Do You Replace Brake Rotors and Brake Pads at the Same Time?

Replace the Right Parts At the Right Time!

There’s no question that your car’s braking system is its most critical safety feature, and at the center of it all are two interconnected parts: your brake pads and your brake rotors. The rotors (sometimes known as brake discs) are metal discs attached to each wheel, and when you apply the brakes, calipers push the brake pads against the rotors. The resulting friction is what slows your car down, but it’s also why both parts wear down over time.

It’s common knowledge that your brake pads will eventually need to be replaced, but what about your brake rotors? At the Advanced Tech Service Center, we’ve repaired and replaced brake systems for thousands of drivers near Escanaba, Michigan. Our team highly recommends that you replace both your pads and your rotors at the same time, but as with most things, it’s not always necessary.

Resurfacing versus Replacing

Brake pads and brake rotors make contact with each other thousands of times throughout their respective lifecycles. Over time, the pads will shape unique wear patterns into the rotors, so if you only replace the pads, the new set won’t align with the existing rotors. This can cause grinding, screeching, and premature brake pad wear, so if you replace the pads, the rotors need to be either resurfaced or replaced.

When brake rotors are resurfaced, the surface is smoothed out, so you eliminate grooves, pits, hot spots, and other blemishes. This makes sure the new brake pads wear down evenly across the existing rotors. Resurfacing is cheaper than replacing the brake disc, but it can only be done if the rotor is thick enough.

Brake rotors need to be replaced if they’ve worn down so far that they’re too thin to be resurfaced. At the time your brake pads are replaced, your local mechanic should inspect and measure your rotors’ thickness. If they reach the discard thickness, they aren’t safe enough to reuse, and they’ll need to be swapped out.

Brake Professionals Serving Escanaba, Michigan

The next time you need to have your brake pads replaced, visit the Advanced Tech Service Center. Our trained professionals will inspect your entire brake system, inspect your brake rotors’ thickness, and make sure you get high-quality replacement parts. We’re available Monday through Friday, so if you need brake repairs, give us a call today!