7 Signs Your Brake Rotors Need Replacing
The safety of your vehicle is of the utmost significance, and just because you drive a brand-new and costly car does not imply that it is exempt from having specific components replaced. Because they have the potential to make the difference between life and death, your braking system and the rotors are among the items that need the utmost attention from you.
How do you determine whether or not the rotors on your brakes need to be replaced? Here are seven signs that it may be time to replace your brake rotors:
- Your rotors are blue.
- Notches or scoring on the surface of the rotors
- A noise is similar to squeaking or shrieking.
- It takes too long for the automobile to come to a stop.
- When you use the brakes, your vehicle begins to vibrate.
- Warnings are sent to you by your ABS.
- Your vehicle’s service technician advises that you get new rotors.
Find out how to recognize the seven warning signals that the brake rotors on your vehicle need to be changed, as well as other information on the safety of brakes and rotors, by reading the information provided below.
How To Know If Your Rotors Need To Be Replaced
Your car’s brake rotors are an essential safety system component, much like the seatbelts and airbags. A significant difference exists between repairing your rotors and replacing a broken rear headrest, which may be ignored for many months.
You must change your rotors immediately if you see any of these seven warning signals. Fortunately, like our bodies, automobiles exhibit symptoms when they get “sick,” the following guide will help you determine whether or not your rotors need to be changed.
- Take heed
- Be Sure to Practice Caution!
Let’s look at each one and figure out the exact warning indicators you need to keep an eye out for.
Watch for warning signs that it could be time to replace your brake rotors.
These shining disk-like items located behind the wheel and directly in contact with the brake and caliper are called brake rotors. Your vehicle will halt entirely or partially, depending on how hard you push on the brake pedal. This causes the caliper to tighten its grip on the rotating rotor. Therefore, it is critical to your safety that you be aware of when it has to be changed.
You do not need to be an automobile expert to see or feel when the rotors on your vehicle are broken. The appearance of the discs is one of the earliest telltale indications.
1. Look Out For Blue Rotors
Your rotors should never, under any circumstances, be blue. To examine the color of your rotors, you will need to take your tire off entirely unless you have a vehicle with huge wheels with few spokes and a view of the rotor via the space between the spokes. If necessary, examine your brakes’ rotors with a flashlight, and you should see a very faint blue hue. Check every one of the rotors since not all of them may have been damaged in the same way.
An excessive amount of heat, brought on by the extended friction, is the source of the blue tinge. You’ll likely need to brake often and consistently if you reside in a location with many hills or abrupt corners. This minor breaking allows the caliper to push on the rotors but not hard enough to force the car to come to a complete stop. Instead, it presses against the rotors sufficiently to slow the vehicle down, enabling you to take sharp curves or travel down hills without exceeding the speed limit.
The color blue, on the other hand, does not always indicate danger. This discoloration signals that other braking system components might be jeopardized, even if the rotors are not damaged. Your rotors may be perfectly safe and do not need replacement. Suppose you see any unusual signals like this one. In that case, you must immediately inspect your vehicle to eliminate potential hazards.
2. Look Out For Grooves Or Scoring On The Rotors
Grooves and scoring on the discs are another telltale indicator that the rotors on your vehicle have been damaged. Once again, you will need to remove your tire to check it. Even if your wheels are huge and only have a few spokes, you should still remove the tire entirely since there is a possibility that certain parts of it will be damaged while others won’t.
When you discover any grooves or scoring on the rotors, you should take your vehicle to a reputable auto care shop to inspect them.
Watch for warning signs that your brake rotors need to be replaced.
No one inspects their vehicle once a week as they should. The idea that you would remove your tire to check the inside surface of your wheel and the brake rotors regularly enough to spot minuscule issues such as pigmentation or grooves in the cover is humorous. So, how can you get around the work? You really should give it some attention.
This is not one of those times when I tell you to “listen to your automobile. Things of the “she knows what’s up” kind. You owe it to yourself and your passengers to pay attention to your vehicle’s noises and be aware of what those sounds indicate.
3. Listen For a High Pitched Screeching or Squeaking Sound
Unless you drive a Tesla or another vehicle that is not fueled by gas, the only sounds you can hear while going should be the sound of your engine and your tires. When you swap gears, switch on your blinkers, and fail to put on your seatbelt, you may hear a “bing,” “gruff,” or “click” every once in a while, but other than that, you won’t hear much else. You should be cautious if you hear a shriek at a high level because something terrible could happen.
