Causes And Fixes For Warped Brake Rotors
Car owners will sometimes get very confused by the terminology used by auto mechanics. It is important to have some understanding of what the auto professionals are talking about. That allows for better decisions to be made when it comes time to do repair work on the car. A term that a mechanic will use is warped brake rotors. This is a condition that can cause problems for the braking system of the automobile.
Causes of pulsation
It is a real pain in the neck and is a result of uneven wear on a rotor. It can cause a pulsation whenever the brake pedal is pressed down. The cause of this is the heat generated when brakes are applied. There is no question but that a high level of friction happens, particularly when the brakes are applied suddenly. That is what causes the rotor to gradually wear down in uneven patterns. Repair work has to be done in order to allow for better brake performance.
Preventive steps to follow
Replacement rotors ought to be as thick and heavy as possible. Some manufacturers try to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the weight of items such as the rotors. Those undersize rotors will start having problems if there is a lot of high-speed braking. It is best to get the most durable rotors for replacement. Prior to installation any oil that is on the new rotors has to be wiped off, and all lug nuts should be evenly tightened. The same is true for the clamps; they have to be put in evenly. Failure to do either can cause uneven wear. Anytime the brakes are being serviced the inside wheel well has to be cleaned. Be sure that when the brakes are being services that the rotors are being resurfaced. That reduces the chance of uneven wear, and all you have to do is ask for the rotor to be turned on the lathe. It is not that difficult for an automotive care center to do.
Steps to prevent warping
There is some preventive maintenance that can be done which will help the rotors. That centers on the brake pads. It can happen that the brake pads can be worn down to the thinness of a wafer. If that happens, there is a chance of metal contact between the brake and the rotors. That will cause warping. Replacing the brake pads with thicker ones can prevent the problem from happening. Just as with the rotors, brake pads are not the place to economize. The best quality is the best practice.
Things to avoid
If you happen to be doing a lot of stop and go driving in wet weather, avoid going through large puddles of water. The reason is that your brakes are already heated from use, and water splashing up will drastically change the temperature of the brakes. That can cause some metal distortion. In fact, the way that you use your brakes is going to have an effect on the rotors. Moderate braking is the best strategy. The problem with extreme breaking is that it can result in particles of brake matter becoming embedded on the surface of the rotor. That can expedite the warping process. If you must execute extreme braking, take your foot off the brake pedal as soon as possible. If you do not do that, it just presses the brake pad to the surface of an already hot rotor. That can cause matter from the brake pad to transfer onto the surface of the rotor. Once again, those grains of matter can help create warping.
It can be those particles of matter that start the rotors on the road to warping. That should tell any car owner that cheap quality brake pads or rotors are not a sound investment. They may be less expensive at the front end, but the later repair work on the rotors will negate that savings. Driving in wet weather should be done at slower speeds so as to avoid extreme breaking. The rotors are a part of the brake system not to be ignored. Brake pulsation can be a nerve-racking experience and, more importantly, rotors that are warped cause braking to be less efficient. The brakes themselves are extremely important part of the car. Keeping good maintenance that includes properly sized rotors and high quality brake pads will make sure that the brakes operate efficiently all the time.