Is It Okay To Replace Only One Brake Rotor?Find Out

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Both rotors and brake pads are being changed regularly duFe to the fact that they suffer extreme strain and temperatures every day. How do you replace them correctly when the need arises, is it singly, in pairs or all the four at the same time?

Of course, you can replace one brake rotor if it is the only one you have issues with, though you should always replace the brake pads on both sides at the same time.

If you replace only one brake pad which is on the side that has the new rotor,  you can be assured that you will soon have the same problem, but on the other side.

Table Of Contents

How do you tell if rotors need replacing?

Your brake rotors obviously require replacing if they exhibit any of the following signs:

(1). Whenever you press the brake pedal, the driver may feel a sort of vibration or tremor in either the steering wheel or the pedal itself, which is caused by the presence of deposits in the pads.

(2). Secondly, the brakes may produce very loud noises whenever you are braking.

(3). You may also observe visible cracks or signs of damage on the surface of the rotor.

What happens if your rotors are bad?

Whenever you fail to replace bad rotors, you are likely to observe a premature wearing of the brake pads, and if this goes unchecked, there may be pulsations when braking at high speeds as well.

This means that your tires may begin to wobble and vibrate, which can lead to a jerky steering column and ultimately to a sort of anti-lock brake system failure too.

Do brake rotors need to be replaced in pairs?

The most advisable thing is to replace your rotors and brake pads in pairs( either at the front or the rear)  when necessary, but you do not need to replace both sets at the same time unless such is required. The reason for this is that your front brakes which do most of the job usually require replacement more often than those at the rear.

How long does it take to resurface rotors?

It takes not more than between ten to twenty minutes to resurface brake rotors, depending on the extent of damage they have suffered. However, your mechanic must ensure to remove the tires and also disassemble the brakes in order to get the rotors off the vehicle for any resurfacing job, and finally, they must put everything back when they are done as well.

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

There is really no reason to put new brake pads on old or worn rotors because they will only cause your pads to wear out faster than they ordinarily should have. In addition, doing that will also adversely affect your braking efficiency too. Consequently, it is much better to replace both of them at the same time. Doing this will ensure both the safety of your vehicle as well as give the brake pads a better life span and effectiveness.

What is the average life span of a brake rotor?

Without mincing words, brake rotors last for about 30 000 to 70 000 miles before they wear out completely.

It is good to know that numerous brake rotors are available to be chosen from, each with its own qualities and features, whose length of service would generally be dictated by first, your driving habit and second, by their qualities as well.

Luckily, brake rotors do not need to be replaced as often as brake pads, though they still have to be replaced in pairs too.

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How do I keep my rotors from warping?

It is possible to prevent your rotors from warping by adopting several measures which include:

(1). Installing a high-quality brake rotor. Should your brake rotors be warped already, you will obviously need to replace them with new ones, and the more their quality, the better for you.

(2). Also, you should install new brake pads at the same time as you are changing the rotors. Otherwise, the rotors won’t last.

(3). The pads and brake rotors must both be broken too.

(4).  Endeavour to equally prevent your rotors from warping in future.

(5).  Choose carefully the kind of brake pads you use, if you want your brake rotors to last well.

(6). Conduct efficient research on how to find reliable brake rotors on BDC.

(7). Always watch out for any symptoms that may help you to maintain and use your rotors as you should.

Frequently asked questions(FAQ)

Should I replace all 4 rotors at once?

No, you really don’t have to, particularly if you have both the front disc brake pads replaced and the rotors turned or even replaced as well, it would obviously be fine to complete the rear brakes shortly afterward. However, Ford Motors recommends that you should replace all the brakes of the 4 wheels at the same time for reasons of your safety more than for anything else.(Read Also:Can You Brake Without A Clutch?)

How do you know if you need new rotors?

It is very easy to tell with every certainty when your rotors are bad, particularly if you begin to feel a sort of vibration or pulsation in your brake pedal, the vehicle itself or even the steering wheel. If you begin to observe any of these cardinal signs, simply take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic and have the rotors inspected thoroughly in order to determine if they need to either be repaired or changed totally.

How much does it cost to replace rotors?

The overall cost for replacing your rotors will depend on the cost of the labor as well as that of the rotors themselves, though how much you pay for the labor will vary slightly from one auto brake specialist to the other.

Nevertheless, it is likely to cost you anywhere between two hundred to four hundred dollars for all the necessary parts and an additional one hundred and fifty dollars for the labor involved. In total, therefore, you are looking at expenses of between three hundred and fifty to five hundred dollars for the complete replacement of all the rotors in the vehicle. (Read Also: Are Drum Brakes Self Adjusting?)

