A brake rotor is designed to utilize brake pressure provided by the
to stop the car. This
brake rotor utilizes friction and heat to convert momentum into stopping power.
ride against either side
of the brake rotor and are held in place by the
. A brake caliper
is typically mounted to the spindle or backing plate. There are two basic designs
of brake caliper mounting, fixed and floating. A fixed position brake caliper is
bolted to the spindle and is not allowed to move. The
brake master cylinder
supplies the hydraulic pressure to activate the brake pads.
Brake rotors can either be solid or ventilated (image below) depending on the
application design. Most brake rotors can be re-machined, there is a minimum thickness
measurement requirement designed to uphold performance specifications. Once a rotor
reached this minimum measurement the rotor must be discarded. A brake rotor is only
capable of holding a specific amount of heat, once this level is reached the brake
rotor will not hold additional heat causing brake fade. Brake fade is a condition
that will hinder the brake performance until the brake rotor has cooled. If a brake
rotor is subjected to prolonged over heat conditions it can destroy the rotor by
crystallizing the metal the rotor is constructed from.
Brake Rotor (appearance will vary)
When brakes pads wear out it will cause the rotor to contact the brake pad backing
plate. This backing plate is made of metal and will destroy the brake rotor (image
below). If this condition is allowed to continue brake operation could fail completely.
a brake rotor
always insist on high quality replacement brake rotors. If cheap
replacement parts are used it can cause the brake rotor to squeak and prematurely
warp due to heat. If you are replacing brake pads and not brake rotors a newly machined
surface is recommended before installing new brake pads to ensure proper brake operation.
If this operation is not performed it can cause the brake pedal to pulsate or the
brakes to squeak
Broken Brake Rotor
Visit - How
to Replace Front Brake Pads and Rotors
- When replacing a brake caliper make sure the sealing washer is not leaking
- If a brake caliper slide has seized use an anti-rust solvent such as wd40
When tightening any brake component including
the lug nuts it should be done using a torque wrench to manufactures specifications.
Article first published 2016-03-24