Have you ever counted how many times you press on the brake pedal to stop or slow down your car while crossing even a short distance? Probably you have not counted. When it comes to rush hour before and after the office or you choose to have a long drive with your car, it is your brake system that goes under the most extreme pressure. Being one of the most important parts of the braking system, a brake rotor plays a vital role in your safe journey.
As they face the wear and tear buildup, you have to keep in mind about replacing them when the time calls. In this article, we are going to enlighten you about what is the average lifetime of brake rotors, how long they last, and when you need to replace your brake rotors with new ones.
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Types of Brake Rotors and How they Work
Usually, we come to see two kinds of braking systems. One is called ‘disc brakes’, while the other is called as ‘drum brakes’. Most of the cars around the world including yours come either with the disc brakes or with the drum brakes system.
Disc Brakes are the most common ones you will see in the vehicles around you. This disc brake system is composed of some parts. Disc brake, which is alternatively called as brake rotor is the main component in the disc brakes system.
This system also needs a brake caliper and brake pads to work. When you need to brake and press on the brake pedal, the caliper starts squeezing the pads against the brake rotor or disc. For this friction, your vehicle slows down and ultimately stops if you press hard on the brake pedal.
Drum brakes were used in the car of old models. In most of the old vehicles, you will find this braking system. But, it does not necessarily mean that the use of drum brakes has come to an end. You may find many new vehicles with drum brakes in the rear axle while using the disc brakes for the front one.
Though the function of the two brakes is almost the same, the difference between them lies in how they work. Drum brakes do not squeeze the pads against the disc to slow down the vehicle. Here the brake shoes actively push out against the brake drum.
To talk about the popularity, disc brakes are more popular than their drum brakes counterpart. Disc brakes are popular as they are more able to absorb and dissipate heat easily. Heat is the worst enemy of the discs. Heat is produced when the disc pads press against the rotors to slow down and stop. This friction between the components cause friction, heat, and deteriorates the disc rotors to wear it down.
What Is The Average Lifetime of Brake Rotors?
The lifetime of brake rotors depends on many factors. It may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The brake quality, size of the vehicle, driving style and many other factors may determine the durability of brake rotors.
If you maintain your brake rotors properly with care, it may give you a mileage of up to 70,000 miles. However, the industry experts advise to replace the brake rotors after a mileage from 30,000 miles to 70,000 miles depending on the wear and tear they have undergone. But, it does not mean that you do not have to do anything about your brake rotors before the time of replacement comes.
You should pay attention to the brakes all the time and inspect them regularly as it is a serious issue and it’s about the safety of your life.
Replacing or Resurfacing: What should You Do?
Though replacing becomes the ultimate destination for every brake rotors after a certain period, resurfacing is also an option if your brake rotors are not completely out of their way.
When we talk about resurfacing, we mean machining or turning the rotors. To resurface, the metal disc is ground down as long as that is not even and smooth again. You can adopt this policy only if your rotor has not got much wear or spots on them.
Well, when do you need new rotors, then? When you find your rotors cracked, warped, grooved, rusted, thinner than they should be, that’s the time of throwing your brake rotors out and replace them with brand new rotors.
Note that, resurfacing the brake rotors is inexpensive, but a temporary solution, while replacing the brake rotors is costly but provides a long-lasting solution with better safety.
How to Extend the Lifetime of Brake Rotors?
Well, if you know the answer to this vital question, you can ensure the maximum life period for your brake rotors. Here are a few suggestions for you from our end that can influence and extend the life of your brake rotors:
- When it comes to brake rotors, your driving style matters a lot. If you are used to performing hard brakes frequently, your brake rotors will wear out quickly. So, if you drive good, you can keep your brakes good for a longer period.
- Always travel following the speed limit. If you drive fast in a crowdy area, you have to go for hard stops in case someone suddenly appears before your vehicle.
- While you press the pedal, try to use one foot. When you drive, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Wide-open freeway is great for the disc rotors’ life compared to the stop-and-go traffic. If you practice coasting, you can reduce the bad impact of stopping frequently.
- In a road that comes with constant uphill and downhills or turn after turn, your brakes go under severe pressure. Try engine braking in case you are going on a downhill. This protects your brakes from getting damaged in a bad way.
- If your vehicle is overloaded, your brakes will have to toil more and thus get more wear on it. So, avoid overloading vehicles in all means.
- Use good tires with good tread depth. If your tire is in bad shape, it negatively affects the brakes.
- Brake pads help to slow down and stop the vehicle by obeying the brakes. You have to change brake pads when necessary if you do not want to damage your rotors.
How to care and extend the life of brake rotors (Practical Video)
With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the lifetime of your brake rotors. Maintaining and replacing brake rotors is extremely important. After all, it is about the safety of your life. Keep a good connection with a garage near you and contact frequently to inspect the disc brakes condition. At the end of the day, your life is more important than anything else on earth.