Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Rotor/Disc

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Disc brake rotors are metal discs that work together with the brake pads and calipers to slow the vehicle. Brake rotors are bolted directly to the wheel hub, so they spin in direct relation to wheel speed. When the brake pedal is depressed, the calipers squeeze the brake pads against the spinning rotors to slow and stop the wheels and the vehicle. Since rotors work to slow the vehicle by using friction from direct contact with the brake pads, they do wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. When rotors have a problem, they usually produce any of the following 4 symptoms that alert the driver they require attention.

1. Noisy Brakes

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad brake rotors is noise. If the rotors are warped (meaning not perfectly flat) or severely worn, they may produce squealing or squeaking sounds. Usually, warped rotors will produce a squeak, while severely worn rotors will produce a scraping sound. However, the squealing noise could originate from worn brake pads as well.

2. Vibrations from the Brakes

Another symptom of bad brake rotors is excessive vibration or pulsation coming from the brakes. Warped or excessively worn rotors may vibrate irregularly and cause vibrations that can be felt in the pedal, and sometimes through the vehicle’s steering wheel or chassis. Additionally, the brake pedal may feel like it’s pulsating when pressed due to warped brake rotors. This occurs because the pedal is no longer making contact with the surface of the rotor.

2. Grooves or Score Marks on the Rotor

Another symptom of bad or failing rotors is visual scoring or grooves on the face of the rotor. Repeated contact with the brake pads can develop these marks over time. Rotors are designed to have a thickness that wears down over time. However, should it degrade to a certain point, it lowers the overall safety of the vehicle.

4. Increased Stopping Distances

Scoring and grooves in a rotor can impede its capacity to slow the vehicle, as well as cause vibration and pulsation that can be felt in the pedal. Plus, when the pedal no longer interacts with the brake rotor, the ensuing vibration may make it feel like the car will not stop at all. Inability to stop or even extended stopping distances can be highly dangerous, especially if the driver is forced to make an emergency stop.

The disc brake rotors are a very important part of the braking system, and as a result are critical to the overall safety and handling characteristics of the vehicle. If you suspect your rotors may be worn or damaged, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician to determine if your car needs a brake rotor/disc replacement.


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Recent Brake Rotors/Discs Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Brake Rotors/Discs Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

2,251

Rating Summary
2,144
59
15
6
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2,144
59
15
6
27

Zachery

6 years of experience
10 reviews
Zachery
6 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) - Columbus, Ohio
Great mechanic with a good attitude. Explained everything as he was going along and wouldn’t let me make a bad decision with what my car needed. Went out of his way to get my job done.
Nissan Xterra - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) - Grove City, Ohio
Zach was very knowledgeable, he knows what he's doing, finished the job in a timely manner. I would recommend him 100%. Good job Zach!!! And thanks so much...

Todd

24 years of experience
95 reviews
Todd
24 years of experience
Hyundai Veloster - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) - Williamsburg, Virginia
Superb service from a genuine, hard-working professional; definitely a competent and moral man who takes pride in his work and ranks among the most experienced, reasonable, and understanding mechanics I've ever had the pleasure to interact with. Highly recommended!
BMW 535i - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front, Rear) - Yorktown, Virginia
Excellent service and kept me informed at all times. Ensured i got the correct and high quality parts for my car. Will definitely use Todd and Your Mechanic again.

Andrew

10 years of experience
23 reviews
Andrew
10 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front) - Naples, Florida
Andrew was fantastic! He was able to come to my office and repair my truck while I was working - this helped me to avoid missing anytime off work which was a huge help! He was able to fix my issues and explain everything for me. I would highly recommend him and will definitely use his services again in the future!!!

Travis

11 years of experience
309 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Subaru Forester - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Rear) - Rosemount, Minnesota
Thank you Travis for your fast, easy, honest work on my vehicle today!! The first thing you did upon arrival to my home was find me a discount coupon for $50 off my service estimate. You did only what needed to be done in record time. You not only saved me lots of money, but did things in a profession manner. I've been looking for an honest auto mechanic for my whole life and would love for you to be it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're the best!!!

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