Do My Brake Rotors Need to be Replaced?

The brake system is arguably the most important safety feature on a vehicle.  Maintaining a properly functioning brake system is imperative to your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other people on the road.  One of the vital components of your vehicle's brake system are the brake rotors.

What is a Brake Rotor?

Brake rotors are discs mounted to the wheel hub that the brake pad is compressed against whenever you press your brake pedal.  The compression of the brake pad to the brake rotor creates friction that causes the wheel to turn more slowly until bringing your vehicle to a complete stop.

What are signs that brake rotors are going bad?

  • Stopping Distance:  If you notice that the distance it takes from when you begin pressing your brakes until your car reaches a complete stop is lengthening, it could be a sign of warped or damaged brake rotors.  If a brake rotor becomes warped or damaged, the brake pad may not be able to make continuous or consistent contact with the surface of the brake rotor thus reducing friction and increasing stopping distance.
  • Vibration:  A vibrating sensation when applying the brakes could also be explained by warped or damaged brake rotors.  Like the cause of increased stopping distance, a warped brake rotor prevents the brake pad from making consistent and continuous contact with the rotor thereby producing a vibration.
  • Visual Indicators:  Brake rotors should have a smooth, even appearance.  If a brake rotor begins to appear warped, rusted, corroded, or grooved from wear and tear, it is an indication that the brake rotors need to be replaced.

When should the brake rotors be replaced?

At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we recommend replacing brake rotors during every brake job.  Installing new brake pads without replacing the rotors can result in poor brake performance, noise while braking, and decreased lifespan of the brake pad.  Brake rotors may also need to be replaced anytime they exhibit signs of going bad.  If you experience increased stopping distance, vibration when braking, or notice visual indicators of wear and tear to the brake rotors, schedule an appointment with a certified automotive repair technician at (203) 761-9541 to have your brake system inspected.

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center