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5 Symptoms of a Bad Brake Rotor

What is a brake rotor?

  • When driving a truck safely is the main objective, the reliability of the braking system should be given more prominence. In the process of truck development, the braking system has also developed into a multi-part system that operates in combination, of which it is one of the more important components. The brake rotor is a disc attached to each wheel. Among other things, the role of the rotor is to convert the kinetic energy of motion into thermal energy, which is commonly referred to as heat. Therefore, it is clear that it is an important part of the overall braking system of the truck. Then, their performance of speed during braking is also a point that should not be ignored for the impact of truck driving.


The role of the brake rotor

  • For trucks, timely and safe braking is critical, and that’s where it have a profound impact. Every time the brake pedal is depressed, the brake rotor works with the brake pads to bring your truck to a safe stop. When the brake pedal is depressed, the pads press against the rotor, a process that creates a significant amount of friction causing a reduction in wheel speed, which brings the truck to a stop. When the brake pedal is released, the pads also lose their hold on the rotor and the truck moves unimpeded. Therefore, this process of braking is the key switching point between bringing the truck to a stop and moving, and if not mastered properly, it increases the likelihood of irreversible danger and injury to the truck and driver.

Symptoms of brake rotor damage

  • Damage to it is also inevitable due to the passage of time and all the inevitable wear and tear on them. And because brake rotors are so important to the safety of trucks and their drivers, as well as the cost of replacing them, it’s vital that we catch damage before it happens. Regular maintenance may go some way to catching and fixing it problems in a timely manner, but there are also signs in everyday driving that can point to brake rotors that need to be repaired or replaced. Here are five conditions that can help you clearly determine if it problem is occurring.

Steering wheel vibration

  • When the brake rotor (especially the front brake rotor) is rusted or overheated resulting in more severe wear or distortion, the contact between the brake pads and it will become imperfect during braking. It is this imperfect connection that causes the driver to be able to feel the vibration of the steering wheel when braking. Therefore, when you can feel a significant vibration in the steering wheel when braking, then it is time to check the brake rotor.


Brake Pad Defective

  • Damage to the brake rotor can be felt not only by the vibration of the steering wheel, but the brake pads can also provide a reference. When pulsation can be felt by depressing the brake pads, rust in it or unevenness in the surface of the brake rotor may be the cause of this condition. Also, unlike the vibration of the steering wheel, this sign may be caused by damage to the front or rear brake rotors.

Wear of Wheel Assembly

  • Wheel assemblies can be damaged in a variety of situations, such as hitting potholes, colliding with small animals, and being involved in a crash with another vehicle, which are the main components that cause damage to wheel assemblies. Damage to the hub assembly is always overlooked during repairs, even though it is important for braking. Therefore, regular inspection and maintenance of the hub assembly are essential for the proper functioning of the brake rotor.

Longer stopping distance when braking

  • Damage to one part of the braking system can be most visibly seen in the effect on the overall braking. One of the easiest things for drivers to notice is the longer stopping distance when braking. When the brake pads are not working perfectly with the brake rotors, the interaction between them is not enough for the driver to feel that the truck will stop. This low braking efficiency is very dangerous for driving, so if you notice such a condition during the driving of the truck, please promptly repair or replace the truck’s brake rotor to ensure the overall safety of the truck and your driving safety.


Deep grooves or indentations

  • Damage to the rotor surface and visible grooves and scores are also part of the phenomenon of it damage. Prolonged use will cause the brake pads and rotors to score on the rotor during repeated contact, and these seemingly harmless scores can cause a significant drop in brake rotor performance. When the performance drops to a certain level, the braking effect and the safety hazard it brings will be affected accordingly. The deeper scores are more likely to be caused by stones stuck in the rotor and brake pads, so when you can hear unusual noises when braking, it’s time to check it  and brake pads. A few scratches on it is  inevitable, even with a new brake rotor that has just been replaced, but when you find more or deeper marks on your brake rotor, it’s time to consider getting yours serviced and replaced in a timely manner.


  • Given the importance of brake rotors to the overall performance of your truck – especially the braking system – and driver safety, if you notice any of the five conditions listed above – steering wheel vibration, brake pad failure, wheel hub assembly wear, long stopping distance or deep grooves or indentations – get your truck’s brake rotors serviced by a regular mechanic. Identifying problems and solving them in a timely manner is the most responsible approach to the safety of trucks and drivers. Of course, if none of the above occurs, it is also important to pay more attention to it.
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