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When Do Brake Rotors Need Replacement? Signs to Watch For

mechanic checking car's brake system

Brake rotors are an essential component of your vehicle’s braking system. They play a crucial role in stopping your car by providing a surface for the brake pads to grip onto. 

Over time, brake rotors can wear down or become damaged, leading to decreased braking performance and safety issues. In this article, we will discuss the signs that your brake rotors need to be replaced.

What Are Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors, also known as brake discs, are a part of your car’s braking system. They are located behind each wheel and work with the brake pads to slow down or stop your vehicle. 

When you press the brake pedal, the brake pads clamp down on the brake rotors, creating friction that slows down the wheels and brings your car to a stop.

Signs That Your Brake Rotors Need to be Replaced

1. Vibrations While Braking

One of the most common signs that your brake rotors need to be replaced is vibrations while braking. If you feel a pulsation or vibration in the brake pedal while braking, it could be a sign that your brake rotors are warped or worn down. This can cause uneven braking, decreased stopping power, and safety concerns.

2. Squeaking, Squealing, or Grinding Noises

Another sign that your brake rotors need to be replaced is unusual noises while braking. Squeaking, squealing, or grinding noises can indicate that your brake pads are worn down and are making contact with the metal of the rotors. This can cause damage to your brake rotors and decrease your stopping power.

3. Visible Damage

If you notice visible damage to your brake rotors, such as cracks, grooves, or corrosion, it is time to replace them. These issues can cause your brakes to fail or decrease your stopping power, putting you and other drivers at risk.

4. Reduced Stopping Power

If you notice that your car is taking longer to stop or that the brakes feel weaker than usual, it could be a sign that your brake rotors are worn down. This can be especially dangerous in emergency situations, where quick stopping power is crucial.

5. Brake Pedal Feels Soft or Spongy

If your brake pedal feels soft or spongy, it could be a sign of a problem with your braking system. This could be caused by worn brake rotors, air in the brake lines, or other issues. It is important to have this issue checked by a professional as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road.

When to Replace Your Brake Rotors

Brake rotors should be replaced when they are worn down or damaged beyond repair. The lifespan of your brake rotors will depend on several factors, including the type of driving you do, the quality of your brake pads, and how often you use your brakes.

Generally, brake rotors should be replaced every 50,000 miles or whenever you replace your brake pads. However, it is important to have your brake system checked regularly by a professional to ensure that your braking system is working properly and to catch any issues before they become a safety hazard.


Brake rotors are an essential component of your car’s braking system. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it is important to have your brake rotors checked by a professional and replaced if necessary. By staying aware of the condition of your brakes and having them serviced regularly, you can help ensure your safety on the road.

Automed Car Care focuses on offering Japanese and American vehicles the repair they need to stay in good shape and function at their best. If you are looking for a Japanese auto repair specialist and more, get in touch with us today!

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