How to Keep Front Disc Brake Rotors From Rusting

by Russell Wood

The brake rotor is a circular disc of cast metal that is designed to slow the vehicle through friction. When the brakes are applied, the brake pads drag against the rotor's metal surface. Unfortunately, the only way to prevent rust on this portion of the rotor is to drive the vehicle and hit the brakes. However, the area around the rotor, such as the vents and around the lugs, also can rust, and that can be prevented with the liberal application of high-temp paint.


Lift the front of the vehicle with the jack and rest it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is resting solidly on the jack stands before crawling underneath it. Remove the front wheels using the tire iron and place them off to the side.


Spray brake cleaner liberally on the rotor and caliper, working it from all sides and angles. Clean the brake dust from the entire unit, giving you a clean surface to paint on.


Mask off the rotor using the masking tape and paper. Every part that you don't want painted should be covered with paper or tape.


Spray the high-temp paint onto the rotor. It doesn't matter if some overspray gets on the brake surface; it will be rubbed off the first time you drive the vehicle. Pay attention to the lugs and rotor vents. If a section is covered by the caliper, turn the rotor by hand to expose the area.


Remove the masking tape and paper after the paint has dried. Reinstall the tires and lift the car off the jack stands before lowering it to the ground.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images