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Signs of Faulty Brake Rotors and How to Replace Them

The rotors are a vital part of your car's braking system. While these are designed to last some time, they do need to be serviced and replaced regularly. A few signs it's time to pay attention to your rotors:

  • a lit brake light.
  • squealing or grinding noises while braking.
  • vibration or scraping when you brake.
  • pulling to one side.
  • a burning smell.
  • soft or spongy feeling brakes.

How to Change Your Rotors

Changing the rotors can be intimidating, but the process itself is simple.

  • Start by parking on a flat, level surface. Loosen the lug nuts on your wheel slightly, then lift the car with a floor jack. Completely remove the wheel.
  • Inspect the brake pads to ensure that there is enough material. If they are too thin, the brake pads should also be replaced.
  • Remove the caliper assembly. It will be held on with a few screws or clips.
  • The brake rotor will now be exposed. On most cars, this part can just be removed by pulling it off the wheel studs. If necessary, remove any bolts that connect the rotor and wheel hub.
  • Once the rotors are off, make sure that the wheel hub is clean. Remove any dirt, mud, or debris. 
  • Place the new rotor on the wheel hub. Do not touch the rotor to any friction surfaces during installation. Carefully install any hold-down bolts that you had to remove.
  • Now, grease the caliper. Apply a light coating of high-temperature brake grease to the slides and pins. Also apply lubricant to any shiny spots on the caliper body.
  • Slide the brake caliper and pads over the rotor and reconnect the caliper. You will have to bleed the brakes afterward, as air can get inside the assembly. Follow manufacturer instructions.
Ensure you get your braking system checked on a regular basis so that you can replace your rotors when necessary. Having quality brake rotors installed means that you’ll stay safe on the road.
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