How To Remove The Rotor Screws From Your Honda/Acura’s Brake Rotors - AcuraZine Community

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Old 06-17-2010, 7:38 PM   #1
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How To Remove The Rotor Screws From Your Honda/Acura’s Brake Rotors

I GOT IT!

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How To Remove The Rotor Screws From Your Honda/Acura’s Brake Rotors HeelToeAuto.com's Pit Board


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Originally Posted by mrheeltoe
How To Remove The Rotor Screws From Your Honda/Acura’s Brake Rotors

Click the image to open in full size.

I hate these screws. Most European cars don’t even have them, but for some reason the Japanese feel the need to equip their cars with them. The reason they are there is to hold the rotor securely to the hub of the car once the wheel is removed. If you look at how the whole assembly of hub/studs, rotor, wheel, and lug nuts fits together, you will see that these screws serve no purpose once the wheel is installed. The screws exist merely as an unnecessary assembly aide.

Their function is so superficial, in fact, that they are made out of what must be the softest metallic substance on the entire car. Under any load from the brakes, I can imagine these screws’ heads popping off instantly. Alas, they are on the car holding the rotor in place and must be removed in order to change rotors (another insufficiently designed component of the Honda/Acura braking system, but that is another blog topic...) The process of removing these screws appears to be as simple as grabbing a phillips head screwdriver and giving them a twist.

Unfortunately, life creates it’s own interesting moments when it is realized that even a very minimal amount of unseen corrosion or galvanic action LOCKS these bad boys in place, causing the screws to strip with ease. Once these guys are stripped, you need to grab a drill and bore out the heads to get them off. I have done this drilling more often than I have had the miraculous joy of actually removing the screws properly. I never want to do it again.

Let’s say, I were to stop writing here. One might no doubt search their favorite message forum and read all of the wonders of a tool called an impact driver. This tool is a sort of screw-driver with a spring-loaded twisting action that works when the handle is hit with a hammer. The idea is, the hammer forces the driver into the screw while the spring action twists the screw just enough to break it free. Much of the time, and impact driver is the perfect tool for the job. But I content this method is no sure-fire way to unscrew these screwy screws without possible need for the drill.

Problem one with the driver is, not everyone has one, and not everyone who changes brakes every 2-3 years wants to buy one. In order to get one that works reliably, you’ll need to spend enough money that you might well have paid someone to do your brakes for you. I’ve used cheap ones, and broken them almost instantly. Bonus…before they broke, they stripped the screws.

Problem two, even with a good driver there exists an estimated 10% chance you’s strip a screw anyway because the screws are just that bitchy.

So here is my SURE FIRE, WORKED EVERY TIME I DID IT WITHOUT FAIL way of removing the rotor screws from your brake rotors. It involves two simple tools nearly everyone has in their tool box.

Click the image to open in full size.
Pitboard link to full article:
How To Remove The Rotor Screws From Your Honda/Acura’s Brake Rotors HeelToeAuto.com's Pit Board


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Old 06-18-2010, 8:14 AM   #2
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Eh, my method is easier. There are 2 threaded holes on the hub of the rotor. Thread 2 bolts into those holes (I honestly don't remember what size they are, just take a new rotor to your local hardware store and find bolts that fit) and turn the bolts until you get a bit of resistance. What the bolts do is push the rotor hub away from the axle hub, which causes any corrosion on those 2 little screws to break free. Remove the bolts and you'll be able to take out the 2 little screws with a basic phillip's head screwdriver with amazing ease. It's worked for me every time.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-18-2010, 9:40 AM   #3
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I have used those holes to pop the rotor off the hub when it is stuck, but I never thought to use them to break the screws loose. I would not think that was possible! Good tip.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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i'm happy i got a auto shop i can go use for $3 an hour with all the tools i could ask for. Thank god for that spray that losens screws and impact wrenches woo woo
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Through all the postings we have made in our marketing network, I am really surprised at all the comments this has spawned. (although not on the actual blog site, which I find pretty odd...).