Believe in me. You will be able to recognize this noise that cannot be removed from your life. It’s a lot like putting a knife on a chalkboard or the sound of two thin pieces of metal scraping against one other. Both of those things are unpleasant. When you hear this high-pitched squick when applying the brakes, it likely indicates that your rotors need replacement or an issue with your brakes.
Most of the time, you will hear this sound while applying the brakes for an extended period. You will not hear this sound when you suddenly apply the brakes; however, you may hear another little squeak when you raise your foot off the pedal. This time, the scream will be less tense and more airy; you might even call it a screech with a “whoosh” if you choose. Keep your appointment time at the reputable vehicle repair facility to a minimum.
This sound might also be heard when the vehicle turns or the driver does a rapid U-turn. Again, this might indicate that your brake rotors must be changed, but could also indicate a vehicle alignment problem. In any event, you should have an expert look at it, and based on their findings, you should proceed from there.
Examine your brake rotors for telltale signs that they need to be replaced.
Even if you have trouble hearing, you won’t need to worry about the condition of your rotors since you’ll be able to tell when they’ve reached the point of no return because you’ll be able to feel it. There are two things that you need to keep an eye out for, and they are:
- Your automobile has been broken down for far too long.
- When you use the brakes, your vehicle is vibrating.
Let’s talk about each item below.
4. The Car Takes Too Long to Break
When something stops operating, it is one of the symptoms that it isn’t functioning correctly. It would be best if you never allowed your rotors to come to the point where they cease entirely stopping since doing so will put you in a world of difficulty. Having said that, if you notice that your vehicle is beginning to slow down more gradually than usual, you should have the brake rotors changed as soon as possible.
As time passes, the rotors on your vehicle will get worn, which indicates that they have served their purpose wonderfully and are now prepared to go on to another phase of their lives. If you must keep pressing the brake pedal even if it takes your automobile substantially longer to come to a complete or rolling stop, there is an issue with your vehicle. This problem co-occurs with the loud screaming sound we were discussing. As soon as you become aware of this, inspecting your brake system immediately would be best.
5. The Car Starts To Vibrate As You Brake
When there is a problem with your vehicle’s rotors, it is possible that your car will not make any sounds when braking; nevertheless, if your vehicle shakes and rattles while braking, it is very probable that you need to replace your rotors. This sensation of the car shaking may be minimal, with just the steering wheel trembling slightly in your hands; on the other hand, depending on the size of your vehicle, the shaking may become more severe, reaching a point where the whole car begins to shake.
No danger may cause you to go off the road, but you will undoubtedly feel it. The shivering indicates that the brake rotors must be changed because they have become deformed or worn out.
Remember that you could have this issue even when you change lanes or round corners, so keep that in mind. If your vehicle, especially your steering wheel, begins to shake from side to side, an alignment issue with your tires or gears may cause the problem. Continue to check out your vehicle at the service station that is most conveniently located to you.
Additional Indications that It Is Time to Replace Your Brake Rotors
Even though these two warning indicators are straightforward, only some pay attention to them. If your ABS is giving you a warning or a trained specialist suggests that you get new rotors, you should follow the indicated course of action.
6. Your ABS System Is Alerting You
An anti-lock braking system (also known as ABS) is a system that monitors the condition of your brakes using a sensor that is equipped with a high level of intelligence. Because this technology is not standard on all vehicles, you will need to verify with the manufacturer or a car guide to see whether or not your particular model is compatible with the integration.
The ABS will alarm when your brakes’ pressure becomes unsafely low. Even though this has nothing to do with the rotors, it generally indicates a problem with the brakes.
You may destroy the sensor if you persistently disregard this warning and continue to drive without calibrating your brakes. Therefore, the thing that breaks when you ignore the issue also tells you when there is a problem. This problem might eventually spread to other components of your braking system, such as, you guessed it, your rotors.
7. A Professional Recommends New Rotors
Last but not least, it is imperative that you change your brake rotors whenever a qualified mechanic advises you to do so. Isn’t it funny? When you are advised to replace your rotors by a third party, this indicates that they are worn out and need to be replaced. You may take that how you want, but I will put my money on the person who understands what he’s talking about.
