The rotors are part of the disc brakes that allow your vehicle to stop once the vehicle is in motion. If the rotors are warped, your vehicle may not be able to stop properly in an emergency situation. This can be dangerous if you need to stop to avoid a car accident, pedestrian, or another driving situation. As soon as you start to realize the brakes are not working like they should, you should contact a mechanic and have them check for warped rotors.
There are many steps you can take if you discover that you have warped rotors. If you are driving with warped rotors, here are some things to consider:
Rotors wear down over time, which can decrease their reliability. The brake system, such as rotors, calipers, and pads, should be inspected on a regular basis because they do wear down.
One danger of warped rotors is the increased stopping time. Even if the surface is smooth, the vehicle will still take longer to stop. If the warped rotor is on the drive axle of the car, the stopping time of your vehicle will be more noticeable.
A warped rotor can cause the brakes to temporarily fail. The warped rotor causes the brake pads to wiggle back and forth, which causes the brake fluid to foam up so the braking system does not get the proper amount of hydraulic pressure. If you temporarily lose control of your brakes, this can cause you to hit vehicles around you.
While driving, if you feel vibrations in your brake pedals, this may be a sign that you have a warped rotor. Sometimes the vibration can be felt with only a small amount of brake pressure, where other times it will take more pressure to feel the vibrations. Either way, once you start feeling this, contact a mechanic so they can fix the problem.
Brake noise is another sign your rotors may be warped. This is because the rotors will be contacting your brake pads unevenly. The noise can sound like a thumping or a pitched hum.
If you suspect you have warped rotors or your brakes are failing, it is important that you avoid driving your vehicle and contact a mechanic right away. Driving with warped rotors potentially will result in a brake system failure, which can cause injury to yourself and those around you. To keep yourself and others around you safe, have your warped rotor problem repaired before you get back on the road.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With Warped Rotors? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.