Every year in the U.S., roughly 5% of car accidents are caused by brake failure. That might not sound like much, but it still amounts to nearly 300,000 car accidents.
Brakes are one of the most important parts of vehicle safety. Yet, we often don’t think about them until something goes wrong.
The good news is, brakes do have a lifespan. Plus, they often give off warning signs before they completely stop working.
Read on to learn when to replace brake rotors so you can stay safe on the road without missing a beat.
The Anatomy of Your Vehicle’s Brake System
Most modern cars have disc braking systems that sit on the inside of your tires. These systems have three basic parts: a rotor, a caliper, and brake pads.
The rotor is a flat metal disc that attaches to the wheel. When you press the brake pedal, the caliper presses the brake pads against the rotor. Friction between the brake pads and the rotor is what stops your wheels from turning.
When to Replace Brake Rotors
Rotors typically last anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 miles. But, that can change depending on the quality of parts you choose and your driving habits.
For example, these carbon ceramic brakes come with the option to refurbish the rotors so they last even longer. In other words, if you get high-quality rotors they’ll last longer than a budget replacement.
Keep in mind that your brake pads will typically wear out first. When that happens, you’ll want to check the condition of the rotors.
If you do a lot of in-town driving, you may need to replace your brakes sooner. Since you use your brakes more often when you’re driving in town, your rotors can wear out faster.
Warning Signs You Need New Brake Rotors
Functioning rotors should look and feel smooth. If there’s rust, deep grooves, pitting, or scratches on your rotors, those are signs you need a replacement. You or a mechanic can check the rotors once they’ve taken off the tire.
You can also look out for warning signs while you’re driving. If you notice a high-pitch squealing or screeching when you hit the brakes, that’s your brake pads scratching the rotor. If you service your car right away, you might only need to replace the pads and not the rotors.
If you hear a grinding sound, get your car serviced right away. That’s the sign of a serious brake and rotor problem.
If your steering wheel shudders or shakes while you’re driving, you could have a warped rotor. The heat from friction can do this over time. You’ll still need to replace your rotors as this problem can cause more wear and tear.
Does Your Car Need Brake Rotor Replacement?
If you’re wondering when to replace brake rotors, check your odometer. If you’ve driven more than 70,000 miles it might be time to service your brakes.
You also might need brake and rotor replacement if you see rust, hear screeching or grinding, or feel your steering wheel shudder as you drive.
Keeping your car in top shape makes it last longer and helps you enjoy a safer ride. If you’re looking for more car repair tips and guidance, keep scrolling through our blog.