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Brake Rotors Buying Guide

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The barely audible grating sound is the first indication that the brakes are on the brink of failure. Many car owners hear the grating sound and immediately take action to replace the brake pads. However, the most likely culprit of the pending brake failure comes in the form of a flat, round piece of metal. Brake rotors apply intense friction to car wheels to slow down or stop moving vehicles. Car owners can find the most important braking system part at auto part shops, car dealerships, and online at one of the leading ecommerce sites, eBay. Before they shop for brake rotors, car owners should first learn more about the vital part, review the types of brake rotors available, and analyse the factors involved in making a brake rotor purchase.

What Are Brake Rotors?

Hidden beneath automobiles, brake rotors play a crucial role in most car braking systems. The flat, round piece of tempered metal attaches to one of the rear wheels. When drivers apply pressure to the brake, the brake pads work together with the caliper to force the rotor against the wheel. Stopping a car requires immense friction between the brake rotor and wheel. However, the same friction that causes wheels to stop turning also causes gradual wear and tear that requires car owners to replace their brake rotors. The process of stopping a vehicle eventually causes the rotors to lose metal shavings and car owners can detect this when they see a fine glaze on the rotor's visible side. Using brake rotors beyond their safety limit can result in cracking, warping, and if neglected long enough, shattering. Brake rotors are one of the most unheralded, yet most important, car parts and accessories.

Types of Brake Rotors

Car manufacturers place brake rotors behind car wheels. The caliper and brake pads clamp down on the rotors when drivers apply the brakes. Friction caused by the clamping down slows the wheel. Rotors constructed on virtually every car work on the same physics principle. However, car manufacturers have developed different types of rotors that range from vented steel to high-end carbon ceramic rotors. The following table summarises each type of brake rotor.

Type of Rotor

Description

Cross-drilled Holes drilled and spread over the entire rotor surface
Air that circulates through the holes cools the rotors
Popular upgrade from standard rotors
Factory customised as a performance feature
Vented Vents or thin hollowed out veins
Visible on the rotor edge
Prevents overheating during aggressive braking
Vents add to the rotor during the casting process
Slotted Slots larger than cross-drilled holes
Recommended for drivers in hot climates
Slots fabricated in the rotor face
Directionally angled
Combination Combines cross-drilled holes, vents, and slots to provide maximum cooling
Common feature found in race cars
Carbon/ceramic Developed for use in Formula One racing
Carbon fibre reinforced ceramic the most expensive type of rotor
Found in Ferraris, Corvettes, and Porches
 
Car owners buy high-performance brake rotors to increase a car's value and augment braking ability. Most automotive experts recommend buying original manufacturer rotors, since brake system design varies significantly amongst the primary car manufacturers. Not every brake rotor is compatible all car makes and models.

What to Look for in a Replacement Brake Rotor

Standard replacement brake rotors possess smooth, circular braking surfaces that manufacturers include on most car makes and models. Car owners must communicate their rotor upgrades to the manufacturers before their customised cars roll off the assembly line. Otherwise, car owners must wait until the standard rotors fall into disrepair to purchase upgraded rotors constructed for high-performance vehicles. Replacement rotors should have several openings carved into the surface of the metal. The openings allow air to circulate around the rotor during the braking process, and thus, help maintain relatively cool temperatures, as the rotor causes intense friction heat.

Original Manufacturer

Automobile braking systems comprise the intricate integration of a few parts. When a brake rotor loses its functionality, car owners should search for rotors constructed by the original manufacturer. Original manufactured parts ensure the continued smooth operation of the braking system. Aftermarket rotors, which competing companies construct, most likely do not provide the same level of compatibility as original manufactured rotors.

Same Make and Model

It makes sense to purchase a Ford Taurus replacement brake rotor to work within a Ford Taurus braking system. Nonetheless, Ford produces several versions of the Taurus. The versions differ in engine size, as well as a few other parts and accessories. Car owners must not only buy replacement rotors for the same car make, but also purchase rotors that seamlessly work within the same model of braking system.

Condition

Car owners like to save money on replacement parts. Yet, the budget conscious mindset only works on cosmetic parts, such as interior carpets and wheel rims. Car owners can consider purchasing used parts that provide aesthetic appeal, but they should never shave the budget by buying used parts for mechanical parts, such as brake rotors. Car brake rotors must be constructed with the highest-grade metals to ensure durability and possess expert craftsmanship that produces smooth brake application. Trying to save a few dollars on brake rotors can lead to serious accidents. Think about what happens as a driver navigates a steep, winding road and the brake rotors are unable to create enough friction to slow the car on dangerous turns.

Breaker Yard

Do not disregard breaker yards because of the perception that the owners only offer used brake rotors. Car owners can find near mint condition brake rotors at breaker yards, since owners pay for the parts that came from a new model car totalled in a recent accident. The downside to breaker yards is that car owners have to settle for aftermarket parts. Breaker yards typically do not have the same wide selection of car parts as car part shops and car dealers.

Auto Part Shops and Dealers

The primary reason to shop for brake rotors in person is to glean knowledge from the sales professionals who know everything there is to know about brake rotors. An auto shop sales professional can recommend the most appropriate aftermarket rotor, while a car parts department professional most likely has the original make and model of brake rotor in stock. Some brake rotor shoppers utilise the information they learn from auto part professionals by taking the information online.

Online

Online brake rotor shopping provides buyers with unmatched convenience, and oftentimes, competitive prices. Every major car and auto parts company offers an expansive brake rotor inventory in cyberspace. Nonetheless, shopping for brake disc rotors requires shoppers to possess an almost expert level of knowledge about what to look for in brake rotors. Buyers who have the knowledge should consider bypassing the car and parts manufacturers. eBay offers rotor brake buyers with the largest selection of brake rotors online, as the site hosts a seemingly unlimited number of sellers. Many eBay sellers have obtained experience working in the automotive industry.

Buying Brake Rotors on eBay

eBay offers car owners the most convenient way to find the right brake rotors for their cars. You utilise eBay's search engine by typing the keywords that eliminate the sellers who do not meet your buying criteria. For example, typing " car brakes" into eBay's search engine returns too many search results. Try specific keywords that indicate car make, rotor condition, or the type of rotor. You can also search for brake rotor sellers by only considering sellers who live in Australia. After you input your search terms, the next step is to prune the list of prospective sellers. eBay helps you decide by compiling customer feedback on seller product pages. You want to consider brake rotor sellers who have earned praise over the past year for selling car, truck, or motorbike parts. You can also find some of the best deals online by shopping on eBay.

Conclusion

Brake rotors clamp down on car wheels to impede or stop moving vehicles. Because of the immense friction caused by the pressure applied by rotors, the important car safety part typically represents one of the first parts to wear down on a new vehicle. Car owners who hear the first signs of brake rotor wear and tear can find replacement rotors at auto part shops, car dealerships, and online at eBay. They should consider brake rotors that have small holes, slots, vents, or some combination thereof grooved into the rotor to enhance air circulation. Air that moves around the rotor prevents the braking system from overheating. Car owners should also purchase replacement rotors that are the same make and model, as well as spend a little more money for new rotors to ensure passenger safety.
 
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