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Warped Rotors – Watch Out For An Increased Stopping Time! 

Signs You Need New Rotors

Drives can help prevent warped rotors in their vehicle by knowing the importance of brake rotors, the different types of rotors, the signs of warped rotors, and the overall replacement process and price for this part in their car! 

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What Are Brake Rotors?

There are two main types of brake rotors – drilled and slotted. It is important to know the difference before you learn how to prevent the signs of warped rotors. 

Drilled Brake Rotors 

Drilled brake rotors have holes drilled in them. There are a few key benefits to this type of brake rotors, and why turning rotors is important to maintaining drilled brake rotors.

  • Reduces FrictionWhen the brake pads clamp on the rotors, it generates friction – and in turn, heat. If the heat can’t get out of the brake rotor somehow, it can cause the brake to fade or wear-down over time. A worn down or damaged brake can reduce the stopping power and ability of the brake to apply force to bring the car to a stop. 
  • Prevents Gas Build-Up – Some older brake pads cause gas to form between the rotors and the pads. This gas limits the stopping power. By turning rotors, you can ensure that the drilled brake rotors are working at the most efficient level and prevent signs of warped rotors. 
  • Prevents Moisture Build-Up – After a brake rotor gets wet, it is difficult for the brake pads to press down on the rotor firmly. If the pads can’t grab the rotor, then you can’t stop. 
    • Having holes drilled into the side of the brake toro ensures that water can quickly get away from the surface, letting the pads clamp down securely. Turning the rotors prevents warped rotors from having water buildup. 

Slotted Brake Rotors

This kind of rotor uses little clots in the side of the flat surface to move gas, heat, and water away from the surface. These slots move the debris that is unwanted out of the way. This type of brake rotors is popular due to the durability, and the ability to handle more stress placed on the rotors. Knowing the important characteristics of slotted rotors can help prevent warped rotors in your car. 

Signs of Warped Rotors

  • Grinding While Braking

If you hear a deep and low noise, this is typically a sign that the brake rotors are worn away and that your brake discs and calipers are currently rubbing against each other. The audible grinding while braking can be due to the uneven brake pad wear over time and cause the signs of warped rotors. 

  • The loud noise is a metal-on-metal grinding happening, which can highly damage your braking system. This problem needs to be addressed as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage to your braking system and your braking rotors.
  • Increased Stopping Time

In addition, warped rotors might mean your car might take longer to come to a complete stop, since the rotors are wearing down. 


  • If you have increased braking time, you will need to start your braking a lot sooner before coming to a full stop. This can mean an unsafe driving condition due to the signs of warped rotors and faulty braking mechanisms in your vehicle. 
  • Indicator Light

Furthermore, your vehicle might have an indicator light that will come on to signal the signs of warped rotors. Be sure to check your vehicle’s manual to see when and how often this signal typically occurs in your car. 

  • If your light comes on, you’ll have to bring your car to a mechanic to shut off the light and diagnose the signs of warped rotors. Noticing these signs gives you an indication as to when your brake pads should be replaced for optimal performance. 
  • Vibrating Brakes

Excessively broken down or warped rotors can cause vibrations in the pedal and sometimes through the car’s chassis. This noticeable sign of warped rotors is excessive vibration coming from the brakes and felt through the brake pedal from the driver. The signs of the warped rotors can also include a pulsating feeling that will be felt by the driver’s foot when they press down on the brake pads. 


  • The main problem with vibrations is that you may not notice it in the beginning – it can start pretty soft and subtle, but grow over time. By the time you realize what is happening, your car is roughly vibrating down the road. 
  • An issue with your car shaking is that although it has an easy explanation and fixes, it could end up costing you a lot more money if you wait for too long. 
    • Head to a local technician to have them diagnose the sign of warped rotors in your car.  
  • Loud Noises

In addition, if your brakes are constantly exposed to wet or damp conditions, then a layer of dust can form on the brake pads, causing a screeching sound while you brake. 


  • A screeching sound when applying your brakes might happen. This sound is caused by a small indicator that’s placed in your brake pad to alert you to the signs of warped rotors. If you hear this while braking, it’s time to take your car in for inspection.
  • The loud noises coming from the brake pads and the brake rotors are usually one of the first symptoms that are easily noticeable. If the signs of warped rotors are severe or very worn, this can lead to the squealing or squeaking sounds. 
  • Brake Rotor Indentations

After prolonged use and extreme wear and tear, grooves and score marks can develop on the brake rotor from repeated contact with the brake pads. 

  • The grooves on the warped rotors can reduce the brake pads’ potential to slow the car down and stop on time. In addition, the signs of the warped rotors can cause the vibrations and pulsations felt in the pedal. 

How Can I Reduce Warped Rotors?

