To drive your off-road vehicle safely, you need a reliable braking system that employs various components to slow down and stop the car, especially when traveling at high speeds. As the most vital mechanisms in braking systems, let's look at how rotors work, what causes them to wear, and the types of rotors available when you need a performance rotor replacement kit.
Causes of Jeep Brake Rotor Wear and Tear
The circular metal discs installed on each wheel of your off-road vehicle utilize friction to slow the turning of car wheels. When you want to slow down or come to a complete stop, pressurized brake fluid is thrust throughout the entire hydraulic system, forcing the brake pads to press against the rotor disc and create new pressure.
The friction created turns motion or kinetic energy into heat or thermal energy to counter the rotating wheels, successfully slowing down or stopping the car.
Rotors play a pivotal role in the stopping effectiveness of your vehicle. You'll enjoy smooth braking if your Jeep Wrangler rotors have an even surface from where the brake pad makes contact.
Unfortunately, brake rotors lose their smooth surface finish, resulting in increased stopping distances and reduced braking outcomes. Panicked braking or constantly hitting the brakes are among the most common causes of rotor wear, especially when driving fast, as it results in excessive heat buildup.
Friction between the brake pad and rotor can sometimes generate extreme heat to cause significant rotor damage. Although cross-drilled or slotted rotors help dissipate heat, overheating increases the likelihood of stress cracks developing.
Seized caliper pistons can also cause brakes to either fail to engage or disengage, ending in the car pulling to one side or overheating the rotors and pads.
Lastly, sometimes Jeep brake rotors and pads overheat and circulate heat through the caliper piston, which makes the brake fluid boil. When this occurs, the brake fluid loses its compression effectiveness, consequently reducing braking efficiency.
Power Stop Z36 Kit with Pads and Rotors
Teraflex Big Brake Kit for Jeep JK
Teraflex Delta Brake Kit for JT, JL, and JK
Power Stop K2798 Sport Brake Kit
Signs of Damaged Brake Rotors
While most brake rotors are made from sturdy and durable materials such as cast iron or ceramic discs paired with carbon, regular inspection and replacement are critical.
Driving on worn-out rotors increases stopping distances significantly and proves detrimental as it compromises your braking responsiveness and reliability.
Look out for these top three signs of damaged brake rotors;
- The vehicle vibrates and leaks fluid when braking.
- There's visible wear on the steel surfaces of the rotors.
- You can hear squealing or squeaking sounds when brakes are applied.
Types of Brake Rotors
Most often, the available brake rotors are not always interchangeable. Sizing may vary depending on your vehicle's performance package, sub-model trim, country of origin, transmission type, engine size, etc.
The four primary brake rotor types include:
Blank and Smooth Rotors are non-slotted brakes most commonly used in passenger-type vehicles like buses.
Drilled Rotors, whose surfaces have a series of holes, aid in heat dissemination while preventing dirt and debris from clogging the braking system.
Slotted Rotors feature slots around the exterior rotor surface instead of holes. Slotted rotors are preferred on heavy-duty trucks or SUVs that tow heavy loads.
Drilled and Slotted Rotors are typically used in sports cars because the design combines the power of heat dissipation and debris removal for greater braking performance.
Jeep brake rotors play a crucial function in your vehicle's braking system. Therefore, pay attention to how responsive the braking action is and consult a trusted parts dealer or mechanic for a comprehensive brake system service.Read Less