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What Causes Brake Rotors To Warp?

Brake rotors are necessary because they spin with the wheels and stop them when the brake pads press against them. The brake rotors generate a lot of heat during the braking process, which needs to dissipate quickly so that the brake pads can be pressed down again. This intense heat can cause the surface of the brake rotors to warp over time, a phenomenon known as warping. This can cause your vehicle's brakes to become less effective and jittery.

Why Do Brake Rotors Warp?

Brake rotor warping is not as bad as it sounds. Actually, warping is an uneven surface caused primarily by heat. Warping of brake rotors can occur in the following ways:

The brake pad material has the potential to glaze the brake rotors. This occurs when the brake pads become extremely hot, allowing material to fall onto the brake rotors. As a result, the surface of the brake rotor becomes uneven, reducing the overall effectiveness of the brakes.

Furthermore, the surface of the rotor can deteriorate, and certain metal areas can become elevated. This only happens when there is too much heat, which can happen if the brakes are constantly applied. This heat softens the metal, causing localized wear and tear as well as an uneven surface.

Being aware of your braking habits is an effective way to keep brake rotors from becoming warped. When you apply the brakes repeatedly or hold them down for an extended period of time, you can generate excessive heat, which can warp the rotor surface.

Signs Your Brake Rotors Have Warped

You may notice one or more of the following symptoms if your brake pads are warped:

  • When applying the brakes, there is excessive squealing.
  • Rubber burning smell
  • The brakes are inconsistent and erratic.
  • When the vehicle comes to a complete stop, it vibrates.


If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, and need your brakes repaired, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!" We will visually inspect the brake system to see if the rotors need to be resurfaced.

1411 Empire Blvd Webster, NY 14580 | (585) 288-1060
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