How Do I Know If I Need New Brake Rotors?

When it’s finally time to get your brake rotors changed, how will you know? Whether it is a squealing sound or ineffective braking, your vehicle has its way to signal you. You simply must be wary of the signs.

Usually, the signs point to a simple matter that can be easily solved, but it may also indicate a problem. Here’s what you should look out for:

Self-inspection

Check the brake rotors yourself by turning your steering wheel to point the wheels all the way to the right or left. This will reveal the wheels’ insides so you can see the brakes. First, view the brake pads and ensure they’re at least one-fourth inches thick. If they are smaller, or they appear worn out, you will probably need brake pad replacement. In this case, chances are high that the brake pads had affected the brake rotors as well. Worn out brake pads put a lot of pressure against rotors, eventually creating a small groove in them. This is very harmful and you’ll have to make sure a worn-out brake pad hasn’t damaged the rotor. Observe the rotors and make sure they have a smooth face and are free of grooves, grit, and dust.

Keep an Ear Out for Noises

Listening for noises while you brake is another useful indicator for worn-out brake rotors. Squealing or squeaking sound tells that your brake rotors might need replacement.

Other Signs During Braking

Twisted or warped brake rotors can cause you to feel a wobble or vibration when you press down on the brake pedal. If you experience this, visit a mechanic right away to get your brake rotors checked.

How to Extend the Life of Your Brake Rotors?

Just like all other parts of your car, you should make sure your brake rotors endure their maximum lifespan. It is crucial not only for your own protection but also for the safety of others on the road.

Following are a few tips to improve your driving habits and help your brake rotors last longer:

  • Always observe the speed limit – instantly stopping your car from a high speed will wear out your brake pads and brake rotors quickly.
  • When you need to brake, watch traffic movement and allow yourself to gradually come to halt.
  • If your brakes heat up after aggressive driving or persistent application downhill, keep your vehicle moving at a constant low speed for a few minutes and let them cool down before stopping your car.
  • Avoid weighing down your vehicle - your brakes must work harder to stop your car, causing brake pads and rotors to wear out faster.
  • When you get new brake pads, follow the manufacturer’s steps for “bedding” the brakes, which let your brake rotor and pad surface link properly together.
  • Get regular inspections of your brake system to ensure your brake pads and rotors are in top condition.