How long do disc brake rotors last?
Are you feeling a frequent pulsating vibration as you press your brakes? It is highly likely that you are experiencing this because your brake rotors are unevenly worn. This happens when rotors get old and develop small cracks. As you use your disc brakes they will heat up, and that heat will not dissipate in a uniform manner throughout the rotor. Instead, it will create waves on the surface that you feel in the brake pedal and the steering wheel when you attempt to stop or slow down. Additionally, imperfections in the composition of the brake pads could wear grooves into the surface of the rotor causing a loss in functionality. Over time, disc brake rotors are just going to wear down and will eventually need to be replaced. Sometimes, the sides of the rotor can be skinned and shaved down slightly to make a more uniform and consistent surface. But if that's not possible (check with a brake technician), then replacing the brake rotors is your best option. And you don't want to play fast and loose with the very parts that are responsible for stopping and slowing down your car.
What are disc brake rotors?Disc brake rotors
were first used on race cars for their superior responsiveness and stopping capabilities over drums. Seeing as the competitive racing space was, and still is, the proving ground for new innovations and technology, disc brake systems were continuously worked through and improved upon until automakers found them cost effective enough to offer on production vehicles. Essentially, a brake rotor is a flat disc that spins along with your wheel (attached at the wheel hub) and provides a double-sided surface upon which a caliper applies friction by pinching it with brake pads. This system was much more efficient and effective than the drum style brakes that came before it since brake rotors cool faster than drums, are more reliable in wet weather, and apply an even amount of force to the rotor surface rather than a shoe that applies more force in front of the drum than the rear.
Doing it yourself.
Replacing you brake rotors is not very difficult at all. It can be done in about an hour using the appropriate torques and tolerances, and should always be done in pairs - meaning replace either both fronts or both rears at the same time.
- First, lift your car and set it on jack stands.
- Next, remove the cap from your brake master cylinder. This will allow for expansion of your brake fluid when you remove the brake caliper. To be safe, you can use a turkey baster to remove some of the fluid just in case you think it may overflow.
- Now, remove the wheel to expose your brake rotor and caliper. It will be easy to work on your brakes with the steering wheel turned outward.
- At this time, you can unbolt your caliper from the mounting bracket. Fashion a way to support or hang your caliper once it is removed. Do not let your caliper simply dangle from the hydraulic brake line.
- You will likely be replacing your brake pads at this time too, and to do so you will have to compress the piston(s) in your caliper using a C-clip or piston compressor and an old pad. This will drive the piston back into the caliper, and give you enough room to put a new pad in there when you re-install the caliper.
- Once you have removed the caliper and the mounting bracket, you can replace your old rotor with a new one. Then just perform the same steps on the other side, and then in reverse to re-install everything. Don't forget to refill your brake master cylinder with fluid and put the cap back on before testing your brakes.
You've come to the right place.
There are so many different brands of brake rotors you can buy online. And with the large number of disc brake parts manufacturers out there, levels of quality and prices will vary. At Car Parts Discount, we offer inexpensive replacement brands for the buyer on a budget all the way up to the genuine original equipment. Either way, our prices are great and shipping is fast on our entire disc brake rotor inventory. So don't delay your purchase of new brake rotors - your car needs them.