Sparesbox Blog

Brake Rotors, SO Many Brake Rotors

By Beatrice McBride

Fri Aug 05 2016

We’re all about getting the most out of life, and getting the most life out of your car and its parts. But unfortunately car parts are not like diamonds, they don’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced.

Brake Rotors are one of those things that will need to be replaced, and we’re going to tell you as simply as we can all about them; when to change them and what brands of brake rotors you can change them to.

 

PART ONE:

So what are Brake Rotors, or Disc Brake Rotors?

If you don’t know (and there’s no shame in not knowing), brake rotors are part of the cars braking system. They look like a big flat doughnut with a smaller doughnut stacked on top (yum, yum…doughnuts). Basically, when you put your foot on the brake, your brake pads clamp down on your brake rotors and stop your wheels from moving. By the way, if you also want to know when your Brake Pads need replacing click on through my good friend.

 

What’s the average lifespan of brake rotors?

Just like the question, ‘what is life?’, there is no one answer. The lifespan of your brake rotors and how quickly your brake rotors wear down will depend on a lot of different things:

  • What type of brake pads you use
  • Braking style
  • The hardness and quality of your brake rotors
  • What type of driving you’re doing
  • Exposure to moisture and road salt
  • How efficiently your rotors cool themselves down

Most cars will go through two sets of brake pads to one set of brake rotors and you should probably check your rotors every 16093.44 kilometres (10, 000 miles).

 

source: safebraking.com
source: safebraking.com

 

If your Brake Rotors are as rusty as this rotor turned flowerpot, you’re going to be in some serious trouble. However, a little surface rust is pretty normal for cheaper brands of rotors.

 

So why and when do I need to change my Brake Rotors?

Usually because of two main reasons; because the brake rotors have become too thin over time through use or due to what is commonly referred to as “disc warp”. This refers to the normally level and smooth surface of the disc developing high and low spots typically due to hot spotting and high temp application. This results in pad material deposits on the disc creating an uneven surface. This can cause a vibration that you’ll feel when pressing the brake pedal. The danger of having a disc that has worn below its minimum thickness is poor heat dissipation and the danger of cracking. Consult the manufacturer of your brake disc rotors for their recommended minimum thickness. Having Brake Rotors that work properly are going to help you stop safely and effectively on the road and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want that!

 

Side Note: You may have heard about machining your brake rotors instead of replacing. If you want to know more about that, pop over here, otherwise we’ll be here all day.

 

PART TWO:

Okay breathe, you’ve done a good chunk of reading and learning all sorts of things about rotors, so don’t stop now and before long you’ll be the ‘go-to’ for all your mate’s rotor questions!

 

There is more than one type of Brake Rotors?! What are they?

There are two general categories of brake rotors; original equipment (OE) replacements and performance. Let’s break them down. Get it? ‘Brake’ them down? Okay, that was a terrible, terrible joke but it happened.

 

OE REPLACEMENT BRAKE ROTORS

OE replacement brake rotors are suitable for most motorists looking to maintain that oh-so-good original feel and performance of the vehicle’s brakes. Designed to be long wearing and quiet.

 

PERFORMANCE BRAKE ROTORS

More variations! Performance brake rotors are available in various specifications for different applications.

Recommended for street and track applications, slotted Rotors are the go-to solution for upgraded braking performance. The ‘slots’ machined into the disc face aids the dissipation of heat that builds up under heavy application, and helps keep the disc surface from hot spotting and glazing.

Recommended for street applications only, drilled Rotors are the traditionally upgraded discs for road cars. Drilled discs are slightly lighter than a solid disc and provide a show car look. Fancy!

 

86
Performance!!!

 

PART THREE:

Because good things come in threes. We’re almost there, don’t stop now!

 

What brand of Brake Rotor do I want?

Let me list some of them out for you buddy so you know all your options ????

 

OE REPLACEMENT BRAKE ROTORS

  • DBA: Disc Brakes Australia are an Australian brand that manufactures a great range of high-quality rotors for everyday applications. Their new range of En-Shield brake discs also come with the added benefit of corrosion resistance on non-wearing surfaces
  • Bosch: Brake discs are high-quality original equipment quality brake rotors. Designed to meet the original manufacturer specification with long service life and quiet operation
  • TRW: TRW are pioneers in the field of electronic braking systems, offering a range of forward-thinking solutions to ensure your brakes are at their best. They offer a range of everyday brake rotors and pads.

 

PERFORMANCE BRAKE ROTORS

  • DBA Slotted and Cross Drilled Brake Rotors: Created the performance brake market in Australia. Designed locally for harsh Australian conditions they are the ideal upgrade for customers looking to improve braking performance on the street or track
  • Project Mu Brake Rotors: An outstanding choice for daily drivers that want to maximise the performance of their street car. Every Project Mu disc rotor comes heat treated, slotted and made from high-carbon iron or steel to ensure incredible resistance to heat and the pressures of high-performance driving, offering the ideal rotor for use on the track and the street.