Signs of Bad Brake Rotors

December 14th, 2023 by

When it comes to safe driving, few components are as critical as the brake system. While many drivers remember to check their car’s brake pads and fluid levels, they can often forget the brake rotors. Also known as brake discs, these work together with the brake pads to help your car slow down and then stop.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of brake rotors for maintaining the safety of your vehicle. We look at the signs you need to watch out for, the dangers of ignoring bad brake rotors, and the steps you can take to address them.

Understanding the Warning Signs

Let’s look at the various telltale signs that you need to check or replace your car’s brake rotors.

Squealing or Grinding Noises

If you notice squealing or grinding noises when you hit the brakes, there may be an issue with the brake rotors. Squealing usually means that the brake pads have worn down. If you notice both squealing and a harsh grinding sound like metal grinding against metal, it could indicate that the rotors are damaged.

Vibrations or Pulsations While Braking

If you feel vibrations or pulsations in the steering wheel, brake pedal, or vehicle itself when you brake, this could mean that the brake rotors have warped or worn unevenly. This can affect how smoothly and effectively your car can slow down and stop.

Longer Stopping Distances

If you notice that it’s taking longer for your vehicle to stop after you hit the brakes, it’s time to bring it in for a service at our service department in Fairfield, Ohio. Bad brake rotors can affect your vehicle’s stopping power. As this can be dangerous even for everyday driving, let alone emergency situations, it’s very important to address the issue as soon as possible.

Uneven Wear on Brake Pads

Examining the wear patterns on your car’s brake pads can tell you a lot about the condition of the brake rotors. If one side of the brake pads is wearing more quickly than the other, the rotors may be warping or in need of replacement. Inspecting your brake rotors regularly can help you spot these issues early on before they become a bigger problem or pose a significant safety risk.

Visible Damage or Rust on the Rotors

You may be able to detect problems with your car’s brake rotors just by looking at them. Check for signs of damage, such as deep grooves, scoring, or rust on the rotor’s surface. These issues can affect the rotor’s ability to create friction with the brake pads, which can make the brakes less effective.

The Dangers of Ignoring Bad Brake Rotors

It’s important to be aware of the risks of ignoring bad brake rotors.

Decreased Braking Performance

Ignoring the warning signs of bad brake rotors can affect your car’s ability to brake as it should. As the rotors deteriorate, they lose their ability to generate the friction needed with the brake pads. This results in longer stopping distances, reduced control, and an increased risk of having an accident.

Increased Risk of Accidents

If your vehicle’s braking system becomes compromised or isn’t working as it should, you may struggle to stop your vehicle in time. When you can’t brake properly, you can’t avoid collisions effectively. This is especially dangerous in emergency situations when you need to brake immediately. Your safety, as well as the safety of other drivers, could be at stake.

Potential Damage to Other Brake Components

Bad brake rotors not only compromise your ability to stop — they can also cause damage to other crucial brake components, such as brake pads, calipers, and brake lines. As the rotors deteriorate, they can cause uneven wear on the brake pads and put additional stress on the entire brake system.

Costly Repairs or Replacements

If you don’t maintain your vehicle’s brake rotors regularly, you may expect more extensive and expensive repairs or replacements. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the damage will spread to other brake components or become irreparable. By addressing the issue early on, you can save both time and money.

Steps To Address Bad Brake Rotors

When you suspect any issues with your car’s brake rotors, there are some simple steps you can take to address them and stay safe on the road.

Identify the Issue

Make a note of the issue you’ve identified. Consider whether you’re noticing any squealing or grinding noises, vibrations, longer stopping distances, uneven pad wear, or visible damage. You can inspect your vehicle yourself to assess the condition of the brake rotors. It’s also helpful to have this knowledge to share with the technician servicing your vehicle.

Consult a Professional

If you’re not experienced with brake system repairs, we recommend visiting our service department at Performance Honda. We’ll inspect your car’s brake system thoroughly to find out exactly what’s wrong with the brake rotors. This may include measuring rotor thickness, checking for any warping, and assessing the condition of the brake pads. Depending on the severity of the damage or wear, we’ll recommend resurfacing (also known as turning) the rotors or replacing them entirely. Resurfacing involves removing a thin layer of metal from the rotor’s surface to restore it to a flat and smooth condition.

If the brake pads have worn significantly, we may recommend replacing them along with the rotors. We’ll only use high-quality, original equipment manufacturer or equivalent brake components to ensure optimal braking performance and safety. While addressing any issues with your rotors, we also recommend checking and replacing the brake fluid if necessary.

Take Your Car for a Test Drive

After our technicians have replaced the brake pads or rotors and run any necessary maintenance, take your car for a test drive. Make sure that the braking system functions correctly and that any vibrations or noises have stopped.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Be proactive about your vehicle’s brake system. Regularly inspect your brakes and listen for any unusual noises. Address any issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage or safety hazards.

Noticing Signs of Bad Brake Rotors?

If you’ve noticed any squealing or grinding noises, vibrations, longer stopping distances, uneven pad wear, or visible damage, it’s time to check your car’s brake rotors. Remember that brake safety is essential, and neglecting brake rotor problems can be extremely dangerous. We recommend bringing your car to our experts at Performance Honda. Our team can ensure that your vehicle’s braking system is in top-notch condition. Visit our dealership in Fairfield, Ohio, or contact us today to schedule a service. We’ll get your car back up and running in no time.


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