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Why should I replace the rotors with the brake pads?

Today, we’re diving into an essential aspect of vehicle maintenance – the brakes. Specifically, we’ll explore why it’s crucial to replace not just the brake pads but also the rotors.

Before we talk about rotors, let’s quickly review how the brake system works. When you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid rushes through the brake lines, applying pressure on the brake pads. These pads then clamp down on the rotors, which are large metal discs attached to the wheels. The friction between the pads and the rotors creates the stopping power that slows down or halts your car.

Brake pads are crucial components of your vehicle’s braking system. As they repeatedly come into contact with the rotating rotors, they inevitably wear down over time. That’s why regular brake pad replacements are necessary to maintain optimal braking performance. When the pads wear too thin, they become less effective, increasing stopping distances and compromising your safety on the road. If a brake pad wears down too much, the metal backing plate of the brake pad can touch the rotor, severely damaging it. The term “metal to metal” may be something you’ve heard when discussing brake repairs. Here’s an example. If this happens THE ROTOR MUST BE REPLACED. 

worn brake rotors

Now, here’s the part that often gets overlooked – the rotors. While brake pads wear down faster, the rotors also experience wear and tear. As the brake pads wear out, they develop a rougher surface. If you replace the brake pads without resurfacing or replacing the rotors, the new pads won’t make full contact, reducing braking efficiency. The rotor’s thickness wears down. There are minimum thicknesses that must be adhered to, and when measuring the rotor if its under or at that thickness, it must be replaced.

new brake rotors


By replacing the rotors along with the brake pads, you ensure a smooth and even surface for the new pads to grip onto. You ensure that the thickness of the rotor is maintained, so the brake caliper can work in it’s designed perimeters. This maximizes the friction between the pads and the rotors, providing you with the shortest possible stopping distances and better overall braking performance. It’s like giving your car a fresh start every time you replace both components.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy brake system is vital for your safety and that of others on the road. When it’s time to replace your brake pads, remember the importance of also inspecting and replacing the rotors. By doing so, you’ll guarantee optimal braking performance, reduce the risk of accidents, and keep your car running smoothly.

Don’t wait for brake problems to escalate; it’s always best to consult a professional independent shop like us when you notice any signs of brake wear, or the brake warning light comes on. Regular maintenance and timely replacements will not only save you money in the long run but, most importantly, keep you safe and sound during your automotive adventures.


Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Welcome to ABR Houston, the leading European auto repair shop in The Woodlands. With over a decade of experience and a proven history of serving over 10,000 satisfied customers, we have recently relocated our shop to The Woodlands to better serve our valued clients. Our commitment to exceptional service and expertise remains our priority. From routine maintenance to intricate repairs, our dedicated team is determined to keep you confidently on the road. Trust in the experience and reliability of ABR Houston, where customer satisfaction drives our passion for excellence. Your Local Experts for AudiBMWMiniRolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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