how long can you drive with bad rotors

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors?


July 10, 2022

How long can you drive with bad rotors?

If your vehicle’s rotors need repair, you should not be behind the wheel.

It’s possible to get to safety even when money is short or you’re in an emergency or far from a safe place.

Then, it’s a little difficult to get there.

The danger you’re seeking to avoid in the short term may come in the form of a broken brake.

You may not be able to move an inch if your car’s rotors are warped.

The quality of your brakes, your driving habits, the state of your car, and your weight all influence how long can you drive with bad rotors.

Brake Rotors: What Are They And How Do They Work?

Knowing what brake rotors are might help you understand how important it is to keep them in good working order.

In the same way that all other components of your car are important to its overall performance, your brake rotors are critical to it.

The brake rotors, as components of the braking system, are built and incorporated into the vehicle so that friction can be generated between the brake pads and the brake calipers while the vehicle is in operation.

Instead of allowing your car wheel to spin when they clamp down, the rotors will generate some friction, which will prevent the wheel from spinning.

Friction slows the rotation of the wheel and, as a result, the movement of the vehicle.

Several separate components make up the brake assembly in your car, each of which performs a critical job in your vehicle.

Brembo brake rotors are an example of such a piece of equipment.

They are huge metal plates that connect to the wheel and serve as braking rotors in the process.

It is their primary role to serve as a hold for the brake pads to grasp onto when the brake calipers exert pressure as the brake pedal is depressed.

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors

Finally, the car comes to a complete stop as a result of the wheel rotation slowing.

If you have a regular maintenance schedule, brake pads and other brake assembly components should be replaced far more frequently than calipers and rotors.

However, if other brake assembly parts or brake pads become damaged and stay that way for a longer length of time, the rotors may require repair or even possible replacement and become broken.

Indications Of Defective Brake Rotors

Before you can conclude that your brake rotors have failed, there are a few symptoms that you should look out for.

As a rule, the following signs and symptoms indicate that your brake rotors are warped:

1. A Screeching Noise

It is one of the most obvious and immediate signs that your brakes need to be replaced when you hear squealing noises.

Typically, automotive brake rotors are completely flat and level when new, but they can become deformed and uneven over time as a result of normal wear and tear.

The effect of this may be some squeals or screeching sounds, depending on how loud they are.

Depending on how badly the rotors have degraded, the noise will take on a scraping quality.

2. Braking Causes Vibrations

Car vibration can be caused by a variety of sources, and warped rotors can be one of these factors.

When you press on the brake pedal, you’ll most likely feel the vibration at the bottom of your foot.

When this happens, it is an indicator that the rotors are no longer functional.

Additionally, when you press the brakes, you may notice some shaking, rattling, or wobbling of the vehicle.

3. Caliper That Keeps Moving

There is a mechanism involved in the braking system that you should be familiar with, particularly how the rotors’ actions affect the brake calipers’ operations.

By now, you should be aware that the rotors are located directly inside the caliper.

Once the flat rotors begin to rotate, the caliper will begin to float on the caliper pins, as shown in the illustration.

Because warped rotors cannot turn effectively, they will cause the caliper to wobble on those pins rather than turn with it.

4. A Burning Smell

Another symptom that the brake rotors are deformed is the presence of a burning odor in the brake system.

If you hear this, especially if you’re traveling downhill, you should be on the lookout.

It’s time to come to a halt and acknowledge that you are unable to continue driving the automobile.

Oil leaks or a fractured brake disc may also be to blame, although warped rotors are by far the most usual culprit.

Clutches or Brakes that have become overheated are the blame for the unpleasant smell.

5. Outside Surface Of Rotor Has A Mark

A groove mark on the surface of your rotors, which your mechanic detects, indicates that your brake rotors need to be replaced.

Rotor warping is indicated by the presence of these marks, which can also be the result of the warping.

When the brake discs have been subjected to sustained grinding against the brake shoes, groove markings will appear on the exterior of the discs.

After some time has passed, the discs begin to thin out and become thinner.

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors?

