What Causes Brake Rotors to Warp?

Brake rotors are large circular disks connected behind each wheel of your vehicle. They bring the wheels to a stop every time the vehicle's brake calipers clamp down on them. For effective braking, rotors are designed to quickly dissipate the heat generated from your brake pads. When new, they are smooth and even facilitating smooth braking results.

Continuous grinding of the pads against the rotors subjects them to wear and tear. Eventually, they become warped, losing their evenly smooth surface. Besides, the high amount of heat build-up allows the wearing off of the rotor surface by the brake pad generating rough patches and an uneven metal density.

Can Sudden Breaking Cause Brake Rotors to Warp?

Sometimes when you are driving around, you might have to suddenly break from a high speed. Unfortunately, the resultant friction can generate too much heat, which might cause the rotors to warp. Similarly, when driving down a hill, you might have to overuse your brakes, pressing them down for a longer period. This leads to excessive heat build-up, which can potentially warp the rotor's surface. Suffice to say, you should be mindful of your braking habits to avoid regular warping of these integral components. Be a little gentle with the foot placed on the brake pad and ensure that the lug nuts are well secured in either star. By doing so, you will prevent unusual clamping between the wheel, hub, and rotor.

Symptoms of Warped Rotors

Brake pads have indicators and sensors to alert you when they are worn out and need a replacement. However, there are no obvious indications of warped brake rotors. Look out for the following warnings of warped brake rotors on your routine inspection procedures.

  • Excessive vibration when the car is coming to a stop
  • A burning rubber smell
  • Braking becomes overly jittery, bumpy, and inconsistent
  • Squealing noises when braking

If you notice any of these symptoms on your car, visit your automotive repair shop for a brake inspection. Your mechanic will visually inspect your braking system and decide whether the rotors need a replacement. If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today.

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