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One rotor hotter than others - cause of vibration/shake?

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Hey guys,

As many of you know, I have been trying to track down this annoying vibration / wobble that I've been experiencing through my steering wheel for past year or so. Today, another forum member was generous enough to let me swap wheels with him to see if that was the case, but the problem persists. However, when I was replacing the wheels after the test drive, I noticed that my driver side front rotor was a good bit hotter than the other three. When I got home, I used my IR thermometer and confirmed - all 3 were between 85 and 95 degrees F and the driver left was at 115-120 F depending on the part of the rotor I pointing the thermometer at. Could this be responsible for the vibration and wobble? Would it be a warped rotor issue? Unbalanced rotor? Sticking caliper? What's the best way to check for these?

In case anyone asks, the following have been done already in hope of figuring this out and have not solved the issue:

Tie Rods Inner (L+R)
Tie Rods Outer (L+R)
Drop Links (Front)
Struts (All 4) + Mounts/Bearings
Lower Control Arms (All 4)
Front Track Arms (L+R)
Rear Trailing Arms (L+R)
Wheel Bearings
Tires (All 4)
Sway Bar Bushings (All 4)
Alignment (Thrice)
Wheel Balancing (5 times and counting...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

when does the vibration happen?  Does it happen more during/after braking?  with one rotor getting hotter then others it sounds like it could be a stuck caliper, which over time could cause issues with the rotor.  At what speed does it happen?


In your list I didn't see brakes listed as anything you have done yet.  Last time the pads/rotors were replaced?


Wheel balancing - Was it on the car balancing or with wheels off?


Given the price for rotors I dont even bother turning them anymore, just replace them every other pad change on all my cars.


Are you using any wheel spacers?  I had one on a 944 that caused vibration, but only at higher speeds (+90mph)

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