How to Inspect and Replace Car Brake Rotors : What is Rotor Failure? How to Inspect Car Brake Rotors
How to Inspect and Replace Car Brake Rotors : What is Rotor Failure? How to Inspect Car Brake Rotors

Hi! My name is Nate McCullough on behalf of In this clip we are going to talk about one of the braking components
that need inspected any time brake service is performed. The component we are going to
talk about in this clip is your brake and rotor. That’s this large steel disc you see
here. There are several things that can go wrong with this rotor. This vehicle in particular
has been parked for an extended amount of time. As you can see there is a large amount
of surface rust all the way around the rotor. You can actually see where the pads were.
That’s where the rotor happened to be stopped when I parked the car. This amount of surface
rust is going to ruin the rotor. You will never be able to machine this out. You might
be able to cut it out but it is going to put it under specification. There is another problem
you may run across with a brake rotor. If you do a lot of in town driving. A lot in
town driving requires a lot of stopping. That can build up excessive heat in this rotor
and cause it to warp. If your rotor is warped more than .005 you will be able to feel it
when you apply the brakes. The brake pedal will pulsate. When you apply it, it will push
back at you as the wheel rotates into the pads and you have them applied that warped
or fat spot will cause a hydraulic pressure surge. It will force the pads apart cause
that surge to go backwards through the system, through the master cylinder and into your
brake pedal. At higher speeds you will also notice the warpage when you apply the brakes
in the steering wheel. It may cause the whole vehicle to shake and shutter and you definitely
will fill it up front. If it happens to be a front rotor, you will feel the vibration
transferred through the steering linkage into the steering wheel. Some of them can shake
quite violently. If the warpage happens to occur only in the rear of the vehicle, you
will notice it more so in the coming from the back of the vehicle. There is another
type of failure you are going to want to look for which are any kind of cracks. That again
are going to indicate excessive heat or excessive wear. If the rotor has been worn too thin
for machine work, it is not able to dissipate properly. When you machine a rotor you are
actually removing metal, making it a small thinner part. In my opinion, it under minds
the structural integrity of the rotor. It will cause small flake style cracks to appear
all over the surface of the rotor. That is one thing you are going to want to look for.
It will indicate a bad rotor and mean it needs replaced.

37 thoughts on “How to Inspect and Replace Car Brake Rotors : What is Rotor Failure? How to Inspect Car Brake Rotors”

  1. Wayne The Wolf says:

    NATE U R THE BEST !! this video is sooo helpful

  2. robles1805 says:

    AHH!!! Genious…pure genious. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  3. bporlier says:

    Is that English you are trying to write in?

  4. jae aye says:

    What do u mean by polsate?

  5. camertonboys says:

    who cares what your name is! just start the job pls!

  6. studpuppy69 says:

    Drive the rust off.

  7. Hayk Samvelyan says:

    my dad's car shakes under braking just like he described. I wasn't sure if it was the rotors…well now I know. Also I noticed the shaking isn't as bad as it was before we replaced the wornout tires.

  8. weldingmachine1959 says:

    how did you know his name?

  9. Scott Goodwin says:

    Think the fat spot is in his head

  10. bmx4637 says:

    @HeyHeyMonkey18 ahhh mannn so true

  11. defryer1 says:

    soo that means i need new rotors hehehe thought it was air bubbles into the brake lines hehehe

  12. MrWalnish says:

    cant see vedio man

  13. vwbussesareforever says:

    How do you know if its more than 1 rotor in the front that makes it shake?? Because my Dakota does that

  14. hesellsmystuff says:

    @vwbusssesareforever Jack up your dakota in the center – front. Put car in neutral with rear parking brake on – if front wheel drive. If not front wheel drive – then neutral position is not necessary. Grab each wheel and spin it. If it spins freely WITHOUT a "rubbing/grinding" noise in regular intervals – then your rotor is not warped. Do the test to each wheel. whichever wheel is making the noise – that is the one with the warped rotor. Could be none – one or both wheels with warped rotors.

  15. Tedybear315 says:

    @RobertBorden121 Not all the time. My wife's car sits for a week or two between driving. All 4 rotors get a layer of surface rust–It's not a sign of impending doom. In her case? We drive the car for a short while and (she has mag wheels) look at the rotors. The pads and braking action clean off the surface coating of rust quick. (all 4 rotors back to normal) Now if it sits for longer then a month outside? Then you want to inspect for "pit marks". That WILL cause major headaches.

  16. alphastarcar says:

    Excellent learning video!

  17. mike munoz says:

    I like how he says "in my option it under minds the structural integrity of the rotor" this guy is krazy @2:25

  18. dgaleno2012 says:

    my cars steering wheel shakes n the guy i bought it from said that it was probably the rotors cuz he didnt fix them when he changed the brakes and i looked stuff in the internet n i found out it was this then i ask a mechanic n he said it wasnt this that it was the suspencion i was like wow really lol freaking out a lil cuz he is a "mechanic" n then i checked how the rotors is n its messed up 1 more than the other so i hope its just that xD

  19. Vacmasterthegreat says:

    I looked at my driver's side rotor today and I saw some spots that looked like pits, and a few spots that looked like the fit the shape of the pad, but when I ran my finger around the rotor, it felt smooth. and the only braking issue I have is sometimes it feels like it pulls to the left, but that would indicate I have a bad passenger caliper wouldn't it?

  20. davielove11 says:

    I agree …great explanation.

  21. Mwink Gordon says:


  22. DogFather0808 says:

    I don't understand this change in the English language where people just say that something "needs replaced." I thought that the proper usage was "needs TO BE replaced" or "needs replacing."

    It's kind of like how people are using the word "anymore." They actually begin a damn sentence with the word "anymore." For example, I might have said, "Anymore, people just say 'needs replaced' instead of saying something 'needs to be replaced'.

    I don't get it.

  23. SuperDagod1 says:

    I'm looking at the rotors on my jeep, they look very smooth to me. Do I need to have them cut or can I just install new pads? Thanks

  24. Light of life says:

    Very helpful video. Big thanks 🙂

  25. oyebebe69 says:

    Very Helpful

  26. ROB NAVAEI says:

    One of the best help.

  27. elcodude621 says:

    most vehicles are only a couple of bucks more to replace the rotors now than o have them turned…..

  28. mldfry says:

    im feeling that shake now… damn!

  29. harryrez says:

    would bad rotors and bads, cause the car to shake when i apply the brake, like it jerks doesnt want to stop 

  30. Manuel Flores says:

    thanks this was helfull i got bad rotors then haha!!! my car shakes crazy when passing 50 mph

  31. Linda Hall says:

    Thanks, I now have some knowledge before I take the car to the garage.

  32. claudia green says:

    There is a loud metal on metal sound coming from the back right wheel. The break pads were changed recently and the mechanic and I looked at the rotor and found the surface to be ok, stable and smooth. We are unsure what this noise could be…any thoughts?

  33. Darth Vader says:

    Loved the video. note : needs to* be* replaced.

  34. SethBearGaming says:

    Super informative. thank you!!

  35. Jessi Hogarth says:

    Which pixel is the rotor and which pixel is the caliper

  36. Dimitri Xytakis says:

    Very informative, but I needed to know how to remove it

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