Do you have to resurface rotors when changing brake pads?

As a rule of the thumb, virtually all the rotors are needed to be resurfaced whenever you are replacing the brake pads.  Most cars need their rotors replaced anytime their brake pads are being changed. In addition, if your rotors wear faster, you may need to replace them more frequently than you ordinarily should. (Read Also: Can brake rotors warp from sitting?)

Does AutoZone turn brake rotors?

The simple answer to this question is:  no, they don’t. Auto zone does not either turn or resurface brake rotors. Similarly, they don’t replace brake pads or shoes. However, the company does sell all the necessary parts required to complete these brake service jobs by yourself. You should know that there are nationwide services that turn brake rotors but not AutoZone such as Jiffy Lube and O’Reilly Auto Parts which provide their services all day long.

Can a bad caliper warp a rotor?

Ordinarily speaking, it cannot, particularly considering that brake rotors do not warp, but only wear out unevenly. For what it is worth, there is really no need for the rotor to wear out unevenly since, under ideal conditions of proper braking, the brake caliper applies an even and consistent clamping force over the entire rotor or brake pad contact surface areas as the rotor moves round.(Read Also:Do Ceramic Brakes Pads Smell?)

Can a bad wheel balance cause rotors to warp?

Yes, it can, and commonly does that too. For example, severe braking looseness can cause excessive run-out, thereby making the brakes to pulsate or pull. However, this commonly indicates a defective or malfunctioning caliper or equalizer, and can also be a sign of worn brakes or rotors too. The most common cause is a warped rotor due to the caliper not being able to retract effectively.

What does a warped rotor look like?

Whenever you notice that your brake pedal or steering wheel is wobbling when you apply the brakes in order to slow down or stop the vehicle, there are chances that your rotors are warped. If the warp is not so severe, you might actually not notice this shaking. However, where the warp is a major one, you will definitely feel the vibration.

Is it cheaper to resurface or replace rotors?

Yes, in some instances, it is a lot cheaper to replace a brake rotor than to have it re-coated, particularly if you are a DIY mechanic.

This means that renewing the surface at home will definitely cost you a lot of money to accomplish, and for that reason, it is better to have a replacement than it is to have the surface re-coated. Fortunately for you, new rotors are indeed very easy to handle and install in a very short time even without any help.

What causes a warped rotor?

Simply put, warping refers to a kind of uneven wear of the surface of a brake rotor, which is mainly caused by severe heat. The brake rotors can become warped whenever they become glazed with any material from the brake pads if they become hot,  which can cause the material of the pad to rub off onto the brake rotors.

How long does it take to replace brake pads and rotors?

All things being equal, this procedure takes about 2.8 hours to fully accomplish. However, we must take into cognizance the different times taken between a minor and major brake service.

Any brake replacement or rotor service can generally take about 2.8 hours at the most. On the other hand, a caliper replacement takes an average of about 1.4 hours for both the front brakes, while the replacement of both the front disc rotors can take time in the neighborhood of one hour or so.

How do you tell if the front or rear rotors are warped?

It is simple enough. While driving, slightly apply the brakes by pressing on the pedal, if it pulsates in your foot, or the steering wheel shakes, it is an indication that your front rotors are warped.

On the other hand, if while driving you to apply the parking brake slowly and the vehicle surges forward when it is slowing, it is a clear sign that your rear rotors are warped.

How long does it take to fix a warped rotor?

All things being equal,  this procedure should not take more than about thirty minutes or so for each rotor, but where you have a busy auto shop to deal with, it is advisable to call ahead and make sure that they can do it quickly for you.

How far should brake pads be from the rotor?

There is really no space between the pad and the rotor because the pad rides up against the rotor at all times, while the caliper only increases the pressure whenever the piston extends.

Is it okay to replace only one brake rotor – Conclusion

Brake rotors and pads work assiduously together to ensure that you have an effective braking system. For this reason, whenever you are changing one, you are also expected to change the other.

The brake system is known to come up against extreme temperatures and pressure regularly, and because of this, they are designed using the best materials known.

Despite this quality, however, how long and well they last are determined by how carefully you both use and maintain them.

You should also know that when you change brake rotors and pads on one side without changing the pads on the other side, you risk getting the new pads damaged prematurely. Also, if you must replace all the rotors, endeavor to change them along with the brake pads too, or else they will wear out sooner than you expect.

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