With the inception of the latest technologies, cars are getting better and better. Modern cars use modern features and provide better performance and power. With every new model, the manufacturers offer something new, upgraded, and better.
The braking system of the car has also undergone a drastic upgrade over time. Earlier, the braking system would feature drum brakes. But now modern cars use disc brakes or rotors.
Rotors are the components that are attached to the wheels of the car. Hence, every car has two front brake rotors and two back brake rotors. They are responsible for slowing the rotation of the wheels and stopping the car.
When you apply braking pressure to the pedal, this pressure forces the brake pads to clutch the brake rotors. The friction generated reduces the speed of your car. But this mechanism of stopping the car subject the brake pads to wear and tear while also damaging the rotors. The heat produced during the process takes its toll on the rotors. However, apart from friction and heat, some other notorious elements also damage the brake rotors.
Let us introduce you to the most common issues that damage brake rotors. Here they are.
Although rotors are thick and tough, their surface changes a little, barring them from the “perfectly flat” category. They warp with use. It happens when the brake pad material builds on the surface of the rotors.
Brake pads are attached by resins. When the pads heat up, the resin material breaks down and embraces the surface of the rotors. Over time, the patch grows thick, and the surface of the rotor gets uneven.
Another reason behind rotor warping is the difference in density of the brake rotors. The areas that are less dense wear down more rapidly than the dense areas, resulting in an uneven surface. However, it happens only with low-quality rotors.
Generally, rotors are made of cast iron, which is a corrosion-prone metal. A layer of rust forms on the surface of the disc due to the abrasive effects of the pads. However, this layer of rust on the metal does not cause much harm. A light layer disappears by itself due to the action of the brake pads.
If you use your car daily, the layer doesn’t get thick enough to create problems. But if your car sits more in the garage than moving on the road, corrosion can be a problem for you. In that case, the rust gets deeper into the metal. Pitted and scored patches remain even after removing the rust, making the brakes less effective.
Galling, scoring, or ribbing is a common issue with low-quality rotors. Low-quality rotors are made from cheap quality material that lacks the hardness required to withstand the friction caused by the brake pad.
Although, initially, the cheap quality rotors appear harder than the pads, the generation of heat during friction changes this attribute. Under the condition of high-intensity braking, the temperature of rotors rises, making the surface more susceptible to galling. Galling negatively affects the braking system, and the brakes get less effective over time.
The bottom line
Car parts are never perpetual. Both OEM and aftermarket parts come with a shelf-life, and the process of deterioration commences when you start driving your car. But keeping your car working for years to come is partly in your hands. With regular servicing of every car part, you can enhance the life and optimize the performance of your car. As for rotors, make sure you always buy good quality rotors and get them serviced and replaced timely.