How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors


The rotor, also known as an iron plate or disc, is one of the most important parts in your car. It works by spinning at very high speeds to process energy from the engine and convert that energy into rotational force, which then gets transferred onto other components, such as the crankshaft.

If the rotor becomes damaged or worn down, it will not work properly. This could cause serious damage to the internal workings of the vehicle!

Sadly, there are some people out there who choose to modify their cars beyond what is allowed, potentially damaging the motor and requiring expensive repairs. Because roll-overs can be deadly, safety equipment like air bags may not activate if you do not take care of your car. Make sure yours functions effectively before modifying anything!

This article will talk about how long you can drive with bad rotors before they need replacing. However, first we should discuss why rotors wear down and what factors contribute to them wearing away faster than normal.

Why do rotors wear out?

To understand why rotors tend to break down more quickly, we must look closer at how they function. When a driver steps hard on the brake pedal, the shoes touch the surface of the wheel, transferring momentum and pressure onto the rotor.

As this happens, the rotor begins to rotate inertiaially (spinning due to momentum) along with the rest of the wheels.

How rotors work

how long can you drive with bad rotors

When you accelerate or decelerate your car, rolling wheels have to rotate at very high speeds to process this action. As they are an integral part of how your vehicle functions, it is important that they function properly!

As cars become ever more technologically advanced, engineers find ways to make vehicles lighter and faster. However, as components get smaller and technology gets integrated into other parts of the vehicle, there is less space for moving parts.

That’s where rotor manufacturing comes in. By taking advantage of engineering concepts like vanes and centrifugal force, rotors can be built with much thinner walls than traditional steel ones.

However, due to their thin nature, rotors need to be attached to the wheel using a strong adhesive. If the bond weakens, then pieces may come off, increasing risk of accident and/or personal injury.

Thicker rotors do not move as quickly when speed changes occur, but they use up additional room inside the rim of the wheel, making the wheel narrower. This reduces tire contact area, potentially causing slippage and accidents.

What makes some rotors fail?

It takes only one bad patch of asphalt, lawn, or dry grass to cause a failure. That could be anything from changing lanes or pulling out of parking lots rapidly to running over curbs or bumps forcefully.

The thing about rotating objects is that air moves around them.

How to check rotors

The easiest way to determine if your vehicle needs new rotor discs or not is to look down while driving. If you see white flashes coming off of the wheel, then definitely need replacements!

Another way to tell if yours are bad is by performing a test pull. Take a short drive with the car that has issues and see how many times the wheels lock up or lose grip.

Both of these can be done at home so there’s no need to take your car anywhere else! Luckily, we have some helpful tips here for you to read through and do it properly.

Replace rotors

how long can you drive with bad rotors

While it is okay to take short breaks when driving, spinning your wheels due to bad brakes will hurt your wallet more than anything else. Luckily, there are good brake manufacturers that produce quality parts that can be replaced instead of repaired or rebuilt completely.

There are two different types of rotor discs used in cars- ceramic and carbon composite. Both work similarly in terms of function, but one is much better than the other for the price.

Carbon composite rotors are typically made out of fiberglass which is reinforced with resin. They are slightly heavier than ceramic ones, but they last longer! However, they cost about twice as much as a ceramic one.

Acerdic does not matter too much unless you know what kind of braking system each car has. If you do, then it matters how well these perform in those systems.

Tips for repair

how long can you drive with bad rotors

The last thing you want to do is spend money replacing your rotors! Luckily, there are some things that can be done to prolong the life of your wheels before they need replacement.

There are several different types of brakes used in cars these days, and almost every make has at least one type of floating disc brake. A lot of people refer to these as “hammer” style because the friction surface contacts and hammers away at the rotor. This can cause excessive wear and eventually failure.

By changing out your car’s braking system with discs instead of drums, it is important to know how to maintain them. There are some tricks you can use to prevent rotor damage and symptom relief until you need new ones!

This article will go into detail about what causes wheel bearing issues and symptoms, and what you can do to avoid this. If you ever feel like your brakes are becoming less effective or you notice grinding sounds when stopping, then it’s time to check out whether or not your rotors need to be replaced.

Avoid rotors

how long can you drive with bad rotors

As mentioned before, if you are experiencing loud clanging or grinding noises coming from your wheels, this can be due to damaged rotors. If you notice that one of your brake pads is worn down more than the other, it may be because one rotor is wearing out faster than the other.

This could also cause poor braking efficiency as not all of the surfaces in contact with the wheel will work effectively. It will also expose metal components inside the system, which could lead to overheating and failure of parts.

To determine whether or not this is the case, have someone else test drive the vehicle! Most people are able to tell when there is something wrong even without looking very closely at the brakes, so ask around for some help.

If you ever do experience issues with your car being slow to stop, sudden lockup, or excessive vibration while driving, make sure you check out the brakes! Hopefully you’ll never need to use them, but just making sure they’re working properly is always helpful.

Rotor repair

how long can you drive with bad rotors

The wheels or rotors are one of the most important parts of any vehicle due to their importance in steering, braking, and wheel balance. When they are bad, it can hurt how well your car handles and what kind of control you have over the vehicle.

If you notice that your brake shoes or rotor wear down quickly, then make sure to get them replaced as soon as possible. This is because as the wheel/rotor gets thinner, it takes longer for the friction to stop things from spinning, which means more risk of an accident.

A lot of people do not realize that even without much loss of thickness, if there is enough dust or dirt stuck onto the surface, it will also cause damage to the rotor and reduce its effectiveness. Therefore, keeping the brakes clean is very important!

What about heat? If your brake system becomes too hot while you are driving, this could mean that something is wrong. Make sure to check out our article here on common symptoms of a failing engine so you know what to look for with yours.

Once again, though, don’t hesitate to go somewhere else to fix your car! Most auto shops will be able to tell you what part needs replacing before actually doing anything.

Bad hub

how long can you drive with bad rotors

Another reason to check your brakes are if you feel very uncomfortable when braking or pulling up onto a parking lot. This could be due to bad rotors that do not grab enough friction from brake pads, or a wheel that does not turn smoothly due to dry bearings.

This would also cause wheelspin which is detrimental in traffic. If this happens frequently it may indicate a defective part like a rotor or bearing.

By having smooth and reliable rotation, the wheel can transfer power properly so it does not have to work as hard which helps reduce drag and use of energy. Energy is what makes the car move!

Wheel alignment will help determine whether this is an issue but testing front and back brakes independently is one way to test for other possible causes.

Bad wheel

how long can you drive with bad rotors

Another cause of wheel failure is when a part of the wheel gets damaged or destroyed. This can occur due to an accident, bad maintenance, or poor handling by the owner.

When a metal component breaks off from the rest of the wheel, it can physically separate from the rim. The most common components that fail are the brake rotor and the wheel drum or inner circle track of the disc brake.

A broken rotor will prevent your car from stopping properly and may also allow hot gases to exit the wheel, creating risk of fire. If you notice any sounds like screeching or squealing while driving, check out your wheels!

If you find damage outside of the normal wear and tear of vehicle use, have a mechanic take a look at the wheel to make sure it’s safe to continue using before bringing it in for repairs.

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