Your car’s brakes require routine care to keep your vehicle safely slowing down and stopping. Most drivers are familiar with regular brake pad replacements. However, this service occasionally comes with bad news from the technician: your brake rotors have warped. In these cases, you might need to pay to replace your brake pads and rotors.
So, you might wonder, “Do I really need to replace my brake rotors? What happens if I drive with warped rotors?” The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here to answer all your questions.
What are Brake Rotors?
When you press down the brake pedal, your brake pads and rotors jump into action—absorbing the friction required to slow and stop your vehicle. Your rotors are a sturdy metal component that the brake pads press against to control your vehicle’s speed. Naturally, this process can generate heat— making your metal rotors malleable. Combined with the pressure of your braking, your rotors begin to bend and warp over time. Warped rotors will compromise your braking system and your vehicle’s safety.
What Happens if I Skip Brake Rotor Replacement?
Brake rotors turn a routine car service into a more costly affair. Many drivers feel tempted to skip rotor replacement. Unfortunately, functioning rotors are essential for safe vehicle functioning. Failing to replace your rotors can lead to the following hazards:
- Shaking steering wheel
- Shaking brake pedal
- Accelerated brake pad wear
- Ineffective braking
- Failed safety inspection
Eventually, warped rotors can crack or shut down your braking system—naturally leading to unsafe driving situations or car accidents. As such, it is vital to have your warped rotors replaced or resurfaced.
Rotor Resurfacing vs. Replacement: Do I Really Need to Replace My Rotors?
So you might wonder, “Do I really need rotor replacement? Is there an alternative option?” Of course, the answer here will depend on how warped your rotors are.
A mechanic can resurface the metal when you have mildly warped rotors. During this process, a technician will smooth out the uneven surface of your rotor to delay replacement. Previously, resurfacing was the preferred solution to rotor warping.
However, rotor resurfacing can be time-consuming, expensive, and less effective than replacement. New rotors have become more affordable than they were 10-15 years ago, so replacement service has become a more quick, convenient, effective, and affordable option in many cases.
How Often Do I Need New Brake Rotors?
Brake rotor resurfacing and replacement are both as-needed services rather than routine maintenance. You will only need new rotors when your existing rotors become warped or compromised. A variety of factors can affect how often you need this service, including:
- How frequently you drive your vehicle
- Your roads—city driving with frequent braking will stress brakes more than longer stretches of road
- And your driving patterns
(Hint: harsh accelerating and braking patterns can lead to premature brake pad wear, brake rotor wear, and poor gas mileage.)
Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement at Chapel Hill Tire
If you need brake service in the Triangle, Chapel Hill Tire is here for you! Our free pick-up and delivery option makes brake services (and all of your other car care needs) easier than ever. We also make service easy by offering all of the car care you need in one place. You can have your brake pads replaced, brake rotor replaced, your car inspected, and washed/detailed in a single appointment.
Our local mechanics proudly serve the greater Triangle area with 10 locations across Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. Chapel Hill Tire’s professional mechanics also commonly serve surrounding communities, including Knightdale, Pittsboro, Wake Forest, Hillsborough, Morrisville, and beyond. We invite you to make an appointment, browse our coupons, or give us a call to get started today!