Most people are really supportive and like the write-up. Most of those people have interjected their input as far as how they get the screws off. All that is great! For the record, I am perfectly aware that there are a great many ways that one may remove these screws. I prefer this method because it is the only method I have used in the last 14 years that has not once necessitated getting a drill out. In the hundreds of screws I have removed and the half-a-dozen or so methods I have used, this one has NEVER FAILED ME. For an unprofessional and inexperienced DIYer, that is of utmost importance; reliability of process.

Surprisingly, I have only had one critic saying the method was idiotic, and saying they "would actually be embarrassed for even suggesting this method." My retort was simply that "buying $20 tool to remove screws that really should not exist and will be thrown away is idiotic."

Obviously there is more than one way to skin a cat. But reliability, consistency, predictability, and VALUE...all these are the traits that make a part or a process HT-SPEC!

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Old 06-18-2010, 6:58 PM   #6
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I should've thanked you for the write-up when I offered my own suggestion. What's important for everyone to take away from this is that the more methods someone has to do a job, the better equipped they'll be to handle uncertainty. Who knows, maybe one day my method will fail me and your method will be my only viable option.

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Old 06-20-2010, 10:05 AM   #7
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No worries man! You got the point and that's all that matters.

I am wondering what would have happened if everyone that posted a comment posting in the blog itself! It would have been huge!
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #8
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Make it easy on yourself!

Guys, I grabbed a few things that if you don't have you should pick up anyway...

-small MAPP torch
-1/5 breaker bar
-broadhead screwdriver attachment
-PB rust penetrant
-something long to jam the rotor, like a file or threaded rod.

Spray each screw for about 10 seconds with the PB, then torch it for say 20 seconds. Then grab the long breaker bar and get the small socket the screwdriver head fits in. Jam the rotor so it wont spin and give the screw a firm twist. Both mine popped loose -no sweat! Mine had 90k on them.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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Brute force always worked for me...I'm another one of those guys that cussed Honda every (countless) time I drilled them out. lol
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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Put the drill away. Hammer and chisel for the win.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:12 AM   #11
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Just buy an impact driver from Sears.
After the first time you remove them add a little anti-sieze to them befor putting back on. No problems!
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:04 AM   #12
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Next time around (soon to be on the TSX) I'll take a more refined, drill free, approach
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Old 09-23-2010, 2:59 PM   #13
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Next time, throw away the screws once you have them off!
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:06 PM   #14
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thank you
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:47 PM   #15
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Dude, you're the man...thank you for sharing!
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighthawk04 View Post
Eh, my method is easier. There are 2 threaded holes on the hub of the rotor. Thread 2 bolts into those holes (I honestly don't remember what size they are, just take a new rotor to your local hardware store and find bolts that fit) and turn the bolts until you get a bit of resistance. What the bolts do is push the rotor hub away from the axle hub, which causes any corrosion on those 2 little screws to break free. Remove the bolts and you'll be able to take out the 2 little screws with a basic phillip's head screwdriver with amazing ease. It's worked for me every time.

Click the image to open in full size.
Those bolts are 8 x 1.25 (~$3.60 for 4 at Autozone) and they worked much better than the Impact Driver at least for me.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #17
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This is GREAT information for anyone changing out their disks...nice writeup!
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Old 05-26-2011, 5:08 AM   #18
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Once you replace your discs, make sure to put anti-seize compound on the hub before installing the new disc. This will make removal very easy next time. And don't forget to put the compound on those little screws too.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by weapon-x View Post
Those bolts are 8 x 1.25 (~$3.60 for 4 at Autozone) and they worked much better than the Impact Driver at least for me.


