at all. The rotors installed by the Brake place were $61 x 2 and $69 x 2 and come with a 3 year warranty.
 

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2008 OB 3.0R 6MT 2020 Kia Niro EV
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That looks normal to me.

Subarus are one of those brands that does NOT like aftermarket parts for most things. If you want your subaru to run right pretty much always buy the OEM subaru brand part from a dealership. The exception is things like catalytic converter, tires, etc. You may save 50% on the cost but the off brand parts only last 25% as long.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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I'd probably just make a cardboard template to mask the disk, tape the studs, and rattle-can them.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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would rust converter (phosphide ?) be an option?
 

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Unless Subaru rotor replacements are coated, I would not buy them if you live in the North where they salt the roads in the winter. I just replaced the front and rears on our 2017 OB premium with ~25K miles. The rotors were in terrible shape. Of course, this is after 4 years of winter use. Substantial quantity of rust chunks/flakes fell off during the brake work. I recommend coated rotors that will resist rust better. There are several after market brands with coated rotors. I went with Power Stop products based on experience in other vehicles.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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The OEM Subaru rotors are INDEED better quality than many aftermarket ones.

We had the front rotors replaced under warantee by dealership. 4 Vermont winters later and they are STILL rust-free and the painted tophat remains in good shape.

The rear rotors which are NEWER than the fronts (but not OEM) are rusty and pitting on the swept surface.

Any rotors which are 'drilled' or 'slotted' are not suitable for driving on salty roads. The holes/slots give rust a chance to 'grow' on the swept-surface. The braking--power is reduced because of less braking-surface.

If one is looking for better braking 'power' and longer rotor life.... installing Semi-Metallic pads is a nice upgrade from ceramic pads.

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Also not mentioned in above discussion ==> The parking-brakes are INSIDE the rear rotors. If not used regularly, they will become VERY rusted and not work when needed. I learned this many years ago so we use parking-brake EVERY SINGLE TIME our cars are parked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm thinking of trying P&S Brake buster Non-acid wheel cleaner and then Hyde's Serum Rustopper to try to improve the look of the rotors and clean off some rust on the rotors. Not sure if this will do anything or not?
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Last set of rotors I put on the front were coated rotors…they to will eventually rust. I refuse to pay the primo $$$ for Subaru genuine rotors. There are plenty of aftermarket rotors out there that are as good for way less. For a lot of parts on our 10 year old OB I will go with aftermarket...including the rear upper A arm that needs to be replaced and the front bearing. The rear callipers are loose due to worn pins…aftermarket fix for that too.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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They put inexpensive rotors on. They might have been trying to keep your ticket price as low as possible. The rust is ugly. I agree. Coated rotors work for 2 years until they look grungy. They would have cost a bit more.
If you decide to paint, leave them on and mask around the hub. Don't get anything between the inside of the rotor and the wheel hub face. You will introduce wobble.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactiv
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Up here in the salt belt I always use coated rotors - painting with high temp paint has never seemed to last.

Even then I still typically replace all the rotors at around 4 years due to rust. Often pads just get sanded down to clean them and new rotors are installed. I wish I lived in a place where rotors would outlive pads
 

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Unless Subaru rotor replacements are coated, I would not buy them if you live in the North where they salt the roads in the winter. I just replaced the front and rears on our 2017 OB premium with ~25K miles. The rotors were in terrible shape. Of course, this is after 4 years of winter use. Substantial quantity of rust chunks/flakes fell off during the brake work. I recommend coated rotors that will resist rust better. There are several after market brands with coated rotors. I went with Power Stop products based on experience in other vehicles.
The OEM Subaru rotors are INDEED better quality than many aftermarket ones.

We had the front rotors replaced under warantee by dealership. 4 Vermont winters later and they are STILL rust-free and the painted tophat remains in good shape.

The rear rotors which are NEWER than the fronts (but not OEM) are rusty and pitting on the swept surface.

Any rotors which are 'drilled' or 'slotted' are not suitable for driving on salty roads. The holes/slots give rust a chance to 'grow' on the swept-surface. The braking--power is reduced because of less braking-surface.

If one is looking for better braking 'power' and longer rotor life.... installing Semi-Metallic pads is a nice upgrade from ceramic pads.

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Also not mentioned in above discussion ==> The parking-brakes are INSIDE the rear rotors. If not used regularly, they will become VERY rusted and not work when needed. I learned this many years ago so we use parking-brake EVERY SINGLE TIME our cars are parked.
Caveat: All that follows is from non-Subaru cars. I am new to Subaru, but not to brakes.

I have had similar experiences in PA (land of salt) and even in Virginia with the piles of rust flakes when doing a brake job, but I have never had rust that pitted on the swept surface of the rotors. The swept are of the rotors on my Hyundai would rust overnight in wet weather, but if a car is used even once a week, the pads will wipe the rust off. Now if there is a combination of chemicals that is acidic, I could see it etching the swept surface. The flaking was an especially big issue on rear drums when I lived in PA, and I used to leave the emergency brake off in the winter to avoid stuck emergency brakes (they will stick ON). I still routinely will check my brakes each fall and ensure that areas that require lubrication are freshly lubed with brake grease. Do NOT use just any grease.

Agree, drilled rotos look 'fast', but the rust issue and also cracking at the holes from heat can be an issue, as can warpage. However, slotted rotor slots do not go through the rotors. They would more appropriately be called 'grooved.' I have never had rust problems with them causing rust onto the swept area. Maybe it was because they were coated and from a name brand (Ate) or SAAB.

Semi-metallic pads are a real big improvement, but at first use in the cold can require more pressure until they heat up. They also wear the rotors faster, but to me the improvement in braking is worth it. Depending on brand, they can also be noisier and dustier, which is why ceramic is so popular.
 

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Semi-metallic pads are a real big improvement, but at first use in the cold can require more pressure until they heat up. They also wear the rotors faster, but to me the improvement in braking is worth it. Depending on brand, they can also be noisier and dustier, which is why ceramic is so popular.
Everything you say about semi-metalllic pads is accurate.

For me, here in Vermont, the "more aggressive on the rotors" factor is a GOOD thing. This helps keep the swept-area cleaner.

I noted that there is new type of pad on the market called Ceramic-Metallic.... These may have the benefits of metallic without all the black dust.

BTW: In PA, your experience with salt on the road is trivial compared to New-England states. We have about 2 more months of salt annually.
 
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