Bad Brake Rotors (Symptoms and Solution)

What are the signs that I have bad brake rotors? Are the squealing noise from my car a result of a bad rotor? these are some of the questions which pop up when we notice a malfunctioning braking system

Brake Rotors are essential part of a car. In a situation whereby pressure is applied on the pedal of the brake, the pads of the brake (brake pads) jam on the brake rotors. As a result of this particular action, a large amount of heat is generated. So, it is advised that this part of the car should be of very high quality.

Misfortunes on the road are unavoidable when the brake rotors are of poor quality or malfunctioning. So, proper care should be given to the brakes. Here are a few symptoms to be cautious about:

A notable sign of failing brakes is an alarming noise when pressure is put on the brake or when its performance is unusual. Another disturbing symptom of this particular issue is, if your vehicle vibrates with the brake pedal as force is applied to the brake pads.

The idea of friction is what allows the brake rotors to bring the vehicle to a stop. This abrasion deteriorates any part of the vehicle, brakes inclusive. As damages come on the brakes, one can notice that they are about to fail. Here are seven comprehensive signs of bad brake rotors.

Below are some of the popular symptoms of bad brake rotors:

1. Vehicle Takes Longer to Stop

Because of uneven surfaces created due to wearing and tearing, the braking surface on the brake rotors will be very minimal. Therefore, the performance will be poor.

With this image, it can be noticed that there is 30% corrosion of the inner aspect of the rotor plane. The reason is that the brake pad is not using the surface to stop the vehicle. Therefore, there is a possibility that there will be a 30% reduction in the efficiency of the brake.

Of course, there is also a possibility that this particular rotor in the image above will be repaired after a session of tough breaking, but I guess the message is clear.

2. Brakes Produce Squealing Noise

As soon as the brakes are shabby, it brings about uneven plains on the brake rotor surface, both the outside and the inside.

As a result of the uneven surface, loud noise is generated when the car is in motion, but this noise worsens, especially when the brake is in use. Therefore, if one notices a very unpleasant sound coming from the brakes when used, it is time to service the brakes.

3. Brake Pedal Pulsating

The steering wheel is not the only place to notice rotor anomalies. If the brake pedal also shakes when pressure is applied, it may result from rough plain or corrosion on the brakes.

If your brake pedal shakes when you apply pressure, the problem may be from the back and front rotors. Nevertheless, one can tell from the steering wheel if the issue is from the front rotor.

4. Shaking Steering Wheel while Braking

When the brakes in front are beginning to malfunction, one can notice this problem on the steering wheel when the brakes are used.

This could result from corrosion on the brakes or overheating because of imbalance. Therefore, one should be aware that it and check the front brakes if the steering wheel quakes when the brake is used.

5. Loud bangs while braking

When the brakes are in poor shape, one may notice loud clangs when the brake is used. When this problem is spotted, it is advised to fix it as soon as possible to avoid losing the braking system entirely because this could result in an accident.

6. Large Edge Noticed on the Outer Part of the Rotor

There is a tiny edge on the brake rotor’s inner and outer parts, and the most efficient method to assess the condition of the rotor is by checking it. One can note the damage on the rotor by examining the edges compared to before the break was put to work. In addition, alarming sounds come from these edges; therefore, removing is advised in a situation where the rotor needs to be replaced.

7. Marks on the Rotor

In a situation where you notice scrapes on the rotor, one is advised to go for a replacement immediately. When the brakes are replaced, they take on a few scratches, but the disc rotor should be replaced when the scratches look serious.

While driving and the brakes are used, if you hear an awful sound, it might be coming from between the brake pad or rotor because sometimes, rocks get stuck there. This is usually the reason for the deep scratch marks.

Also Read: Do You Have to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads? (Explained) 

How to Keep My Rotors From “Going Bad?”

Rotors and pad backings scratch fast in a situation where the substance for friction wears off. Also, even when pads don’t meet metal to metal, the rotors still wear to the lowest thickness. The state of rotor replacement will come quickly if the pads are allowed to scratch to the lowest thickness. Machinable brakes will still have to be changed if they are allowed to go from metal to metal.

Using your brakes when they are in poor condition can destroy the calipers. In a situation where the pad is fatigued, there is a possibility of hyperextension of the calliper piston, resulting in leakage of the brake fluids. In this case, replacements are advised.

This will result in overspending because callipers are not usually replaced when a brake job is ongoing. Sadly, there is no mapped-out routine to have it replaced. Therefore, one is supposed to seek a professional’s support to ascertain the brakes’ longevity.

