Do you know how many different parts have to work together in order to bring your car to a complete stop when you step on your brake pedal? From the brake pedal itself to your brake lines to your brake pads, there are a lot of components that make it possible! But arguably the most important parts in your brake system are your brake rotors. It’s why you shouldn’t ever get caught driving around with bad rotors in your vehicle.
The good news for you is that it’s not going to be too hard to tell when you have bad rotors in your car. You’re going to have a tough time bringing your car to a stop when your brake rotors have gone bad. You’re also going to experience all kinds of other issues when you’re dealing with bad rotors.
Discover more about brake rotors below and then find out some of the most common signs of bad rotors. It’ll help you understand why you need to have fully-functioning rotors in your car at all times.
What Are Brake Rotors and How Do They Work?
Most of the cars that are out on the road these days have what are called disc brake systems in them. These systems rely heavily on brake rotors. They’re actually the final step in the braking process when a driver steps on the brake pedal to slow their car down. They create the necessary friction to slow and/or stop a vehicle that is in motion.
So, how do brake rotors work? Well, there are brake rotors on each of the four wheels on your car. They’re designed to spin right along with the wheels when you’re driving your car down the road. But when you push down on your car’s brake pedal to slow down your car, your brake pads will push down on your brake rotors from both sides. This creates the braking force that is needed to slow your down and then eventually bring it to a complete stop.
As long as you don’t have bad rotors in your car, you won’t have to be concerned about your car not stopping when you hit your brake pedal. Your rotors are made to work in tandem with your brake pads so that your car slows down each and every time you touch the brake pedal.
How Long Do Brake Rotors Last?
If you look at brake rotors, you’ll see that they’re very durable. They’re made specifically to deal with all the wear and tear that you’re going to put on them while driving your car. But they are, of course, not going to last forever.
Generally speaking, you’re going to be able to get somewhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles out of a set of brake rotors. If you push them any further than that, you’re going to find that you’ll have bad rotors on your hands before long.
You might be able to extend the life of brake rotors and avoid finding yourself with bad rotors by being careful about how you drive your car. Every time you slam on your brakes, you’re going to put more of a strain on your rotors than you should and cause them to wear down. So by steering clear of doing this, you should be able to keep them around for longer than you would be able to otherwise.
But even then, you’re going to have to prepare to replace bad rotors eventually. You should be ready to do it almost every time that you need to have standard brake service done. You may want to consult the owner’s manual for your car to see how often that will be.
What Are the Signs of Bad Rotors in Your Car?
Ideally, you should replace your car’s brake rotors before they begin to go bad on you as part of your routine brake service. It’ll help you avoid having to even think about what to do when you have bad rotors. But in the event that you don’t do this, you’re going to find yourself with bad rotors at some point, and you’ll need to know what signs to look for to know that your brake rotors have gone bad.
Are you wondering what the signs of bad rotors are? Continue reading to see some of the common symptoms that will come along with bad rotors.
1. Your Brakes Are Unusually Noisy
There are all sorts of strange sounds that you might hear coming from the general direction of your brakes when one of the parts in your brake system goes bad. Some of these sounds are going to indicate that you’re driving around with bad bad rotors.
When you have bad rotors, they’re going to become deformed. This will lead to them producing a squealing sound that will come from your car pretty much every time you step on the brake pedal. It’s going to let you know that you need to take your car into the shop for a brake job.
You might also hear a very high-pitched sound coming from your car’s brakes. This is another strong indication of bad rotors. It could also suggest that you have bad brake pads. But either way, you’re going to need to address the problem with your brake system so that you don’t do any further damage to it.
2. Your Car Vibrates When You Hit the Brakes
Does your entire car start to shake whenever you press down on your brake pedal even slightly? That’s going to indicate to you that there is something going on with your brake system. And it’s likely going to stem from an issue with bad rotors.
When you have bad rotors, they’re not going to come into direct contact with your brake pads when you hit your brake pedal. And that can cause the vibrations that you’ll feel when you step on the brakes while driving your car. It can be a scary feeling because it might feel as though you’re going to lose control of your car at any second.
You should be able to continue to drive your car for a little while with your car in this condition. But the vibrations that you feel will only get worse! And as they do, it could make your car dangerous to drive. You should have a brake specialist check your brake system to see if bad rotors are to blame for the vibrations you’re feeling.
