What Are Brake Rotors And Why Are They Important?

Every car with a disc brake system has brake rotors. If you’re looking to learn a little bit about brake rotors, you came to the right place. Here, we’ll discuss what brake rotors are, why they’re important, and how to identify a worn or damaged brake rotor.

What is a Brake Rotor?

Subaru rotor boxed

If you remove one of your wheels, you'll see a large metal disc that's about 12" in diameter staring back at you. That's the rotor, and it's the link between the wheel and the braking system. The rotor is attached to the hub along with the wheel. When you apply the brakes, the brake caliper squeezes the brake pads against each side of the rotor. The heat and friction from the pads stops the rotor from turning. Since the rotor is connected to the hub and wheel, the wheel stops turning as well.

Most modern cars have a disc brake system. Some cars have disc brakes on all 4 wheels. Other cars have disc brakes on the front wheels, and drum brakes on the rear wheels.

Why the Brake Rotor is the Core of the Braking System

The disc brake system is named for the rotor, which is also called a brake disc. It's the largest component of the brake system. Without a rotor, there's no connection between the wheel and the brake caliper.

The Signs of Worn or Damaged Brake Rotors

Subie rotors

Image Credit: Cool Stuff Guys Like

It’s normal to replace your brake rotors every 50K-70K miles. However, it’s still possible for a brake rotor to become damaged or worn out in less than 50K miles. That’s why we recommend always keeping an eye out for signs of a worn or damaged rotor. Driving with bad rotors can be pretty dangerous, as it reduces your Subaru’s braking power.

If you start experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s worth taking the time to inspect your rotors:

  • Vibrations felt through the brake pedal
  • A squealing, squeaking, or grinding sound when you apply the brakes
  • Increased stopping distances

Replacing Your Brake Rotors

If you’ve determined that you have a bad rotor on your Subaru, you can skip the shop and replace your rotors right in your garage or driveway. For even stopping performance, it's necessary to replace the rotors in pairs. If you're looking to save some money, you can order genuine OEM replacement rotors from us at wholesale pricing. Here's a comprehensive tutorial you can follow: How to Replace Subaru Brake Rotors.