Six months is the standard time to rotate the tires of most cars. One can also utilize this opportunity to examine the brakes too, as the technician can help ascertain the state of the hardware of the brakes.

Bad Brake Rotors

Should I Resurface or Replace My Brake Rotors?

In the past, resurfacing of bad brake rotors instead of replacement was common. The reason was that rotors were costly. Another reason is that manpower was significantly less expensive. However, a lot of individuals these days still choose to resurface.

However, we are not encouraging you to do this because the repercussions may be worse than the cash saved.

Examining how thick the brake rotor is, is recommended to ascertain if it’s up to standard. This is because vehicle producers have a minimum thickness for the brakes.

In a situation where your brakes are twisted and are also very thick, then one may try resurfacing it. Also, remember that you might spend double the amount in a situation where a twisted hub causes the imbalance.

How Long Do Brake Rotors Last?

Normally, a rotor should extend to 2-3 sets of brakes before its expiration. Still, in a situation where an adviser is needed, the lowest thickness is always specified on the brakes. Race cars definitely possess rotors that have lesser longevity compared to normal rotors.

Therefore, the material and make of the rotors should be considered, regardless of whether they might be new or old or even resurfaced.

In terms of mileage, when a rotor is inspected or when the pads of brakes are changed from time to time, their life span can stretch to about 15000-100000 miles until they are due for replacement.

Of course, this calculation is dependent on servicing, how frequent the upkeep is, the driver’s habits, the condition of the vehicle while it is being used, and so on. In addition, your rotor’s life span is also heavily affected by the health of the components in the brake system. Therefore, one should not push the brake system towards its maximum point without accounting for these factors.

When Should I Get My Brake Rotors Replaced?

Eventually, how this issue may be addressed is dependent on how to sever the farm on the rotor. When the discs are machined, this could solve the problem of little dents on the plain. However, a rotor should be replaced when the acquisition is much.

It is best to cautiously go for a replacement before the damage on the rotors becomes worse, rather than driving with the risk of an accident. There are situations where another constituent of the brake should be replaced in order to avoid more damage to the brake rotors. In contrast, other situations may warrant getting a new set of pads. The choice to replace or linger should be made using these guidelines:

How Do I Check My Brake Rotors?

Do you feel you have Bad Brake Rotors? lets get to know the steps to check your brake rotors. Folow the procedure below:

  1. Lug nuts should be removed, but first, the vehicle should be suspended using a jack stand.
  2. Uncover the rotors by removing the wheels and tires.
  3. To detach them, unfasten the bolts on the brake callipers.
  4. Separate the rotors and pads from the car so that they can be inspected.
  5. In order to check for any groove, score or roughness on the edge or surface of the rotors, you will have to properly check the inner and outer parts.
  6. Employ a similar method here also, just to be sure it hasn’t gotten to its lowest thickness specification.
  7. Clean all the brake parts, including the brake rotor’s surface. Once these are done, an anomaly should have been detected in the system components. Whatever you find will guide you to what you should do to fix the problem.

Also Read:  Brake Pedal Squeaking (6 Causes & Solutions by Expert)

Frequently Asked Questions – Bad Brake Rotors

What happens when brake rotors go bad?

The proximity between the brake pads and the brake rotors becomes flawed in a situation where the rotors are very damaged. And this, therefore, becomes the reason behind the vibrations that are felt when pressure is put on the brake. The vibrations can be felt all over the vehicle, steering wheel and brake pedal.

Can you drive a car with bad rotors?

We recommend a visit to a technician or desist from driving the car as soon as it is noticed that the rotors might be faulty. Breakdown of the brake system is possible when you drive a car with damaged rotors. This could very much result in injury to oneself or another.

How much does it cost to replace rotors?

The price ranges from $30-$75 each. The manpower required ranges from $150-$200 for each axle. Rotors and pads are within $250-$500 each.

What happens if you don’t replace rotors?

Road mishaps are risked when damaged rotors are not replaced appropriately. Rotors suck up and release heat when pressure is put on the brakes. Rotors absorb more heat when they are thin. Also, when the heat is too much, it distorts the rotors.

Can I just replace brake pads and not rotors?

Of course, it is dependent on the current shape of the rotors. You can replace only the pads if they are not already damaged beyond the thickness where they should be discarded.

What do bad rotors sound like?

When the brake rotors are worn, and you apply the brakes, one would hear a squealing or screeching sound. You may also hear grinding or even scraping noise. Worn-out brake pads could also be the reason behind the squeaking sounds.

Leave a Comment