When Should You Turn Brake Rotors?

January 27, 2012

Knowing when to turn brake rotors is important as it can save you a substantial amount of money and ensure your car remains safe to drive. Turning brake rotors is a term that is used to describe machining, or lathing, brake rotors down to remove the excess brake material from your pads and to prevent warping and grinding, thus extending the life of your brake pads. Turning a rotor allows for smooth braking action and creates less heat then those that are warped.

Typically you want to have your rotors turned every other brake change. This ensures that they remain free of debris and do not warp. Regular brake wear and hot spots can often cause your rotors to become warped and having them turned will ensure that they last as long as possible before having to be replaced.

If your rotor surface is smooth there is generally no need to have them turned. If, however, you have warping, or rough spots they should be turned, or replaced if need be. This is easily detected if you have a solid, non-pulsing braking action when you press down on the pedal.

Those with the money may wish to have their rotors turned every time they have their pads done. This will ensure the maximum amount of life to the brake pads. Realistically rotors can only be turned so much before they need to be replaced. Always make sure you consult with your mechanic prior to any work in order to ensure your rotors need to be turned or replaced.



Related Questions and Answers

Who are the Most Popular Brake Rotor Manufacturers?

When opting to change your brake rotors, you should always go for the ones with the best performance, and there are a lot of brake rotor manufacturers who can cater to your needs. One of the best and well known brands is Brembo. This manufacturer is tried and tested, and even used by the high-end cars such as Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. You can also go for Raybestos, which has a wide range of rotors for your application. These rotors do not warp due to heat during hard driving. They also keep the temperature down, increasing the stopping power. Brake rotor manufacturers have put a lot of time and effort into these rotors.

When is a Brake Rotor Puller Required for Brake Repair?

If you have a pretty old car and this is the first time you are changing its brake rotors, a brake rotor puller may be necessary. This is due to the fact that your brake rotor is probably stuck from being there since the car was bought many years ago. You may have a difficult time in pulling out the old rotor, so you will need mechanical assistance already in order to achieve this. These pullers come in several sizes, depending on the size of your rotors. The puller effectively pulls the rotor by evenly applying the force to the whole rotor while pushing on something that is fixed on your car, such as the axle. This is what the brake rotor puller is for.

Will Racing Brake Rotors Help Me Stop Faster?

Racing brake rotors definitely have a performance upgrade and can help you stop your car faster. There are 3 types of racing rotors. They are slotted, cross-drilled and slotted, and cross-drilled. All perform better than the stock rotors that come in normal sedans. These rotors greatly help in dissipating heat, making the brakes more effective. They also help channeling water away during wet situations such as rain and flood. Tests show that if you upgrade to racing rotors, there will be a 37 percent increase in stopping power, more or less. These racing brake rotors can therefore handle more speed from your car and make it stop faster when needed.

What Tools are Required for Installing Brake Rotors?

When installing brake rotors, assuming that the old rotor has been removed, the first tool that you will need is a socket wrench set. Fitting the new rotor where the old one used to be, would also require a screwdriver to wedge the screw or clip holding the rotor in place. You then need a C-clamp to push the piston within the caliper in order to open it up and fit it easily over the rotor. You then use the wrenches again to return the brake caliper and secure it by putting back the bolts that held it in place. Installing brake rotors is not that hard, and all you need are the right tools.

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