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What Causes Brake Rotors to Warp?

Brake rotors are an important part of your vehicle's brake system. They spin with and stop the wheels when the brake pads clamp down on them, which is essential to slow or stop your vehicle. Over time, the brake rotors withstand a lot of heat during the process of braking, and need to dissipate this heat quickly so that the brake pads will be able to be pressed down again. This excessive amount of heat causes the surface of the brake rotors can become uneven over time, which is often referred to as warping. This can cause your vehicle's brakes to become jittery and less effective. 

Brake rotor warping isn't as severe as it sounds. Warping actually just refers to an uneven surface, mainly caused by heat. The brake rotors can be warped in the following ways: 

  • The brake rotors can become glazed with material from the brake pads. This happens when the brake pads get very hot which causes the pad material to rub off onto the brake rotors. This causes the brake rotor surface to become uneven and decrease the overall efficiency of the brakes. 
     
  • The surface of the rotor can also wear down and certain metal areas can be raised higher. This only happens with excessive heat, which can happen if you are constantly apply pressure to your brakes. This heat causes the metal to become soft, which can cause the metal to wear down in certain spots making the surface uneven. 

A good way to prevent brake rotors from becoming warped is by being mindful of your braking habits. When you constantly press on the brakes or hold them down for an extended period of time, you can cause the excessive heat that can warp the rotor surface. If you do have warped brake pads, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Excessive squeaking when braking 
  • Smell of burning rubber
  • Braking is jittery and inconsistent
  • Vehicle vibrates when coming to a stop

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, bring your vehicle into Premier Automotive Service for a brake inspection. We will perform a visual inspection of the brake system to determine if your rotors need resurfacing. Give us a call or stop by today!

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