When it comes to important vehicle maintenance and repairs, brakes and brake rotors are often at the top of the list. You never want to be on the road ways with a faulty set of brakes that can leave you unable to stop properly. Though they can be expensive to replace, it’s important that they’re well maintained and looked after to avoid any dangerous situations.

Brake rotors are expected to last around 50- to 70-thousand miles (most vehicles), but can last longer depending on how the vehicle is driven and what conditions the vehicle is driven in.

Signs It Is Time to Replace Your Brake Rotor, Northwest Auto Center of Houston

What Do Brake Rotors Do?

Your brake rotors are responsible for working in unison with the brake pads to halt your car when you press down on the brake pedal. The rotor rotates along with the wheel and the brake pad clamps onto the rotor. The friction created by this movement is what causes the vehicle to come to a complete stop.

Many auto shops will go ahead and replace the rotors and pads simultaneously, as they often wear down in unison. A good shop will use a micrometer to measure brake rotors when performing a brake pad replacement and let you know if the rotors need to be replaced at that time. On each vehicle, the manufacturer has minimum thickness for the brake rotors, so a responsible shop will allow that figure to dictate whether the brake rotors need to be replaced.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Brake Rotors?

Badly worn brake rotors will often present signs such as grinding, pulling and possibly pulsating when the brakes are applied. These are all indications that they should be inspected ASAP. If you’re hearing any type of a scraping or squealing sound when pressing on your brakes, this is commonly a sign that the pads are worn down. The sound you may hear is possibly metal on metal, (brake pad to brake rotor), which presents an unpleasant and abrasive noise.

If brake rotors and pads have gone metal to metal, replacing only the brake pads isn’t advised, as the contact area of the rotor is extremely rough and it will wear the new brake pads down extremely quickly. Warped rotors can result in a pulsing sensation when you hit your brakes. If the car is failing to brake smoothly and instead, feels as if it’s running over small bumps in the road, you’ll want to get the rotors checked at your local shop.

If your vehicle is vibrating when the brake pedal is pushed, this can signal that the rotors are no longer concentric. When the rotors are below minimum specifications, they can sometimes pull the car to the left or right when the brake is applied.

Another common sign that you should get your brakes serviced is if you notice that it’s taking longer than normal to stop your car. This “brake fade” can happen over time and is an indication that you should take your vehicle into the shop and have your brake system inspected.

Can You Drive With Worn Brake Rotors?

Driving with worn-out or warped brake rotors is not recommended, as this can cause other components of the brake system to not function properly and will cause other issues. This not only has the potential to cause injury to the driver and the occupants of the vehicle but also to others on the road.

Worn rotors can crack if they get below minimum thickness, which can present an emergency on the roadway. The vehicle will suffer from a loss of braking ability. When taking your vehicle in for regular service and maintenance, the brakes should be inspected at least once or twice a year. Responsible shops will inspect the brake system whenever the vehicle is in for any service…even at every oil service!

Brakes are one of the most important safety features on any vehicle. Drivers need to trust that their car will stop when the brake pedal is pressed. If you’ve noticed any strange noises or vibrations when braking your car, seek mechanical help right away.

Need to Replace Your Brake Rotors? Give Us a Call!

If you’ve noticed something while driving that makes you think, “I don’t think my brakes should be doing that, or that’s a strange noise when the brake are applied,” you’re probably correct! Don’t ignore signs of failing brakes as you can quickly find yourself in an emergency on the road. At Northwest Auto Center of Houston, we will inspect your brake system and replace your brake rotors and pads if they’re becoming worn out. Give us a call at (281) 894-8880 for a free brake inspection.

We’re always here to help!!