Brake Rotors vs. Pads: What’s the Difference?

Mechanic Working On Brakes

What is the difference between rotors and pads? Both are crucial parts of your vehicle’s braking system. Here is a basic breakdown of each part:

Rotors: Disc brakes, or brake rotors, are typically on the front two wheels of your vehicle. The brake rotors are what the brake pads clamp down on to stop the wheels from spinning.

Brake Pads: The brake pads contact and apply pressure, causing friction to a car’s rotors. With that pressure applied, the wheels will stop turning, which will then stop the vehicle from moving.

What Are Brake Rotors?

If your vehicle is equipped with disc brakes, the rotors are the discs themselves! They are located on the inside of every wheel, and spin at the same pace as your wheels when they are moving. When you apply the brakes, the brake pads compress around the rotors, slowing down or stopping your car.

The steel rotor discs are thick and built to withstand large amounts of pressure, but frequent braking causes them to heat up. With time, the friction can cause the rotors to glaze over or warp, making the applied pressure less potent. Even without that extent of wear and tear, the rotors will wear down slowly over time and will eventually need to be replaced—this occurs roughly every 70,000 miles, but they should be intermittently checked before that.

What Are Brake Pads?

Usually, the brake pads need to be replaced more often than the rotors. Your brake pads are a steel-backed plate bound with frictional material. They face the rotors and press against them when you apply your brakes.

The friction created from the contact between your rotors and pads brings the vehicle to a halt. This rubbing naturally creates part wear down, and will decrease their effectiveness over time. Depending on your driving habits, your brake pads will need replacement every 30,000 to 70,000 miles.

Brake Rotors vs. Pads: Inspection Frequency

Your brake inspection should be performed around every 12,000 miles or once a year. More often than not, you won’t need a pad or rotor replacement at that time. It is good practice when it comes to vehicle maintenance to keep an eye on these parts. Other issues that could present themselves when experts check your brakes include failing calipers or low brake fluid.

If your brake pads are worn down to less than a quarter-inch, then it’s time to get them replaced. With a simple glance, you can check through your wheels on the condition of your brake pads. Warped or glazed rotors can be replaced or resurfaced by Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln experts when they are worn down.

Schedule Your Lincoln Maintenance at Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln

Beatrice and Hickman drivers can schedule repairs with our team at Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln at any time. Maintaining your brake pads and rotors is a crucial part of your vehicle’s overall safety system. The first line of safety in Omaha starts with your brakes.

Contact us at any time to schedule an appointment with our certified technicians at Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln. We would be happy to help you keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.

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Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln 40.7377, -96.6826.