Warped Brake Rotor Symptoms

by Jason Medina

Brake rotors are an important part of a vehicle's braking system that, when warped or malfunctioning, can seriously reduce the efficiency of the braking system. Warped brake rotors typically cause several symptoms.

Pulsating Brake Pedal

An out-of-round or warped brake rotor can cause a noticeable and, in some cases, extreme pulsating of the brake pedal. This is due to the malformed brake rotor striking against the brake pads during braking, which causes brake fluid pressure disturbances and manifests as a pulsating brake pedal.

Vibrating Steering Wheel

A warped brake rotor, as it spins and is squeezed by the brake shoes, creates vibration. This vibration can travel from the brake assembly up through the wheel and front suspension of the vehicle and, ultimately, be felt in the steering wheel.

Brake Noise

Brake noise is a common sign of a warped brake rotor. As a warped brake rotor spins, it can strike against the brake pads in an uneven, abnormal manner, causing brake noise. This type of brake noise is commonly heard as a clanking or thumping type of noise heard during vehicle braking.

Brake Pad Failure

Abnormal brake rotor shape can lead to early brake pad failure. A warped or out-of-round brake rotor creates excessive stress on the brake pads; this can cause increased brake pad wear and early failure.

Worn Wheel Hub Assembly

A brake rotor sits and spins on a slender, elongated metal piece called the wheel hub, or hub. A warped brake rotor, especially one severely warped and bent, can cause abnormal wheel hub assembly wear by striking and spinning against the hub in an uneven, erratic manner.

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