Why Brake Discs Rust and What It Means
Steel was initially created in China around 300 B.C. and did not arrive in the United States until the late 1800s. Steel has been and continues to be the primary material used in the production of brake discs, brake rotors, brake calipers, and even brake pads ever since the invention of the automobile. Steel is a fantastic material that people have used almost since the beginning of civilization. Still, it does not exist devoid of flaws, as is evident from the fact that it has a propensity to rust.
What causes brake discs to rust, and what does this indicate about their condition? Rust is created when moisture gets into your brakes over time, but you shouldn’t worry about this problem if you drive your vehicle often. When you go often, the brake pads will come into touch with the rust on the surface, which will remove it. However, if you don’t drive your vehicle often or take extended pauses, rust may sit too long, creating pitting in the rotor and necessitating expensive repairs. This can be avoided by driving your car often.
You don’t want to put yourself and the other drivers on the road in danger by breaking your brakes and putting themselves in danger. This article will teach you all you need to know about rusting brake discs, including what it is, how to remove it, and how to avoid it in the long run.
Why Do Brake Discs Rust?
Steel is a material that is well-known for its longevity as well as its heat resistance. Because of this, it has kept its established status as one of the most excellent materials for building vehicles.
On the other hand, steel’s worst enemy is water. Corrosion will occur gradually but inexorably if moisture from sources beyond your control, such as rain, condensation, humidity, and other forms of moisture. In addition, if you reside in a region where salt is used to prevent ice on the roadways, this might cause corrosion to develop at an even faster pace.
It won’t happen overnight or even fast, and you don’t need to be concerned about a bit of rust in the first place. This is natural and will be removed from your brakes by the brake pads as you use your automobile regularly and drive consistently.
On the other hand, the accumulation of rust may become a problem if a significant amount of time passes between each drive since this allows the rust to fester.
Rust may sit too long and cause pitting in the rotor if you take a lengthy break from driving, such as six to twelve months off from driving your automobile. This can happen if you take a vacation. This is a more severe issue than the last one since the rotor may be eroding and gradually losing its integrity. Because of this, rotation or even a complete replacement is often required.
If your brake pads do not match the size of your rotor and brakes, the essential contact with the brake pads that brushes off the rust buildups will not occur. This is another reason that might be playing a role in your rust problem.
According to the explanation provided by AMPM Automotive Repair, “Rust on the brake rotor can cause pitting.” The rotor’s surface must be smooth to make complete contact with the brake pads. Regarding the rotor, the brake pads need to be the same size. Your vehicle’s braking power will increase according to how much contact the brake pad has with the rotor.
How to Remove Rust from Brake Discs
Rust can be easily removed from brake discs, but if the issue is more serious, you must take your car to a local automotive dealer or technician to install a replacement. Rust can be easily removed from brake discs.
The following is a list of the measures that need to be taken to remove rust from your brake discs:
- After driving your automobile, generally at roughly 10-15 mph, apply full force to the brake pedal. It would be best if you used pressure, but not so much rate that you will be thrown forward. It requires a more forceful application of the brakes to achieve intense contact between the brake pads and the brake discs. It is strongly recommended that you carry out these actions in a parking lot rather than on the road itself.
- If this is not enough, or if you want to polish your brake discs once per quarter to take better care of your automobile, you may wipe them down with a cleaning solution that was specifically designed for this purpose and will evaporate rapidly, such as:
- CRC 05089 is a cleaner for braking components.
- Squeaky Brakes Can Be Fixed with a Single Unit Disc Brake That Is Very Quiet
- Cleaner for the Spin Power Disc Brakes
Caution: You should never put oils on your brakes since doing so may lead them to get too lubricated, and as a result, you won’t be able to stop effectively or safely.
- Use a coarse scrubbing instrument such as a wire brush, sponge, or steel wool if the rust is still visible after following the steps in the previous section. You might give a product that is already concentrated a shot, but always dilute it with some water first.
Suppose you are unsure how to take apart your car correctly and put it back together again. In that case, you should avoid purchasing cleaners that need you to remove the complete rotor and discs from your vehicle before submerging them in water. These cleaners should be avoided. It is not worth taking the chance of having an accident, so be sure that the cleaning products you use are appropriate for your skill level.
To restate, a minor rust is natural and will not harm your vehicle or affect your driving ability. On the other hand, pitting may develop with time, and if it reaches around 50,000 miles, it may be time to replace it.
Take your car in for an examination by a trained specialist if the corrosion or squeaking of the brakes seems severe or if the brakes need to be adjusted.
Is Rust on Your Brake Discs Dangerous?
It is pretty simple for rust to grow up along with brakes, not only because they are built from steel but also because of the combination of steel and the position of your car’s brakes, which is moisture-retaining, dark, and humid. This makes it an ideal environment for rust to form.
Yes, it can become unsafe over time if it is not maintained correctly, is not driven often enough, and the brake pads do not fit perfectly. However, in most cases, constant driving keeps the rusting from progressing to the point where it may become dangerous.
In most cases, you will replace the brakes far before the point at which the rust might pose a risk to your safety.
The Replacement Timetable That Will Be Followed
The following is a recommended replacement plan for your braking system that you should follow:
- On average, you must replace your brake pads every 50,000 miles. However, this number drops to 25,000 miles if you live in a colder area with salt on the roads, if the road conditions are harsh, or if the driver brakes aggressively, all of which cause your brake pads to wear out more quickly.
- It is recommended that the brake discs be changed simultaneously with the brake pads.
- The lifespan of brake rotors should be roughly three times as long (between 135,000 and 170,000 miles), but this will depend on how well you maintain your vehicle, the environment where you live, the road conditions, and how hard you brake.
The following are some of the dangers you put yourself in by not properly maintaining your vehicle or bringing it into a body shop once the rust starts to become worse:
- It will become more difficult for you to control your brakes.
- In dangerous conditions, such as while driving on ice or other slippery surfaces, you won’t be able to stop the wheels from spinning out of control.
- It will make your rotor less effective.
- As you move around with it, it will produce a lot of noise.
- It will cause the brake pads to wear out faster.
- You are putting your safety and the safety of other drivers in danger by doing this.
Again, it takes several circumstances to cause brake discs to rust excessively, and you will have plenty of warning signals to repair your brakes before they become unsafe. Again, excessive rusting of brake discs may be caused by a range of factors.
The following is a list of some additional things you can do to get the most life out of your brake parts:
- Maintain a consistent driving schedule.
- Never use excessive force on the brake pedal, but avoid using too little; provide consistent and firm pressure.
- You might alternatively remove the braking components from your car, clean them well, and then cover them with rust-preventative paint such as Caliper Rust-Oleum Specialty Rust Preventative.
Your brakes will make you feel comfortable and operate smoothly if you do routine maintenance, set expectations for their behavior, and flush and turn them regularly. Suppose its manufacturer’s warranty still covers your car, and you have any questions or concerns about a rust problem that seems to worsen. In that case, you should take it to your neighborhood mechanic, body shop, or dealership to have it inspected.