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What Is A Disc Brake Rotor And What Does It Do?

Symptoms That Mean You Need New Rotors

When it comes to the brake systems of your vehicle, you may have a question such as this-” What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do?” The disc brake rotor gives your brake pads a contact surface. The rotors are circular and these discs are linked to every wheel in your vehicle. Disc brake rotors are made to change kinetic energy to thermal energy. If your question then is what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do, the answer is simple- friction. Disc brake rotors have large surfaces that create friction enough to slow down the movement of your car. In this article, you will get to know about the different types of brake rotors, signs of bad rotors, and many more. Keep reading.

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What Are The Different Types of Brake Rotors?

Not all disc brake rotors are the same. What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do? The answer to this question will get clearer as you discover the different types of brake rotors. There are four different types of brake rotors. Choosing the right brake rotors is easy. Refer to the disc brake rotors in your car at the present. You can stay in the safe zone and choose the same type of rotor, except it is new. Here is the list of the four different types of rotors and a brief description of each.


  1. Drilled rotors

Drilled-type rotors have holes drilled all over the surface. This design works to keep the rotors cool.


  1. Blank and smooth rotors

These types of rotors are also called solid surface brake rotors. Blank and smooth rotors provide the largest surface. Most new cars usually use this type for their rotors because it is known to be the most durable among the four.


  1. Slotted rotors

Slotted rotor types have consistency in reducing friction. Off-road vehicles, tow trucks and heavy trucks, and SUVs are mostly equipped with slotted rotors. Like the drilled type of rotters, slotted rotors also have patterns of long slot lines all over the surface.


  1. Drilled and slotted rotors

As the name suggests, drilled and slotted rotors combined the design of two different types of rotors. The combo levels up the performance of this type of rotor. Drilled and slotted rotor design evaporates moisture and allows the rotor to remain in a cool state.


When the time comes that you have to replace your car’s rotors, make sure to check your vehicle first. Ensure that you get the specifications correct. Any car component that has anything to do with the wheels is critical. You must choose the right type of disc brake rotor. The right type of rotors will ensure an efficient braking system

What are the signs of bad rotors?

To know the signs of bad rotors, you also have to answer this question: What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do? You already have a basic understanding of the function of the disc brake rotors. It is easier to know when the brake rotors go bad once you get the basic information down. Since the disc brake rotors are part of the brake system, it is connected to other parts of the system as well. The disc brake rotors function with the brake pads and the calipers to slow down the car. Because the rotors and the brake pads create friction together, they also wear out over time. Parts of the brake system are the most common components you need to replace since they are the ones receiving a lot of strain. If there is a problem with your vehicle’s disc brake rotors, you will encounter the following symptoms.


  1. Your car makes noise when you brake

Once you hear squealing sounds when you step on the brakes, you can assume that there is something wrong with your disc brake rotors. If your rotors are extremely worn out, you will hear scraping or squeaking sounds. Aside from being worn, there might be foreign objects stuck in between the disc brake rotors and the brake pads. However small these objects may be, they will cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked.


  1. You experience vibration

You will know that your rotor has problems when there is too much vibration coming from the brakes. Unevenly worn-out disc rotors cause brake shudder which happens when the brake pads come into contact with the worn surfaces of the brake rotor.


  1. You find groove and score marks on the rotor

It is not a good thing when the brake pads and the disc brake rotor contact each other when you don’t need them to. Of course, when you step on your brakes, you need the friction between these two. But losing control over the contact between these two components will affect your car’s brake system tremendously. When there is too much friction between the rotor and the brake pad, you will spot grooves and score marks on the rotor easily. If you find these marks on your rotor, replace the brake rotor immediately.


Now back to the question, “What is a disc brake rotor, and what does it do?” In this section, you found the most common symptoms of a bad brake rotor. You now know the signs of a disc brake rotor not functioning as it should. If you recognize any of these symptoms in your vehicle, have your car checked right away and attend to the necessary replacements. This will help prevent further damage. If you missed that window for repairing your vehicle, you may consider selling your car for a good price.


Can you drive a car with bad rotors?

You must drive your car with bad rotors. You might ask, “Why should I have to be concerned if I drive with bad rotors?” The answer once again lies on the first question. What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do? Disc brake rotors are in charge of creating friction to slow down the movement of your car. When these parts are not working as they should, you may put yourself in danger. Not only that, bad rotors put others around you in danger as well. The best option is to get your damaged rotors fixed right away. Never risk driving with bad rotors.

