What Causes Brake Rotors to Warp?

For starters, brake rotors are those large discs behind the car's wheels. They move together with the wheels, so when the driver clamps down the brake pads, it will hold them, and the car would stop. Brake discs usually get heated as the vehicle moves.

The discs need to dissipate the heat so fast because the brakes might overheat and press down again. In the worst-case scenario, the brake system may get damaged. The surface of the brake rotor may become uneven, making the braking system to be less effective and jittery. This is what's called warping.

How the brake rotors get warped

There's a misconception that when the brake rotor is said to have warped, then it means they are bent and wobble while rotating as it happens with the bicycles, but that's not the case.

For a car, for warping to take place, warping means the brake rotors are defective. The temperature required to make them bend is very high and difficult to achieve because the metal used to make the brake rotor is very resilient.

So, for the case of a car, warping simply means the rotor surface becomes uneven. The main cause of brake rotor warping is heat. The heat causes warping in the following ways:

The brake rotor gets glazed

Brake rotor glazing occurs when the temperature goes beyond the limits the friction material can withstand. Dragging or riding of the brake, braking rapidly when the car is speeding, repeated hard braking, etc., can cause the brakes to overheat enough to cause glazing.

If your car has a striking caliper, it can also cause the brakes to drag, thereby overheating the brake and causing glazing.

The rotor surface wears down

The reason brakes don't wear down easily is that the rotor material is harder than the brake pad material. The pad will wear down before the rotor, and that explains why brake pads need replacement once in a while. When the temperature gets too high, the rotor surface may get soft enough for the brake pads to cause the rotor surface to wear down, causing warping.

To prevent warping, be mindful of your brakes. Do everything possible to prevent the brake pad and rotor from overheating.

If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today!

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