How To Inspect Your Brake Rotors--And What To Look For


Replacing old or worn brake pads is a simple enough task that many amateur mechanics choose to undertake it on their own. Yet not all of them realize that this is job provides the perfect opportunity to inspect their brake rotors. If you have plans to replace your brake pads soon, and would like to kill two birds with one stone, read on. This article will present an overview of the brake rotor inspection process.     

The Indirect Method

Believe it or not, it is possible to glean valuable information about the state of your rotors without ever taking a wheel off. That's because rotors in poor condition will be sending signals that can be easily detected while driving the car. Here are three vital signs to be on the lookout for.

A vibrating steering wheel is often caused by rotors that have become either warped or unevenly worn down. Because the brake pad does not contact the rotor evenly, the rotor bumps against it, causing a vibration that can travel all the way up through the steering column. This same problem may also result in a pulsating or vibrating brake pedal.

Your brake pads contain metal shims that give off a high-pitched squealing when the brakes need to be replaced. Ignore this sound for too long, however, and you may find it replaced by scratching or grinding sounds. These are a sign that the metal brake pad is directly contacting the surface of the rotor. If allowed to persist too long, this can permanently damage the rotors.

The Direct Method

Symptoms such as those above mean it's wise to perform a direct inspection of the rotors. Likewise, even if you haven't noticed any indirect signs, it's a good idea to give your rotors a quick look-over each time you change the brake pads. Keep your eyes especially peeled for the following two problem signs.

Considering the intense pressure that is applied to them, brake rotors are subject to a lot of stress. Thus, it is normal for cracks to form over time. Don't ever disregard a crack on your rotor. Generally, the appearance of even a single crack is enough to warrant rotor replacement.

Rust is a common affliction for brake rotors. It comes in two different types. Surface rust is relatively common, and relatively harmless. In fact, it is often buffed away simply through the interaction of brake pad and rotor. Corrosive rust, by comparison, presents a distinct threat, as it can weaken the overall structure of the rotor. If you notice flaking, chipping, or pits--all signs of corrosive rust--it's best to take your car in for a professional inspection and brake repairs.   


4 May 2016

protect the transmission in your car from damage and wear

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