Legal Question in Consumer Law in Pennsylvania

I barely drive my car. My car has less than 5,000 miles on it. The brakes are rusted and the dealer is claiming that because the brakes are a "wear" item, I have to pay to replace the brakes even though they are not worn. Any suggestions?

Asked on 10/29/14, 11:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin Begley Kevin J. Begley - Attorney at Law

I am a mechanical engineer in addition to being an attorney, and I'm a motorhead. I KNOW cars. Virtually all disc brakes are cast iron. When you don't drive the car for a while (can be days) the rotors get a layer of oxidation (rust) on them. When you next drive, if you pay attention, you can hear and feel the brake pads SCRAPING the rust off the rotor surface. IF you barely drive, the rotors get more and more rust on them. Often you can see through the wheels 9if you have alloy wheels) where you can SEE the oxidation. If you don't drive for weeks or months, when you next drive, if you pay attention, you can REALLY hear and feel the brake pads SCRAPING the rust off. THAT wears out the pads. I bought an Oldsmobile that was 10 year old and only had 36,000 miles on it. not only did I have to replace the brakes, I had to replace most of the front end joints, as they rust too. Like an airplane, you are better off buying something used regularly, every week, than a car used periodically.

You do not say if your car is 6 months or 6 years old, so I have NO idea how often or how much you use the car. In other words, I do not think you have a basis for a claim. get your brakes fixed, and make sure SOMEONE starts, and drives the car every 1-2 weeks, or you will have the same problem. Have a friend or neighbor drive it around the block 2-3 times every 1-2 weeks. Each week is better than every 2 weeks. That will also protect corrosion from degrading other components too, and your batter charged. Most cars today have a temp gauge. The car should be run until the car gets to full operating temperature (where ever the gauge points if you drove it for 15-20 minutes), before you turn it off. You are better NOT letting the car sit and idle too long (once in a while is OK), especially in the cold. Get in, start the car, rev-it-up a few times, and drive off.

Good luck!

Good luck.

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Answered on 10/29/14, 1:32 pm

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