Symptoms Of Failing Brake Rotors
Brake pad replacement has a definite time frame, but brake rotor replacement isn’t that simple to detect.
Here are common symptoms to help you know a brake inspection is needed and a brake rotor replacement may be imminent:
1. Vibration And Pulsation
Stepping on your brakes should not produce any vibration, except for the brake pedal pulsation you feel when the ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) engages.
Now, brake pedal pulsation doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new brake rotor, but it indicates an issue.
The same goes for a vibrating steering wheel. If you feel your steering wheel is vibrating while braking, you may need a rotor replacement. Chances are your brake pad is pressing against an uneven, worn rotor causing rough steering or braking.
2. Excessive Rotor Wear Over Time
With time brake rotors wear out just like many other vehicle parts. And eventually, you’ll need to resurface or replace them with new brake rotors.
3. Chattering Brake Noise
The chattering noise from a warped rotor is pretty unique, and you’ll only hear it when you apply pressure to the brake.
If you hear this type of brake noise, your brake rotors are warped, and you need a brake rotor replacement ASAP.
High-pitched intermittent screeching, squeaking, and squealing sounds from the brake rotors also say it’s time for rotor replacement.
4. Blue Color
A blue tint or spots on your brake rotors usually indicates excessive heat. Blue spots on the rotor surface shouldn’t be machined, as the metal’s hardness and elasticity are long gone. In this case, you should get a brake repair and replacement.
5. Rotor Thickness
Brake rotors have a minimum thickness requirement. If your rotors have been machined more than once, it’s probably too thin for re-use and should be replaced for maximum safety and longevity.
6. Brake Overheating
Driving in hilly areas may result in long downhill braking — easily deforming a brake rotor and inducing brake fade. The solution to this issue can be resurfacing the warped brake rotor.
However, uneven removal of material may result in warping again. So the only permanent solution is to consider a brake rotor replacement.
7. Rotor Surface Condition
Machining is impossible if your rotor surface has deep ridges and corrosion. If you go ahead with machining, you’ll ruin the brake lathe or exceed the minimum rotor thickness.