6. Increased Duration Of Stopping

In addition, you may find that when you engage the brakes to slow down or stop your vehicle, it takes a significantly longer period than usual.

The rotors have deformed as a result of this increased stopping distance and are no longer able to provide the braking force that they should be able to deliver.

It is more likely that the vehicle may begin to vibrate a few minutes after hitting the brake pedal, rather than coming to a complete stop immediately.

When rotors get warped, they impair the ability of the brake shoes and calipers to perform as intended on the road.

7. Soft Brake Shoes

When you apply pressure to the brake pedals, they may have become slippery on rare occasions.

The presence of this alert implies that your brake rotors are already in poor working order.

In cases where the braking force is so high that the pedals are no longer able to resist, it is vital to check the rotors for signs of wear and tear.

They may have been deformed, uneven, or otherwise severely damaged or destroyed.

The next step is to contact a local mechanic who will inspect the vehicle’s braking system, particularly the rotors.

How Long Do Brake Rotors Usually Last?

Brake rotors that are well-made can endure between 35,000 and 65,000 miles on average, according to industry standards.

Car owners who keep their vehicle’s maintenance plan up to date and who don’t drive erratically may find that their rotors last for a longer period than others.

A wide number of elements, including your overall driving habits, the weight and condition of your vehicle, and the overall quality of the braking system, are all important in determining how long the rotors can survive.

Additionally, the type of road on which you drive and the frequency with which you drive the car are both important considerations.

What If I Keep Driving On Warped Rotors?

As for why you wouldn’t want to do that in the beginning, it’s not a good idea to transport the entire family while driving on warped rotors, even if you have to.

Beyond the fact that it is extremely dangerous, driving on damaged rotors will cause the brake pads to wear out prematurely.

Over time, if you leave the issue unchecked, strong pulsing while braking at high speeds may become noticeable.

It is in this situation that you will notice that the tires begin to wobble and that the car vibrates or shakes.

A sluggish steering column might also be caused by warped rotors.

The ultimate repercussion of the malfunction of the anti-lock braking system is the possibility of a collision.

To summarize, it is critical to note that changing warped rotors is quite important for overall safety.

Furthermore, the wavering of the caliper on the caliper pins may only last for a brief period before it needs to be corrected.

Some individuals propose that you drive for a limited period even though your rotors are deformed because of this reason.

In contrast, the more you drive, the more quickly the moving parts of the vehicle move and revolve within their respective enclosures.

They will eventually wear down and generate a slew of problems that your limited budget for car repairs and maintenance may not be able to solve.

How Much Will Brake Rotors Repair Cost?

When it comes to replacing damaged rotors, the truth is that there are no hard and fast rules or set prices.

In contrast to your friend, who may spend approximately $200 to repair his brake rotors, you may spend twice as much.

Whether or not to proceed is dependent on the extent of the harm.

The kind of vehicle, quality of your braking rotors, the pricing of replacement parts, and your state of domicile all factor into the total cost of your brake rotor repair.

Depending on the extent of the rotor damage, you may be required to have the brake discs resurfaced.

Car rotors typically cost between $50 and $80 on the open market, on average.

Labor charges may be in the vicinity of $200, depending on the mechanic and his location.

Overall, you should plan on spending about in the neighborhood $400 to replace the brake rotors on your vehicle.

When it comes to repairs, should you do it yourself or call a professional?

The latter, in my opinion, is the preferable choice.

Ways To Prevent Warped Brake Rotors

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors?

Even though automobile repairs, replacement, and upkeep are unavoidable aspects of driving, there are steps you can do to keep your vehicle from suffering significant damage.

1. Ensure A Top-Notch Braking System

Keeping the braking system in good working order is highly advised for car owners.

It is necessary to apply the brakes for safety, and if they are not used properly, they can cause major traffic problems, including accidents.

Keep the brakes properly greased to avoid having rotors that are worn out.

You should use the best brake parts when replacing worn-out components of your car’s braking system.

Top-quality materials must be used in the manufacture of all braking components.

This includes the brake pads, brake rotors, brake discs, and brake pedals.

