If you're looking to replace your brake rotors, what matters the most is the type of driver that you are. Casual drivers and aggressive drivers seek different functionality from their braking systems, and the types of brakes best suited to them will be based on their driving style and budget.
For the Casual Driver
If you're the type of driver who likes to drive defensively, rarely increases speed, and usually goes for long, leisurely drives and daily commutes, we recommend blank OEM rotors and drilled only rotors. These are cost-effective, durable options that will last. Casual drivers are often in traffic, follow speed limits, and drive conscientiously. They need consistent stopping power and safety, but may not necessarily need high-performance or high-speed components.
Blank OEM rotors:
Blank OEM rotors are the most affordable options and are designed to be identical or better in performance to the brake rotors produced by the vehicle's manufacturer. This is the perfect all-around choice for a daily driver.
Drilled only rotors:
Drilled rotors have holes in them that are designed to dissipate heat more effectively. Drilled rotors are a good solution for those who have daily commutes or are in traffic for a long time, as they won't heat up as quickly -- which can cause premature wear to brake pads.
For the Aggressive Driver
An aggressive driver is a driver who seeks to get the most out of their vehicle. They may often drive in areas that have a lot of twists and turns and may seek out roads with intentionally high speeds. Aggressive drivers often have high-performance vehicles and high-performance engines, and they need stopping power that's going to greatly exceed what a casual driver might require. For an aggressive driver, we recommend drilled and slotted or slotted only rotors.
Drilled and slotted rotors:
Drilled and slotted rotors are going to have superior heat management compared to other types of rotors, ensuring that the brakes remain cool and don't lock up even when the vehicle is moving at high speeds and the engine is being tested. These are high-performance rotors that are designed to be used by those who are racing or who otherwise need high-speed maneuverability and functionality.
Slotted only rotors:
Slotted only rotors have similar heat management capabilities to drilled and slotted rotors. They may not have as much heat absorption attached to them, but they will be more durable because there's more material on the rotor itself. Slotted rotors last a longer period of time vs drilled rotors. Slotted rotors will usually use up brake pads faster than drilled and slotted rotors, but the tradeoff is that they will need to be replaced less frequently.
You may know that it’s important to keep your vehicle brakes in good working order, but do you understand how often to check your brakes and the routine maintenance that your brake system needs? If not, you risk putting your life in danger by foregoing brake maintenance that ensures your car can stop when you need it to.
Brakes give off warning signs that they’re not working properly. By paying attention to common brake problems and their symptoms, you can avoid a brake failure.
When your brake rotors or pads begin to wear down, they can no longer stop your car effectively. It may take longer for you to stop than it did when everything was operating perfectly. Unfortunately, this could mean the difference between stopping in time to avoid an accident or hitting a car or pedestrian.
Reducing your risk of an accident is as easy as following the general maintenance requirements for your vehicle and knowing the warning signs of brake problems.
Every vehicle owner’s manual provides a manufacturer’s recommended brake maintenance schedule. This is a good resource; however, your driving frequency and habits may mean your brakes need a slightly different maintenance schedule.
As a general guideline, automakers suggest replacing brake pads every 25,000 miles or when pads become worn to 1/8 inch thickness. You can inspect the brake pad yourself and take measurements with a caliper.
As with oil, brake fluid should be replaced when it starts to look dirty. Your auto mechanic can check this during an oil change, or you can replace your own brake fluid and save money.
Brake rotors may last for up to 70,000 miles — if you are a careful driver. Urban drivers tend to require more frequent rotor replacement, since city driving necessitates regular hard stops. However, if you drive aggressively or your rural lifestyle requires frequent hard stops to avoid meandering deer, rotors will wear out more quickly.
If you hear any of the following signs of brake problems in between general brake maintenance, have your car checked out by a mechanic:
- Screeching sound: Brake pads are designed to clue you in to their wear and tear by making noise as they become significantly worn. If you hear a grinding noise when you depress your brakes, you may need new front or rear brake pads.