How much does it cost to replace a rotor?

The price of rotors is not much to worry about. Most rotors cost about 30 to 75 dollars for each piece. Rotors also come in a variety of designs and high-quality features such as an additional coating around the hat and edge parts. These features prove to perform better than the original rotors of the vehicle. However, you can expect that this upgrade will cost more than the usual price of ordinary rotors.


You might consider finding answers to what is a disc brake rotor and what does it provide your car with. Once you know what level of performance you need your rotors to reach, it will be easier to pick a type of disc brake rotor for your vehicle.


Be reminded that the price of the material alone does not cover the overall cost of replacing a rotor. As you may have already known, when asked this question: What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do? The simple answer is that they provide traction for the wheels to stop at the time you hit the brakes. So having a damaged rotor or rotors could mean an instant visit to a repair shop or a meet-up with a professional mechanic. Either way, you will still be required to pay the labor cost which ranges from 150 to 200 dollars per axle.


Here are a few things to keep in mind aside from answers to What is a disc brake rotor and What does it do for your car?


  1. The brand of vehicle that you drive

The origin of your car is a factor that can affect the overall repair cost. If you examine thoroughly, there is a difference between materials when it comes to rotors from America and Europe. So you must decide on a repair that is compatible with the type or brand of vehicle that you drive.


  1. Your kind of driving

The kind of driving you do will determine other needs for your car. Do you drive on the highway or on rough roads? Do you drive daily or just a few times a week? How long do you drive?  Some tools such as brake pads are complementary to your rotor when you finally know what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do. If you wish to include brake pads to your repair, you will need preparepare at least 250 to 500 dollars.


  1. The Materials to be used

Disc brake rotors come in different materials. You can estimate the cost of replacement to your rotors depending on the material of your preference.

Can I install new rotors with old pads?


Yes, your car can tolerate the installment of new rotors to old pads and vice versa. Whether your brake pad is old or new would not matter once the rotors are bedded with the brake pads. Additionally, installing these pads can provide the needed friction for the car to stop on cue.


You are well aware about the nature of the rotors when you found out the answer to your query: What is a disc brake rotor and what does it contribute to the overall installment of parts or accessories to the vehicle.


The fun part is that you can install the new rotors with the original pads on your own. You just need the basic knowledge on what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do, including how to make repairs related to rotor issues.

How long does rotors last on a car?

Your rotors can endure up to 30,000 to 70,000 miles of driving. You can trust your car's rotors to last longer than most parts of your vehicle since they are designed mainly for their durability. Knowing what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do for your car can give you a general idea about how vital rotors are to your automobile. However, like all material things, their lifespan can be shortened due to different factors.


Being aware of what is a disc brake rotor and what does it have to do with other structures in your vehicle can help you pinpoint the cause of the damages in this part of your automobile. Your disc brake rotors will send you signals that they need to be replaced through manifesting symptoms such as a vibrating steering wheel, screeching or scratching sounds, and coloration with the rotors.

Do rotors have a warranty?

Sadly, the disc brake rotors of your vehicle do not have a warranty. This is in consideration to what is a disc brake rotor and what does it help your car with. They are not covered by the warranty of your car because they are classified as parts that naturally wear and tear and therefore not the responsibility of your car's manufacturer.


Although you cannot expect anyone else to replace your rotors, there is no need to get too worried since rotors and brake pads are easy as well as inexpensive to replace. Answers to what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do can lead you to conclude that due to being wear and tear pieces of your car, you can expect that you need to change them whenever they reach the limit of their usage.


This may give you a sigh of relief since the maximum cost of repair or replacement including the labor for your rotors barely reaches 500dollarar. It is even cheaper if you do the repair yourself. In this case, you must be geared with the basic knowledge on what is a disc brake rotor and what does it do for the car as a whole. Once you become more familiar with the parts of your vehicle connected to the rotors, repair will become easier and more systematic.


Overall this guide has answered relevant queries such as ” Do rotors have a warranty?” and “What is a disc brake rotor and what does it do?” Answers to these questions prove to be indispensable when it comes to decision-making for your automobile. Careful consideration must be done since there is no single foolproof solution to every single car issue you may have. Researching before making a move will save you the hassle of doing an unnecessary workload than needed.

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