You don’t need to spend a lot of time driving a car to become familiar with its quirks! Maybe you have to roll your window all the way down before it will go up, or your trunk only latches when you bump it with your fist.
Unfortunately, some quirks make the leap to flat-out “concerns.” This is especially true when rotors are involved since they’re an essential part of your vehicle’s braking system.
If you find yourself asking any of the following questions, it’s time to head our direction and have your car’s rotors inspected by an experienced technician.
It May Be Time to Replace Rotors When You’re Asking…
Why is my steering wheel vibrating?
The heating and cooling generated by normal braking mechanics can, over time, cause your rotors to warp. When that warping happens:
- Applying the brakes activates the brake pads.
- The brake pads make contact with the warped rotors.
- Your steering wheel vibrates — the sensation is also described as shuddering or pulsing — because the pads are following the contours of the warped rotors.
If your steering wheel is giving you vigorous handshakes, a rotor replacement may be in order.
Where is that screeching noise coming from?
This is a difficult warning sign to miss because it’s the one your passengers will notice, too. (Along with everyone else on the road!)
In a sense, warped or worn rotors produce sound the same way a vinyl record does.
Records have grooves that, with the help of a needle, translate to sound as they spin around. Rotors can have grooves, as well, but it’s the warping or wear that produces this particular “music” as the braking system is engaged.
A bad rotor’s music isn’t very pleasant. It’s often described as screeching, squealing, grinding, or growling. If you hear it, don’t start dancing: get to your local Tires Plus!
How come my rotors are now blue?
If your car has larger wheels with fewer spokes, you may be able to see the rotors without removing a tire. Or, maybe your cousin is a weekend car repair hobbyist and removed a tire or two for a closer look. However it happened, getting up close and personal with your rotors revealed a blue tint.
The culprit is a familiar one: excessive heat. Getting rotors to this state usually requires “riding” them. That is, keeping the brake engaged continuously as you drive. This can happen, for example, with drivers who have to navigate hilly terrain on a daily basis.
Even if blue is your favorite color, you don’t want to see it on your rotors. The heat that caused such coloration may have also compromised your braking system.
Do I need new rotors?
If you’re questioning your brakes and wondering when to replace brake rotors, it’s time for a free brake inspection at your local Tires Plus. During your brake check, we’ll determine if your vehicle needs any further brake service or repair and if so, talk to you about next steps.