- Grinding sound: If you hear a grinding or scraping sound as if metal is rubbing together, you are overdue for new brake rotors.
- Vibration when you brake: Does your car seem to pulse or vibrate as you brake? Vibrations coming through the brake pedal (which you feel in your feet) or through the wheel (which you feel in your hands) suggest a problem with the brake rotors. If you ignore this signal, your brake rotors could become warped — causing additional damage.
- It takes your car longer to stop: As brake pads wear down, it actually takes your car longer to stop. If you feel as if you have to depress the brake pedal all the way to the floor to come to a stop, you may need new brake pads.
- Brake warning light: If the brake warning light on your dashboard comes on, it’s important to have the system inspected.Never hold off on brake repair or replacement because you are worried about the cost. The costs and ramifications of an auto accident are much more expensive — and that is exactly what you risk if you ignore brake system warnings.
In this article, We'll introduce you to the specific tools designed to be used when replacing brake components and servicing your brake.
If you have owned a car or truck for more than a few months, you are indoubtedly aware that your vechicle's brakes occasionally need.
Get up to speed on the most common types of brake rotors, their pros, and their cons to make an informed choice of the brake rotor style.
You may know that auto makers recommend changing the brake fluid in your car periodically.
But even though brakes may commonly squeak, there are some indicators that your brakes do need to be checked.
- An unusual sound that doesn't go away. If your vehicle didn't squeak before and does now -- and the squeaking sound persists -- then it's possible that your brake pads have thinned. In this situation, you need to get them changed out right away.
- A combination of squeak and performance issues. If your vehicle feels as though it's braking differently while it's making unusual sounds, there could be something wrong with the brake system itself.
- An exceptionally loud sound. Squeaking and squealing is usually fine, but loud sounds such as grinding are not. Grinding generally means that there is a mechanical problem.
- A scraping sound. If you're hearing a scraping sound from your drum -- not disc -- brakes, it's possible that you need to get them lubricated. This is fairly simple, but a failure to do so could lead to maintenance problems down the line.
Drivers are generally accustomed to the normal sounds of their vehicle. If your brakes have been louder than usual or have been squealing for longer than usual, it's likely that you need to get them checked. Brakes are a critical component to vehicle safety, so don't procrastinate -- a brake check is usually fast and affordable.
In the early morning, many people's brakes will squeak. This is due to both moisture and temperature -- condensation will often have formed on the brakes themselves. As the vehicle warms up, the brakes will stop squeaking. This usually isn't a harmful problem, and it can be more pronounced in springtime and cold weather.
Of course, some brakes always squeak. If you've installed fairly cheap brake pads, you may experience some minor squeaking every time you brake. As long as this has always happened, it usually isn't indicative of an actual problem. But if you are bothered by the squeaking, you should know that more expensive brake pads are much quieter. In general, the lower the metal content of the brake pad, the less squeaking you'll experience.
Squeaking, squealing brakes can be an extreme annoyance -- but they don't necessarily mean that anything's wrong with your vehicle. Many brakes will squeak intermittently simply from normal operation or environmental factors. Depending on the type of squeak you're experiencing, you could need a check-up, or you could simply need to wait.
- Best Brake Rotor Setup for the Common Daily Driver
- Importance of Maintaining your Brakes
- The Importance of Changing Your Brakes Regularly
- General Brake Maintenance Tips
- Common Brake Problems and Their Symptoms
- Special Tools Used In Brake Service
- Disc Brakes and Drum Brakes Explained!
- Brake Rotors
- Why is it important to do a brake fluid flush?
- When Do Brakes Need to Be Checked?
- The Most Common Reasons for Squealing Brakes
- Brake Issues: What Do Squeaking Brakes Mean?
- Organic Brake Pads What are Their Pros and Cons?
- Low Metallic Brake Pads What are Their Pros and Cons?
- Semi-Metallic Brake Pads What are Their Pros and Cons?
- Ceramic Brake Pads What are Their Pros and Cons?
- What Types of Brake Pads Exist?