There are simple methods that car owners can take to help prevent warped rotors from constantly occurring in their braking system. One of the main methods of preventing warped rotors is learning how to turn your rotors. 


Knowing when it is time for turning rotors is crucial in saving you money and ensuring your car remains safe. Turning brake rotors refers to machining brake rotors to remove the additional brake material from the brake pads. 


Turning rotors prevents any warping and grinding from happening to the rotors. Turning rotors extends the lifespan of your brake pads, lets you brake smoother, and creates less friction and heat generated to prevent warped rotors.

When Should I Turn My Brake Rotors?

Usually, you will want to undergo the process of turning rotors every other brake change. 


Although some regular wear on your brakes and some higher-friction spots can cause warped rotors, turning rotors ensure that this doesn’t happen as often since it clears off excess debris and dirt. 


  • If your rotor surface is smooth, then you might not require the turning rotors to take place. However, if you have warping or tough spots on your brakes, it is time to start turning rotors. If you have the financial ability, you may choose to have your rotors turned each time you have your brake pads serviced. 

What Is The Price Of Turning Brake Rotors? 

The cost of turning a brake rotor generally runs anywhere from $15-$25 per rotor. 


Although this is not expensive, turning rotors is a routine maintenance procedure that must be carried out to enhance the brake pads and brake rotors’ lifespan. Purchasing new rotors generally runs at about $20-$30 per rotor. Of course, you will have fewer problems buying a new rotor. However, turning rotors offers a quick and easy solution to prevent warped rotors. 

When Should I Replace My Warped Rotors?

Sometimes, turning rotors isn’t enough to fix the issue. Brakes are vital to vehicles, and you need working brakes to safely drive. Sometimes, you might hear your brakes squealing or making noise when you put pressure on them. This is a sign that you have warped rotors. 


Let’s see some ways you can determine if you should turn or replace your brake rotors. 

Analyze the Brake Pads

  • Begin by turning the wheel all the way to one side or the other so that you can see the inside of the wheels. You should be able to view how much thickness is left on the individual brake pads
    • For the brakes to work properly, at least ¼ inch of pad needs to be present. If there is less, then turning rotors cannot fix the issue, and the brakes need to be replaced. 
  • In addition, if your brake pads are subjected to high wear and tear while driving, the pads will put extreme pressure against the rotor. 
    • Over time, the rotors will wear down and deteriorate due to the amount of force pressed on them by the brake pads. This will create a slight groove in the brake rotors. These warped rotors can be very harmful and cause braking issues.

Listen to the Warped Rotors

  • The next step you can do to see if the brake rotors need replacing to listen for the noises made while braking. If the squealing or squeaking is happening while you press down on your brake pads, then this is a sign you will need to replace them. 
  • If you hear grind, then you need to head to the mechanic since they are completely worn down. Turning rotors won’t be able to fix this problem, since replacing the warped rotors are the only solution.

ABS Warning Light

  • The ABS system contains sensors that alert you to when your brakes are too low. If you ignore that alarm, then this can cause harm to the sensor, which is a more expensive repair. Turning rotors can’t fix the warped rotors, so the brake rotor replacement is the only option.

Feel The Breaking Sensation

  • If you notice that when your brake pedal is pressed that there is a vibration or wobbling in your pedal, you could have warped rotors.
    • The most likely scenario is that this is accompanied by a grinding sound, showing that the brake rotor has been warped and failing. Unfortunately, turning rotors won’t be able to fix the issue of twisted and warped rotors.

What If My Car Is Beyond Repair?

To fix the signs of warped rotors, drivers sometimes have to shell out thousands of dollars to fix the brakes, the entire braking system, and keep their car in working order. For some car owners, this is financially impossible – so, what now?


If you don’t fix the warped rotors, you might not be able to salvage your vehicle. Sometimes the problems within your brake rotors require a replacement. In this case, you either have two options – replace the warped rotors, or sell your junk car for some money.


If you don’t have the financial means to replace the warped rotors, selling your car to a reputable location for some quick cash can be your best bet. 

  • First, remove all non-metal components from your vehicle. This ensures that you can get the most bang for your buck – sell the audio system and the electrical parts for some extra money. 
  • Next, scope out a reputable location to sell your junk car to. Head to CashCarsBuyer to obtain a free quote, experience great customer service, and sell your vehicle for some money to put towards a new and safe vehicle. 
  • Selling your junk car can be the best way to make the best out of a bad situation. Instead of replacing warped rotors, you will be able to save money and start saving towards your new car!

The Bottom Line

As you can see, finding out the best way to fix warped rotors is crucial to keeping your car on the road safely! By recognizing the different type of brake rotors, the price of replacing rotors, and the process of turning rotors, you can save money on huge brake system replacement prices! 

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