3 Signs Your Brake Rotors Are In Distress

When most people think of brakes, they think of the brake pedal inside their car or the pads, which act as a cushion between the wheels and calipers. However, there is another key part of your vehicle's braking system – the rotors. Connected directly to the wheel hub, the rotors spin in the direction of the vehicle, helping stop/brake the vehicle when you apply the brakes. Basically, the rotors are an entirely new layer of protection between your brake pads and the wheels, so they will also wear out over time. This guide will help you understand when it is time to have your rotors resurfaced or replaced.


Your vehicle will make a good amount of noise when it is in operation. However, you should not hear an excessively loud or abnormal noise when you are applying your brakes.

If your brake pads are worn, you may hear a squealing each time you apply your brakes. This is a surefire sign you need new brake pads. If you hear a loud squealing sound even though you have replaced your brake pads, the rotors are most likely warped. If you hear an actual scraping sound, the rotors are severely worn and should be replaced immediately.


Another important sign to pay attention to is a vibrating sensation when you apply your brakes. This vibration or pulsing sensation will be felt mostly in the actual brake pedal. The sensation occurs because the rotors lack the thickness they need to provide insulation to the pads and wheels.

A vibrating brake pedal when applying the brakes means the brake pad is no longer making contact with the rotor, causing the noise, pulsing, and decreasing the overall function of your vehicle's braking ability.

Visible Damage

You may not notice damage to your rotors just by looking at your vehicle, but mechanics can inspect the pads and rotors for visible signs of distress. Actual grooves or scoring marks in the actual rotor indicate distress, meaning your rotors should be replaced.

Without replacing the damaged rotors, the basic use of your brakes will wear the pads and rotors down even further, preventing you from stopping your vehicle at all, which can be dangerous.

Your braking system is an imperative part of the vehicle, so proper understanding of the pads and rotors is essential. This guide and your vehicle service tech will help you diagnose and repair any issues with your pads or rotors.

If you believe that your rotors or brake pads might no longer be working effectively, an auto mechanic, such as those at Buettner Tire & Auto, may be able to help. Speak with a mechanic, on the phone, today.