No matter why you drove your automobile to a mechanic, if they tell you you need new rotors, you should listen to their advice and change them. It is risky to drive your vehicle without changing the rotors since it might cause more damage to the car. It is pointless to put off what will eventually happen. Simply replacing the rotors will provide you with some much-needed relief.
How To Check For Faulty Rotors
We spent a lot of time reviewing the several warning signals that your brake rotors need to be replaced, but before we go on, let’s quickly go over how to test your rotors and obtain an accurate evaluation without putting yourself in danger.
Taking Tires Off
This was covered in Signs 1 and 2, but we needed to go into how to take your wheels off or what to check for specifically. So:
- Place your vehicle in a secure parking spot on a level surface, then turn the steering wheel to one side. Either the extreme left or right side will work; you need to ensure that the tilt is all the way forward so that your tires are pointed in a radical direction.
- Take the wheel cover off of one of the tires, either the left or the right one. It should be possible for you to do this task using just your hands, but the cover and tires may be hot, so use caution. We suggest you use a crowbar, tire iron, or big screwdriver to get the job done. Take care not to damage the sides of the object.
- Use a flashlight, and position yourself in the space between the wheels.
- If you look between the spokes, you should be able to see the rotor and the caliper.
- Searching for discoloration (usually a light blue tinge), deep grooves, dents, scuffs, warped sections, ridges, and a burnt appearance would be best. You require new rotors if these abnormal specifications and other eccentric specs are present.
- Carry out the same procedure with the second front tire and the rear two tires if they also include rotors.
After removing the wheel cover, if you cannot see anything, you need to take the vehicle to a repair shop so that the technicians there may safely remove the complete wheel and reveal the rotor and caliper. You could do it yourself, but no one wants to do it because it’s like repairing a flat tire: no one wants to do it.
Check While Driving
While driving your car, you may also examine and test your rotors to establish whether or not your suspicions are justified. If you suspect your rotors or brakes are not working correctly, it is best not to drive your vehicle very far; you should only take it to the repair facility. if you cannot do so, you should have it towed. We do not often advise that you do this because if you suspect your rotors or brakes are not working correctly, it is best not to drive your car very far. Nevertheless, the following are some of the ways you may be able to verify while going:
- Find a road or a part of town with few people and automobiles. Your best chance is to look for vacant parking lots. Steer clear of densely crowded regions such as cities, highways, and even the streets in your neighborhood. For your protection, you should stay away from areas that are mountainous or have cliff edges.
- Consider pressing down on your brake pedal to see whether or not it responds by bouncing back at you. It ought to feel like a pulse heading toward your foot. If you get that sensation, you should have your rotors checked out as soon as possible.
- If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), check for its light when you use the brakes. If it is on or flashing, this indicates that you have an issue with your brakes, which might be causing damage to your rotors.
- Get your automobile moving, then start using the brakes very gradually so that you don’t come to a complete stop and your car keeps going. Keep an ear out for a shrieking sound. If you have to, open your windows; the sound should come in clearly from either side of your home and feel like a harsh ringing in your ears.
- If you still don’t see anything, check once more to ensure there are no other vehicles around, then start picking up the pace a little bit, but don’t exceed 10 or 15 miles per hour. After that, use your brakes heavily. If it takes considerably longer for your vehicle to stop, you must replace the rotors.
If you are still unsure, the most prudent thing for you to do is to get a trained specialist to examine or test your rotors for you.
Replacing Faulty Brake Rotors
After you have decided to replace your rotors, you are faced with whether to conduct the replacement work on your own or hire a qualified expert to carry out the task for you. First, you must be aware that even if your rotors are the only component of the braking system that has been worn out, you should still replace the pads with new ones.
It may be an additional expense, and much like the service itself, individuals may want to up-sell you on it, but it is undeniably a wise investment. If one of the brakes has to be replaced, the other one is close behind, so there is no reason not to repair both simultaneously and let them begin their new braking voyage together.
More crucially, however, old pads have minor wear on them, which means that their impact on fresh rotors is sure to harm and ruin your brand-new and expensive rotors far faster than it would with new pads. By replacing them, you can prevent warping and complete breaking of the items.
The cost of replacing brake pads and rotor discs is typically close to $300, but this number may go up to more than $700 depending on the brand and model of your vehicle and its braking system. If you are thinking about changing your rotors, here are the seven warning indicators you should be looking for, listening for, feeling, or being aware of. Be careful behind the wheel, and always remember that it’s better to err on caution than regret!