Warped Rotors: Can You Drive With It?

Warped Rotors

Owning a car can be a thrilling experience. But with all the fun and freedom that comes with a car, is the responsibility to take care of it. It is easy to forget that your car is a machine with parts that are susceptible to damage. However, as a driver or car owner, you must always ensure your car is in great shape.

The rotors of your car are part of your disk brakes that make it possible for your vehicle to stop. Warped rotors mean that your vehicle might find it hard to come to a stop. Many motorists might tell you that warped rotors are not a serious problem. Read on to learn more about what warped rotors are, indicators of a warped rotor, and more. That way, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if warped rotors are a big deal.

What are Warped Rotors?

The rotors in your car, also called brake discs, are moving parts that are designed to effectively stop your car. They are as important as your brakes.

Warped rotors are not a rare thing, and you shouldn’t worry about your driving skills if you experience warped rotors. It simply means your rotors are no longer completely flat or have worn out. When your rotors get warped, it is a sign that you will need to carry out some repair and maintenance on them. 

Is it Safe to Drive on Warped Rotors?

The direct answer to the question is No. You cannot and should not drive when you have warped rotors. However, if you suspect that your car has warped rotors, the best thing to do is to pull over and make immediate contact with a nearby mechanic. Brake failure simply informs you that you should stop driving your vehicle. 

There consequences for driving with warped rotors. Below are a few of the adverse effects of carrying on with warped rotors:

  • Brake failure

Since the car’s brake rotors are an integral part of the braking system, you are likely to experience brake failure once the rotors go bad. It is a component that makes contact with the brake pad to create friction. However, once it warps, the rotor will lose friction when you step on the pedal. 

  • Increased stopping time

One dangerous risks of driving with warped rotors are the increase in the time it takes for the car to stop when you step on the brake pedal. It doesn’t matter if the terrain is smooth or the vehicle is in good condition, the vehicle won’t stop as soon as you desire. You will notice this elongated topping time especially if the warped rotor is on the drive axle. 

As common as warped rotors can be, not every driver knows what signs to look or listen out for. As many motorists will agree, the car always gives a sign. You just have to know what to look out for.

  • Vibrations in your Brakes

You may have experienced some vibrations a couple of times when you apply your brakes. The vibrations are signaling you that your rotors need some repair. With your rotors wearing thinner, they lose the ability to absorb and get rid of heat. This causes the brakes to overheat.

  • Watch for signs

In many cars, you can notice the rotors through the wheel wells. You can turn your steering wheel well enough to check if the rotor is in good shape. If you notice some wear, you should carry out some fixing on it. If it’s hard for you to tell if there’s an issue with the rotor, you can get a professional to take a look at it.

  • Uneven rotor surface

With your rotors wearing out over time, their surface becomes uneven. Because of this, as you try to brake, your brakes squeal. The noise can range from not so loud, too loud enough to be irritating. If you notice that your brakes start to squeal, you should visit a mechanic.

Warped Rotors

Why You Shouldn’t Drive With Warped Rotors?

So, if you believe that warped rotors are not such a big deal, consider the following reasons why you shouldn’t be driving with warped rotors.

  • Changing weather conditions

The weather changes constantly. In extreme conditions like snow, driving with a warped rotor makes it more difficult to break, and it could be costly and dangerous for you and others on the road.

  • Brake Fluid Foaming

Brake fluid can foam up in the brake system because of the continuous shaking of the brake pads. This stops the braking system from receiving the right amount of hydraulic pressure. This in turn leads to temporal brake failure. This is a very dangerous position to be in, so you should do your best to avoid it.

  • ABS problems

In many cases, one problem with a car part can lead to more problems with other parts. Failing to attend to your warped rotor can damage the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). So, if you don’t want to end up with a large bill for repairs, fix the one problem.

How Much Does It Cost?

A lot of things go into valuating the cost of replacing or repairing your car rotors. From the model of the car to the rotor sellers, and labor cost, you can’t have a fixed price. The amount also depends on the level of wear and damage to the rotors. On average, it may cost you over $150 for repairs or more for a complete change.

Final Thoughts

So now that we’ve covered all aspects of a warped rotor, do you think it’s not a serious issue? The best way to get the most out of your car is through constant care and maintenance. So, if you notice that you have warped rotors, don’t ignore it or take it lightly. Also, check the rotors when you’re doing a brake flush.

Fix or change them as soon as you notice. In the future, you shouldn’t wait for the problem to arise. If you have more insight on the subject, please feel free to reach out.