Your yellow circled bolt holes are for getting the rotor off the hub, this article is in reference to removing the red circled screws...getting the rotor off usually only takes a swift whack with a hammer...
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Old 06-11-2011, 5:59 PM   #20
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So, yuck, when I installed my Stoptech BBK a year ago I made absolutely sure to use anti-seize on the backside of the rotor hub and on the threads of these ridiculously stupid screws. My usual method can't be applied here since the aluminum hats of these 2-piece rotors don't have the extra threaded holes that I circled in yellow above. My Craftsman impact screwdriver won't even come close to getting these screws to turn. I'm taking the car to my local shop to get them to take the screws out...lol
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Old 06-11-2011, 8:23 PM   #21
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Im a Honda tech, those screw have a purpose its actually to hold the rotor in place its needed because Honda only wants the rotors to be resurface with the rotor in the vehicle every dealer does this, unlike the tradition way which is removed the rotor from the vehicle. Every dealer has a in car brake lathe to resurface the rotors.
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Old 06-11-2011, 9:18 PM   #22
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Is that the only purpose for these screws?
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Old 06-12-2011, 4:24 PM   #23
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yup only purpose if vehicle is service at the dealer, other then that they are useless
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Old 06-17-2011, 9:14 AM   #24
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Good write-up but you are seriously wrong on one items.

Many European cars do have these screws because the wheels are attached with bolts that thread into the hub not nut that go onto studs. For the bolt type, you must use these screws to hold the rotors in place when trying to put the wheels back on and install the first bolt.

This is experience talking.

On any car with studs for wheel mounting (like Honda/Acura) the screws are truly unnecessary.
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Old 06-28-2011, 3:04 PM   #25
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Good write-up but you are seriously wrong on one items.

Many European cars do have these screws because the wheels are attached with bolts that thread into the hub not nut that go onto studs. For the bolt type, you must use these screws to hold the rotors in place when trying to put the wheels back on and install the first bolt.

This is experience talking.

On any car with studs for wheel mounting (like Honda/Acura) the screws are truly unnecessary.


Right, actually, since writing this my wife got a BMW and I did the brakes on it and did see it had a retaining bolt. I do know a lot of older cars don't, but anyway it doesn't matter. As long as the wheel/rotor/hub line up you are good. And naturally this is more difficult on a car with lug bolts instead of studs.
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Old 06-28-2011, 3:07 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Nighthawk04 View Post
So, yuck, when I installed my Stoptech BBK a year ago I made absolutely sure to use anti-seize on the backside of the rotor hub and on the threads of these ridiculously stupid screws. My usual method can't be applied here since the aluminum hats of these 2-piece rotors don't have the extra threaded holes that I circled in yellow above. My Craftsman impact screwdriver won't even come close to getting these screws to turn. I'm taking the car to my local shop to get them to take the screws out...lol
And why not use the method I outlined? That post with the yellow circles is misleading and should be deleted.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #27
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Thanks MrHeelToe!!!

I used your method a couple days ago and it worked masterfully. I ended up buying a chisel at Home Depot for around $4 and chipped away. I couldn't make a clean dimple with the chisel, but the dimple I made was good enough to dislodge the screw.
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Old 09-20-2011, 1:15 PM   #28
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I have changes many of rotors on Honda's and the impact driver so far as worked for me.
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Old 09-29-2011, 9:37 AM   #29
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It is amazing how people like to chime in with their impact driver successes. No doubt they work most of the time, but when the don't work see the OP
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Old 10-14-2011, 8:51 AM   #30
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Impact driver is the way to go. I just had my rear brakes / rotors done. My buddy had zero issues taking them off.
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Old 10-14-2011, 8:53 AM   #31
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Here's one for $20.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Manual-Hamme...ht_2975wt_1111
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Old 10-15-2011, 2:56 PM   #32
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Awesome, when the Impact driver bits break, or the screws strip on that one finicky car that comes up, use my method.
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Old 10-17-2011, 9:50 PM   #33
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Thanks for posting. I just reread your post about the cheap impact drivers breaking.
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Old 10-17-2011, 9:50 PM
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