Brake Pads vs Rotors

Day in and day out, you count on your vehicle’s braking system to help you safely navigate the roads around town. In order to continue working properly, the various parts of the braking system require regular maintenance.

Two of the most crucial components that help slow down your vehicle when you push on the brake pedal are the brake pads and brake rotors. Below, we explain what each of these parts do and, more importantly, how to ensure they’re effectively performing to keep you safe.

Drivers in Little Rock, Benton, and Conway can stop by our service center or easily schedule maintenance online for any brake maintenance or troubles they need taken care of.

What Brake Pads Do

Brake pads—commonly made of ceramic or metallic materials—play a major role in stopping your vehicle. When you push down on the brake pedal, the brake pads come in direct contact with the rotors and create friction, which causes your vehicle to slow down and come to an eventual stop.

Over time, the constant rubbing against the rotors will cause your brake pads to become worn. You can help prolong your brake pads’ lifespan by taking preventive measures, such as applying light pressure to gradually stop your car and limiting slamming on the brakes as much as possible.

In order to maintain smooth and quick braking, replacing your pads when they wear down is crucial. We’ll discuss when it’s advised to have them changed later in this article.

What Are Brake Rotors?

Just like brake pads, brake rotors have a significant role in stopping your vehicle. Rotors, which are circular discs, are attached to the axle and spin along with the wheels. As the brake pads clamp down on the brake rotors, the rotors start to slow their rate of spinning. When the rotors lose speed, the wheels begin to slow down until they stop rotating and bring your car to a stop.

Brake rotors are made of strong materials, usually iron or steel. These durable materials help them wear at a slower rate. Due to this, they won’t need to be changed as frequently. Some rotors are hollowed out to prevent overheating. Hollowed rotors are usually found in larger vehicles that carry and tow large amounts of weight.

Questions or concerns? Contact our team today.

Brake Pads vs Rotors: When to Change Them?

The brake pads and rotors wear down at different rates, so you’ll need to service and replace them individually as needed. To see how many miles you can drive before replacing each part, check your vehicle owner’s manual to see when it is recommend to do so for your particular model.

Most cars need the brake pads replaced around 50,000 miles, depending on your driving style and specific model. When you come by our service center for any routine maintenance, our technicians will be happy to inspect the thickness of your brake pads to see if they need to be replaced. If you hear any irregular sounds when braking, bring your car in for service. This can be an indication that the brake pads are worn.

Brake rotors tend to last longer than brake pads. Generally, brake rotors last about 70,000 miles until a replacement is needed. Driving conditions can cause this service to be needed sooner, so it’s important to pay attention to their state as well. If you feel vibrations when braking, it may be due to warped rotors. If that’s the case, then they should be changed as soon as possible.

Schedule Brake Service

Understanding your braking system will help you know exactly when it’s time to have parts replaced, so they can continue to perform smoothly and safely. Drivers in Little Rock, Benton, and Conway can get their brakes and other automotive systems serviced here at Owens Murphy Volkswagen. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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