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How to Change Brake Rotors

Brake Rotor


Any brake would have the Brake Rotor as one of the most crucial parts. And, under no circumstances, you can afford to move with a car having worn out or faulty rotors. A car with a defective rotor would be difficult to slow down or stop. And, there is always a chance that you may rear end another car. And, in bad weather, the condition can further deteriorate. When it comes to braking systems, disc brakes are simply the most popular ones. Here is a brief description of how these brakes work and the role of different components including rotors.

The disc brake system is made up of three main components � the braking pads, a caliper and the disc rotor. Only when all these parts work together that the disc brakes can stop the wheel under severe braking with short stopping distance. The braking surface experiences both friction and braking action when you apply the brakes. Passenger vehicles usually have discs with their central parts featuring a circular aperture for fixing to the wheel�s hub. In addition, there are many holes in the disc for fixing it with the wheel bolts for the disc to rotate along with the wheel.

When the brake is actuated, the regular load generates in-plane frictional force in the Brake Rotor at the contact point of the disc and the pad. And, this further helps in producing a brake torque around the wheel�s center. Its reaction can be found in the brake force that builds between the tire and the ground, and it slows down the vehicle. There is another type of disc, the ventilated brake disc, which is a single-piece cast containing grooves. In the case of passenger vehicles, it has cooling fins amid a pair of braking surfaces.

This type of disc brakes enable air circulation in the space between the braking surfaces. This plays a crucial role in diminishing the sensitivity of the braking surfaces towards the building up of heat and offering resistance towards heat fading. While the brake pads keep scraping off the dirt, the centrifugal force in the disc helps throw off the water and other contaminants. This ensures that water and dirt are not able to affect the braking in any way. These disc brakes also help in maintaining the stability of the wheel when the brakes are applied. The precisely equal action of the clamping by the pair of brake pads ensures that the wheel stops in a stable and straight line. These brakes have their Brake Rotor deliver two main uses. First, they ensure the proper dissipation of heat and transmission of mechanical force generated during braking.

These round discs are typically made from some materials, which can withstand the high temperatures that build up during braking. Cost-effective material is used for making Brake Rotor so that there is lots of weight savings without having to compromise with stability. The design of a disc brake consists of a top hat section along with a rubbing surface, with a �neck� connecting both of them. A tangential frictional force is developed on the rubbing surface or the �cheek� when the disc and pads rub against each other. The top hat section is also connected to the wheel�s hub.

The disc brakes would produce deceleration, which is going to be based upon the pedal force. This force would further be based upon the design of the braking pads. The design of these brakes need to be perfect so that the vehicle remains balanced when the brakes are applied. The slightest imbalance in the brakes is going to generate vertical yaw torque that would make the vehicle unstable when the brakes are applied. Any heat buildup on the rubbing surface is cooled down because of the circulation of air stimulated by the brake disc.

Sometimes, a substrate is also placed within the frictional material and the back plate. The substrate is used for its thermal insulation properties that help in preventing the excess heat flow to the brake fluid and piston, and also in damping all the vibration. The job of the back plate is to distribute the exertion force the piston makes on the pad�s contact surface. There is a shim layer, designed for curbing the noise, which is placed at the back of the backing plate to reduce the vibrations from transmitting to other parts.

There is either one or more pistons in the caliper. The caliper is designed in order to keep the braking pads fixed to both the sides of the Brake Rotor. The entire movement of the piston is controlled by a hydraulic mechanism. When the brake pedal is applied, it is going to create a hydraulic pressure which would move the piston to thrust the inside pad against the rotor. On the other hand, the housing is moved in the other direction to make the outside pad press against the rotor. All this leads to the creation of a strong hydraulic clamping around the rotor.

In the case of brakes with fixed caliber, the piston would move the brake pads against the respective rubbing surface. Whereas, in the case of floating caliper, the pads would be pressed against either side of the disc.

Sometimes, the Brake Rotor may have to be repaired or replaced because of some faults. A replacement may become inevitable if the rotors are worn out badly that it is not possible to resurface them. Sometimes, there may be hard spots that would appear again after getting resurfaced. Make sure that the brake pads are checked regularly. Worn out pads can also damage the rotors. It is to be taken care of that all the rotors are replaced at the same time. This means you would be able to keep a track of the time when it is needed to resurface or replace the rotors.