Brake rotors are an important part of the braking system of a vehicle. Find out here, when they might need to replaced, and how much cost would be incurred.
A non-functional brake is as good as an aircraft with a failing engine or broken wings, so whatever the reason or cost involved, you cannot use your car without fixing them.
How do brakes make the wheels of a vehicle halt in seconds? The brake rotors play a major role here. When you apply the brakes, the rotors, also known as brake discs, fix on the brake pads and cause the wheels to stop rotating, which makes the car stop. The rotors are aligned on the same axis as that of the wheels. When the brake pedal is pressed, a hydraulic mechanism is activated, whereby rotors clamp down on the brake pads, which stop the rotational motion of the wheels. So the braking of speed hugely depends on the functioning of the rotors in the vehicle. The strength of these rotors depends on their design and composition. They are made of casting iron and have high tensile strength. Over time, due to wear and tear, the rotors might need repair or even replacement.
Time to Replace the Rotors!
Wearing down of rotors and presence of hard spots on them are indicators of imminent replacement. Resurfacing rotors may also cause hard spots on them. So confirm the reason from a car repair professional before you decide on replacing the rotors. If you hear a squealing sound or a loud noise on applying brakes, it could be time you get the rotors replaced. Excessive braking and driving downhill generate heat in the rotors. Larger the rotors, greater the heat they can take. Rotors may reach a point when they cannot sustain the rising temperature and the brakes fail. So, it’s important to ensure that the rotors of your vehicle are of the right specifications. If not, get them replaced.
Things to Check
The first and most important thing to check is the thickness of the rotors. When the rotors are too thin, they tend to overheat during the braking process. This can cause the pads to overheat, further leading to discoloration and warping of rotors. Moreover overheating can make the brake fluid boil, thus hampering the braking system of the vehicle. If the rotors are too thin (less than rotor minimum thickness), it is best to get them replaced. If the rotors are within specifications, resurfacing them can help, saving you of the cost of rotor replacement. Next, check for scarring of rotors. If they are warped or scarred, it is a good idea to get them replaced.
As far as the cost of replacement is concerned, a single brake rotor will cost anywhere between $35 to $75, depending upon the type and material. However, it is always advised to replace them in pairs. For instance, if you need to replace the rotor for the front left wheel, you must also replace that of the front right one as well. In fact, many car part stores sell them in pairs only, which may cost around $100 to $150 per pair, along with some accessories. If you get this done at the service station, for each brake rotor, the cost can go $150 upwards, depending if the brake pads and liners also need to be changed. Most of the rotors have a replacement assistance kit and user’s manual along with them, so that this job can be performed by most people. But, as the brake is a very vital component of a car, it is advisable to take professional help.
The brakes, as you know, are an important part of your vehicle, and brake rotors, an ‘essential organ’ of the braking system. So maintain them well and replace them without fail, when need be.