3. Your Brakes Aren’t Slowing Your Car Down Quickly Enough
Are you finding that it’s taking a lot longer to slow your car down than it used to? This can obviously be very dangerous because it could cause you to crash into something if you don’t begin braking sooner enough. It could also be a sign that you have bad rotors that are on the verge of giving out on you.
Bad rotors aren’t going to be able to work right with your car’s brake pads. It’s going to result in your car taking way longer than it should to stop when you press down on your brake pedal. Even if you slam on your brakes, they’re still not going to bring your car to a stop as soon as you would like them to.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, bad rotors are also going to lead to your brake pads wearing out sooner than they should in this instance. You’re going to have to press down on your brake pedal way harder than you normally do, and it’s going to damage your brake pads.
4. Your Rotors Are Blue and Cracked
You might not spend a whole lot of time inspecting your car’s brake rotors. But you should! Because you’ll often be able to tell when bad rotors are on their way out based solely on how they look.
While you’re driving your car, your brake rotors are going to be subjected to quite a bit of heat. Over time, all of that heat can cause your brake rotors to turn blue, which will mean that they’ve gone bad. It can also cause your bad rotors to crack if you’re not careful.
If you allow your bad rotors to get to this point, you’re going to be in a position where you’ll have no choice but to replace them ASAP. Continuing to drive around on them is going to put you and others out on the road at risk. You should arrange to have brake rotor replacement done sooner rather than later.
How Much Do New Rotors Cost?
If you know that you have bad rotors in your car, the one thing holding you back from replacing them might be the cost. And we can’t say that we blame you! Replacing bad rotors isn’t going to be that cheap to do.
The exact price that you’ll pay for new rotors for your car will fluctuate based on the make and model of your vehicle. But on average, you can expect to pay:
- Between $200 and $300 for new brake rotors themselves
- Between $100 and $150 for the labor associated with brake rotor replacement
- For a total of almost $500 in some cases!
But despite this, you shouldn’t allow the cost of brake rotor replacement to stop you from getting rid of bad rotors. It’s not worth the risk that you’ll be taking every time you get behind the wheel of a car with bad rotors in it.
Can You Install New Rotors Yourself?
Are you handy when it comes to working on cars? Then you might be able to replace the bad rotors yourself. It’s one way to cut your costs when you know that you need to install new rotors in your car.
Take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to remove bad rotors and replace them with new ones:
- Begin by parking your car on a flat surface and putting wheel chocks into place to keep your car steady
- Check your brake fluid reservoir level and remove a little bit of brake fluid if it’s too full to stop it from spilling
- Jack your car up off the ground and remove one of your car’s wheels
- Remove your brake caliper from your car by loosening the bolts for it
- Take your brake pads and brake rotor off your car
- Clean off the mounting surface for your brake rotor
- Prepare your new brake rotor by cleaning it off
- Install your new brake rotor as well as new brake pads for it
- Do an inspection of your brake caliper and piston and compress your brake system
- Reinstall your brake caliper
- Check your brake fluid reservoir level and add brake fluid, if necessary
- Pump your car’s brakes and then check your brake fluid reservoir one more time
- Put your wheel back on your car and lower it back down to the ground
- Repeat this process on your other three wheels and then take your car for a test drive!
Replacing bad rotors isn’t necessarily the most complicated auto repair job. But it can take some time! You might want to opt to pay a professional to do it instead.
What Might Happen If You Drive Around With Bad Rotors?
If you keep on riding around in a car with bad rotors, the issue at hand will only get worse. Your rotors are going to continue to wear down on you and cause complications. They’re also going to lead to damage getting done to your brake pads and other aspects of your brake system.
For these reasons, you should opt to either take your car to a mechanic and have them deal with your bad rotors or replace your bad rotors yourself. It’s the only way to get your brake system firing on all cylinders again.
Can You Sell a Car With Bad Rotors?
There is actually one other option that you’ll have when your car has bad rotors outside of paying someone to replace them or replacing them yourself. You can also choose to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer, bad rotors and all!
Are you interested in doing this? All you’ll need to do to sell a car to Cash Cars Buyer is:
- Reach out to us and let us know a little bit more about your car (make and model, mileage, year, etc.)
- Allow us some time to prepare an offer for you
- Receive an offer from us and think about it
- Arrange to have us pick up your car and pay you cash for it if you’re happy with our offer
Contact us today for more information on how to unload a car that has bad rotors in it.