2007 Expedition 4x4 with 83,000 miles. The steering wheel starts to wobble when braking from higher speeds. When talking to a few others with similar setups they said it probably needs new brake pads. The brakes do seem a bit soft and are leaving grey dust on front wheels. I've been told to replace the rotors at the same time as the brakes by a local mechanic (he said he always does it on his own vehicles). With a steering wheel wobble does this point to the front brakes or could it possibly be the rears as well? Are there any good links or videos anyone can pass on for this vehicle with a front brake pad and rotor job?
The vibration is from uneven pad material being deposited on the rotors. Most mechanics and lay persons refer to this incorrectly as 'warped' rotors. This is not true. Read this. -Warped- Brake Disc and Other Myths
The rotors can be turned when you replace the pads. These rotors have plenty of thickness in them to allow for at least one turn. If money is no object you can opt for new rotors, but it's not necessary. Go with a good pad, not the $19.99 special.
If the rears have plenty of pad material no need to change them although with these trucks the rears wear out first.
Are good pads semi-metallic or ceramic? I am assuming the OEM pads were semi-metallic since the wheels have black dust on them. Are there advantages/disadvantages with using ceramic pads? I read one place they can cause the rotors to overheat and wear prematurely. Can anywhere turn the rotors or is it better to have a specialty company do them?
Any decent mechanic can turn rotors. Chain auto parts stores can too but I don't trust them. Ceramic last longer, create less dust but don't stop quite as well. Nothing you will really be able to tell. Many cars have ceramics as OEM. I would go ceramic.