Wear and tear is an unavoidable part of owning a car. Even with routine maintenance checkups, you are bound to have a car part fail on you at some point. Bad rotors are a common occurrence, especially if you are one of those drivers that love to slam on the brakes. Regularly checking on your disc brake rotors is essential for your safety, so make sure to take your car to the nearest mechanic if you notice one of these symptoms.
4 Symptoms of Bad Rotors
Brakes Making a Noisy Sound
The most obvious symptom of bad rotors is a noise sound coming from the brakes. Excessive wear on the rotors will cause them to deform, thus producing an unusual squealing sound every time you press on the brakes. If you hear a high-pitched sound, you’re probably dealing with warped rotors or worn-out brake pads. You might also hear a scraping sound, which is another bad rotor sound that indicates they need to be looked at.
Vibrations While Braking
Did you feel an unusual vibration while pressing the brake pedal? This is yet another symptom of rotor damage. As wear and tear kicks in, rotors will start to deform and cause a vibration that you will notice either in the pedal or through the steering wheel.
Longer Stopping Distances
Increased braking distance is one of the most common and dangerous warped rotor symptoms. Damaged rotors are unable to interact with the brake pads effectively, thus affecting the braking performance. It’s also worth noting that new brake pads will wear out quicker if they are paired with bad rotors.
Grooves or Score Marks
Lastly, groovers or score marks on the rotor can occur naturally when they are used for an extended period of time. They are not easy to spot as some of the other symptoms on this list, but you’ll probably notice them if you take a closer look at the face of the rotor. These grooves can greatly impact the stopping power of your brakes and might also cause vibration that can be noticed when pressing the brake paddle.
Dangers of Driving with Bad Rotors
Rotors rely on mass to absorb and disperse as much heat as they can. Over time, they will become thinner and lose that mass. When that happens, they will lose their ability to absorb heat, causing the braking system to overheat, thus lowering the braking performance and extending the braking distance. Driving with bad rotors will not only put you and other drivers in grave danger but will also wear out your brake pads much faster. The longer you wait to replace worn-out rotors, the bigger your bill will be.
Now that you are familiar with some of the signs of bad rotors, you should make sure to inspect them thoroughly before leaving your driveway. In case your brakes start failing on you while driving, try to utilize engine braking in order to stop your vehicle. Once you are out of harm’s way, you can give Phoenix Towing a call, and we’ll take your car to the nearest repair shop for a quick rotor replacement.