Brake Pads vs Rotors
It’s no secret how important the braking system of your vehicle is. At Faulkner Maserati Willow Grove, we want to make sure that drivers of Willow Grove, Horsham, and Abington, PA, have all the proper information to understand the ins and outs of their brakes.
One of the most common questions about brakes is, what is the difference between brake pads and rotors? Both are crucial for your braking system. To help you get a better understanding of the role that each plays, we’ve compiled this helpful guide for you!
What Are Rotors?
Rotors are metal disks connected to the axles of your vehicle. These disks are typically made from various metals, like iron or steel, and serve as a key component in your braking system. Rotors consist of two of these metal disks connected by ribs, which spin alongside the hub of your wheels.
In the braking process, a tremendous amount of friction and heat is generated. The rotors are designed as such to alleviate some of that heat, which is vented out through the slots of the ribs.
It’s important to know that there are two types of rotors—drilled and slotted. Drilled rotors are made with patterned holes on the surface to allow water, gas, and heat to pass through. Directional grooves in slotted rotors serve the same purpose.
What Is a Brake Pad?
Simply put, brake pads are steel plates fitted with friction material. This material typically varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive and other aspects of the braking system.
There are three types of brake pads: organic, ceramic, and metallic. Organic brake pads are made from a combination of materials, like rubber, glass or fiberglass, and Kevlar among many others, and then bound together by resin.
Ceramic brake pads, as you’d expect, are made from the common ceramic material used for making pottery. However, when embedded with copper fibers, they become much more durable and capable of withstanding friction.
Lastly, metallic brake pads are composed of a variety of different metals, such as copper, iron, steel, and many more. In most cases, their composition makes them one of the strongest and most durable kind of brake pad.
How Do They Work Together?
Now that you know what brake pads and rotors are, it’s time to understand how they work. As the two most important parts of your braking system, they work hand in hand to bring your vehicle to a stop.
When you hit the brakes of your vehicle, hydraulic brake fluid flows through brake lines from the master cylinder to a metallic clamp called a caliper. The caliper then compresses and the brake pad is squeezed against the rotors inside, creating friction. Ultimately, this slows down the wheels and brings your vehicle to a stop.
When Should They Be Replaced?
Over time, the friction of the braking process causes a lot of wear and tear on your brake pads and rotors. Brake repairs and replacements are crucial to make sure your brakes are working properly and keeping you safe.
Typically, brake pads are designed to last about 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles. However, based on certain factors, like the type of brake pad and your driving habits, that lifespan can fluctuate significantly. To play it safe, it’s usually best to have your brake pads inspected at least once a year.
Rotors, on the other hand, are far more durable. Normally lasting anywhere between 30,000 miles and 70,000 miles, rotors can also be repaired and resurfaced instead of a complete replacement.
High-pitched squealing or grinding noises, unresponsive brakes, and your vehicle pulling to one side are just some of the telltale signs that you should have your brakes inspected sooner rather than later.
Schedule Your Brake Repair Service Today!
When your brakes need an inspection or repairs, our team of technicians at Faulkner Maserati Willow Grove is ready to help.
A quick trip to our service center can get your brakes back in tip-top shape and ready for the roads of Willow Grove, Horsham, and Abington, Pennsylvania. Contact or visit us to schedule your next service appointment!