Do you have to change rotors when changing brakes?

Asked By: Lenita Ober | Last Updated: 10th March, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
5/5 (302 Views . 18 Votes)
Most of the auto-repair shops and mechanics would suggest you change the rotors when you change your brake pads. All types of cars have rotors and to change all four of them can be quite expensive and not everyone can afford to do it frequently. Rotors generally have to be replaced after 15000 – 70000 miles.

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In this regard, how often do brake rotors need to be replaced?

In answer to how often do brake rotors need to be replaced, they can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, and sometimes more. A licensed mechanic can evaluate the rotors and advise you on their status.

Beside above, is it OK to just replace brake pads? A: Unless the rotors are worn beyond the mandatory discard thickness, we prefer to replace the pads only. Not only does this obviously save money, but time. New pads must be burnished into new rotors before the best braking performance is achieved.

Besides, what happens if you replace brake pads but not rotors?

Brake rotor unevenness leads to pad wear, and if unchecked, pulsation with high-speed braking. This means the tires wobble and vibrate, leading to a jerky steering column and to anti-lock brake system failure. Replacement of the rotor is critical in this case.

How do I know if my brake rotors are bad?

Pay attention to what you feel while driving. One of the most common indicators of worn out brake rotors is rattling, wobbling, or shaking while braking. These vibrations are normally felt through your foot as you apply the brakes, and it is usually indicative of brake rotors that have become warped.

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How do you know when you need new rotors?

When you drive, the car will tell you if the brakes or brake rotors are in need of replacing. Squealing or squeaking is usually an excellent indication. If you hear grinding, head straight to the mechanic, because this is a definite sign that you have brake wear on your pads and they are worn to the metal.

How do I know if I need new brake discs?

There are two ways to check for brake wear on disc brakes: by looking and by listening. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad.

How long do rotors last on average?

The rotors on a vehicle can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles and sometimes more. A licensed mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can evaluate the rotors and advise you on their status; they may not need to be changed as often as the brake pads. Like brake pads, they should be replaced in pairs.

How do you know if the rotors are bad?


One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad brake rotors is noise. If the rotors are warped (meaning not perfectly flat) or severely worn, they may produce squealing or squeaking sounds. Usually, warped rotors will produce a squeak, while severely worn rotors will produce a scraping sound.

How much should it cost to replace brake pads and rotors?

Average Brake Pad Replacement Cost
Pads & Rotors Cost Range
Rotors (Parts) $30 to $75 each
Pads (Parts) $35 to $150
Labour $150 to $200
Total $250 to $500 per axle

What happens if I change the brake pads but not the rotors?

While the pads are ready to be replaced, they are still within standard tolerances, so it's not like there is metal-on-metal going on. The mechanic warned that replacing the pads without replacing the rotors at the same time would be a waste because the rusted rotors will just eat up the new pads.

Is it OK to put new brake pads on old rotors?

When properly bedded and used over time, a thin layer of brake pad material is transferred to the brake rotor surface, and this helps create optimal friction for stopping. When a set of pads is worn out and need to be replaced, it is perfectly ok to install a new set of pads on the old rotors.

How long can I drive on bad rotors?

Rotors tend to last from anywhere between 30,000 to 70,000 miles. If you're lucky, they could hold out for even longer! Obviously, this all depends on a wide variety of factors; overall driving style, vehicle weight, and the quality of the brake material are only a few which come to mind.

How long can you drive on bad brakes?


Manufacturers offer a wide range for the effective “life” of their brake pads, typically between 25,000 and 65,000 miles. But the way you drive can have a big impact on brake pad wear.

How much does a brake job cost?

The average brake pad replacement cost is $150 per axle, and can range from $100 per axle up to $300 per axle. There are a few other pieces of hardware that are found in the brake system which might need to be serviced as well, including calipers and rotors, but the most common service will be to replace brake pads.

What happens if you put new brake pads on grooved rotors?

When you put new pads on grooved rotors, your pads will not perfectly match the grooves in the rotors and this will reduce your braking effectiveness until the pads wear into the grooves. The pads are designed to wear faster than the metal on the rotors.

Is it dangerous to drive with bad rotors?

If you suspect you have warped rotors or your brakes are failing, it is important that you avoid driving your vehicle and contact a mechanic right away. Driving with warped rotors potentially will result in a brake system failure, which can cause injury to yourself and those around you.

Do I need to change front and rear brakes at the same time?

The short answer is that you can replace your brake pads in pairs (front or rear) as necessary, but don't have to replace both sets at the same time unless they both need it. In fact, on an average car today, the front brakes are responsible for up to 70% of the total braking power.

Can you turn rotors without replacing pads?


Yes, it can be done, but will require little bit of elbow grease to avoid starting right of with uneven rotor wear. The best way is to take the pads out and cycle them face down on 120 grit sandpaper. Make sure the paper is on a flat surface.

Can you put new brake pads on bad rotors?

DON'T REPLACE BRAKE PADS ON DAMAGED ROTORS
If new brake pads are put onto a vehicle with damaged rotors, the pad will not properly contact the rotor surface which will reduce the vehicle's stopping ability.

How many brake pads does a car have?

How Many Brake Pads On A Car. Although, a typical car model has two pads on each wheel, the front, and the rear. However, some cars utilize two pads in a single wheel, which makes them eight. The vehicles also have calipers, which have four pads, and there are cars with two calipers.