2. Keep A Safe Driving Habit

Your driving style must be appropriate to ensure that all parts of your car are in good working order.

Follow the right driving guidelines at all times. You shouldn’t hit the brakes quickly, and you shouldn’t run at full power through a curve.

What should you do, for example, if you realize that your highway exit is only 50 feet away but you’ve gone three lanes over?

What is the best way to merge into heavy traffic? What are you going to do if you see a ready sign approaching you?

In the winter, how long should you wait before getting behind the wheel if your automobile has a cold start?

3. Weight Of The Automobile

What is the maximum amount of time you can drive with bad rotors? a thorough understanding of the vehicle’s weight.

Because of the weight of your vehicle, there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.

For cars that are quite light in weight, you may be able to drive for a short distance with warped rotors until you can get to a shop.

Exceptions to this regulation are cars that are over a certain weight.

Nothing more than pulling over and assessing the damage is required.

4. Routine Maintenance

Everyone who owns or drives a car knows that upkeep is a no-brainer.

Maintaining your vehicle in good shape is essential and should not be done on a sporadic basis.

As soon as you think something is wrong with your vehicle, schedule an appointment with your specialist.

Maintaining the brake system’s routine maintenance should not be overlooked as well.

FAQs Related To How Long Can You Drive With Bad Rotors

Is It Risky To Drive On Rotors That Have Failed?

If you feel that you have warped rotors or that your brakes are failing, it is critical that you avoid driving your car and instead contact a repair as soon as possible.

Driving with warped rotors has the potential to result in a brake system failure, which can result in serious injury to you and others in your vehicle’s vicinity.

What Is The Maximum Amount Of Time You Can Drive With Defective Brake Rotors?

Rotors have a lifespan of anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 kilometers on a typical basis.

They may hold out for even longer if you’re lucky!

A multitude of elements play a role in this; for example, vehicle weight, driving style, and the quality of the brake material are just a few examples that come to mind.

If Rotors Are Not Replaced, What Will Happen?

Unevenness in the brake rotor leads to pad wear and, if left unchecked, pulsation when braking at high speeds.

This means that the tires will vibrate and wobble, resulting in a jerky steering column and the failure of the anti-lock brake system.

What Happens If Your Brake Rotors Are Worn Down Or Damaged?

If your rotors are warped or too worn, they may vibrate erratically, causing vibrations that can be felt through the pedal and sometimes even thru the vehicle’s frame.

When the brakes are engaged, warped rotors may also cause a pulsating sensation in the pedal, which will be sensed by the driver.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Rotors When They Become Worn?

Unevenness in the brake rotor leads to pad wear and, if left unchecked, pulsation when braking at high speeds.

This means that the tires will wobble and vibrate, resulting in a jerky steering column and the failure of the anti-lock brake system.

What Does It Sound Like When The Rotors Are Failing?

When the brakes are engaged, warped rotors might make a squeaking noise.

When they are twisted and worn down, they can also generate a scraping or grinding sound.

The squealing noise, on the other hand, might also be caused by brake pads that are worn out.

What Are The Signals Of Faulty Rotors?

If you feel that you have warped rotors or that your brakes are failing, you must stop driving your car and contact a professional as soon as possible.

Driving with warped rotors has the potential to result in a brake system failure, which can result in serious injury to you and the people around you.

Final Thoughts

Car owners and drivers who are sincerely concerned about their personal safety and the safety of other road users may legitimately wonder “how long can you drive with bent rotors.”

It’s also important to remember, no matter how nasty it may seem, that when you replace the warped rotors, you should replace all four of them at the same time.

Whatever the case, it makes no difference if all four are bent.

Rotor tuning or rebuilding is not a recommended practice.

Don’t forget to swap out the rear brake rotors while you’re at it.

Although replacing the rotors can be expensive, there should be nothing that prevents you from being safe.

Of course, the health of your vehicle is directly proportional to the health of your financial situation.

A few hundred dollars will be required to replace any defective components.

You should avoid allowing the situation to deteriorate to the point where you are forced to spend a significant amount of money.


Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.