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Taking Care of Your Car’s Braking System Can Prevent Accidents

A brake rotor is a vital part of the braking system on your vehicle. A brake rotor, in conjunction with brake pads, brings your car to come to a quick and complete stop. If you have a worn brake rotor, you should have it replaced as soon as possible for your own safety.

When you apply your car’s brake pedal, brake pads press down against the brake rotor. The rotor is part of the front wheel hub, and it stops the wheels from turning. Brake rotors are commonly referred to as “discs,” and people often refer to cars with brake rotors as being equipped with “disc brakes.”

In recent decades, most cars have been equipped with a brake rotor at the front of the car. Some cars are also equipped with brake rotors on the rear wheels for added stopping power. The older alternative to a disc brake is the drum brake; some cars are still made with drum brakes on the back wheels. As with front-wheel disk brakes, rear-wheel disk brakes are added for a more acutely responsive braking system.

After a period of standard wear, your car’s brake rotors may need to be replaced. However, some conditions may wear down the rotors more quickly, calling for quicker replacement. For instance, if you allow your brake pads to wear down too far before you replace them, the brake pad can dig grooves into the rotors. These grooves must be repaired in order for your brakes to operate correctly. If your brake rotors have grooves in them, you can have them “turned” or resurfaced by a machine shop. This will remove the grooves and make the rotor itself thinner.

Warped brake rotors will also require premature replacement. Brake parts grow extremely hot during normal operation. If you have been applying your brakes heavily and heating them more than usual, this rapid heating and cooling may cause them to warp. Heating of your brakes plus water, snow, or ice will also warp the rotor. There is an easy way to determine if your brake rotor is warped: you may feel a shuddering as you apply your brakes. This vibration usually indicates that your brake pad is pressing against an uneven rotor. When this happens, it is time to either have your rotor turned or replaced entirely.

Most vehicles manufactured in the past five years or so have been equipped with composite brake rotors. It is strongly recommended that with these vehicles, you do not have the rotors turned. Turning these composite rotors will take the heat tempering out of them. It is best to simply replace the entire rotor in these this case, rather than trying to have it resurfaced.

When replacing brake rotors, you face a variety of manufacturer options. You can choose to purchase Chevy parts if you own a Chevy, or you can go with aftermarket parts that often outperform the stock Chevy parts. The primary consideration is to make sure that all of your brake parts are compatible with one another.

Finally, it is critical that you either replace or turn both of your brake rotors at the same time. Replacing one brake rotor and not the other can result in different heat dissipation rates – this will cause one wheel to stop turning sooner than the other, which could be very dangerous under hard braking circumstances. Remember that when you are working on your brakes. Your own safety should always come first – prompt response to any warning signs or problems is essential to the safe operation of your braking systems.

When you are talking about your vehicle’s braking systems, an ounce of prevention is certainly cheaper than a pound of cure.

by Quinton Becker

Quinton Becker writes about cars. If you need to replace the brake rotor in your car’s disk brakes, can help save you money. They sell auto parts for dozens of makes and models, including the always popular Chevy parts. Visit today to see for yourself.

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