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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The cost of replacing brake rotors will vary depending on your vehicle.
In general, for a common sedan, it may cost a few hundred dollars to replace all four rotors, whereas a luxury SUV may cost a thousand or more.How Urgent Is Replacing Brake Rotors?
The brake system is a very important safety feature on your car, and that’s why you must get your brake rotors checked urgently.
A warped or bad brake rotor will hinder the functionality of your brake pads and the entire braking system — compromising smooth braking.
The warped rotor will only worsen if you delay the replacement, and the brake pads will follow.
Here are the answers to some common brake rotor replacement questions:
A brake rotor is a metal disc affixed to a vehicle’s wheel hub that receives friction from the brake pads to stop the vehicle. If your car has a disc brake, it has a brake rotor (also called a brake disc).
When you push the brake pedal, brake fluid flows towards the brakes. The fluid helps apply pressure to the brake piston, which engages the brake pads to slow down the moving wheel and rotor.
And since brake rotors make direct contact with the brake pads, they wear down eventually, needing resurfacing or replacing.
Here are some common causes of disc brake rotor warping:
On average, conventional steel brake rotors last 15,000 to 70,000 miles. However, rotor wear depends on several factors, such as your driving style, vehicle, and how you treat the brakes.
A carbon-ceramic brake disc can last a lifetime. However, even this rotor’s durable design can be impacted by driving style and conditions.
A brake pad is a tiny piece of material used to create friction. It fits into a brake caliper and clamps down onto the brake rotor when applying braking pressure.
Generally, you should get a new brake pad every 25,000 to 65,000 miles.
Here are the four primary brake rotor types:
Here are the simple DIY steps for rotor and brake pad replacement. These steps are a general outline for most vehicles.
And when in doubt, it’s always better to let a professional deal with a brake job.
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