Do you get a sympathetic shock while driving on the road, but the brakes are still in good condition? It may be time to shape or replace your brake rotor. Before you go shopping for some new parts, take some time to get a better understanding of how to get your car to a safe stopping point a mile away.
How do rotary brakes work? The brake rotor is mounted on the vehicle axle and rotates with the axle. When you press the brake pedal, the brake calipers lock and press the brake pads into contact with the rotor. The friction between the bushings and the rotor slows the car to a controlled stop.
The rotor will wear out over time due to damage from dust and dirt scattered from the road and metal damage from the continuous heating and cooling cycle.
How often do the rotary brakes wear out? While ordinary road car brake pads wear out at about 30,000 miles, your brake rotors can last up to two to three times longer. If the surface of the brake rotor is scratched or warped, it can be machined to extend its functional life without being replaced immediately.
Trucks and cars that spend more time in stop-and-go traffic will use up all of their braking components faster than vehicles that spend most of their time on wide open highways.
Purchase brake rotors that are smooth, grooved, or angled. Aftermarket rotors offer drill, slotted, or drill and slotted versions. The perforated rotor allows air, dust and water to dissipate more quickly. This is a good choice if you live in a very humid area. The perforated rotor draws more air to the rotor surface, which improves heat dissipation and improves performance during extreme idle conditions.
Hollow and drilled rotors won’t last as long as a smooth OEM and won’t give you a return on investment if you drive a passenger car or SUV. Mounted and bundled rotors are a popular choice for on- and off-road performance vehicles that really push the limits of the vehicle’s capabilities.
Which one is better? Cast iron or steel brake rotors Although cast iron may seem like an old-school material, cast iron still makes rotors bulletproof. If you’re changing rotors in a passenger car or work truck, cast iron is affordable and reliable. Steel brake rotors are the cornerstone of rotor performance, as they are lighter than iron and somewhat resistant to torsion. They are more expensive and will not last as long as cast iron.
Other performance material options for the rotor include steel and ceramic coatings. Plated steel is a good choice for cars competing on the domestic circuit. Your supercar will have an amazing set of ceramic rotors. There are several aluminum rotors on the market, which will greatly reduce weight but may not last more than a turn or two under the drag bar.