When considering brake repair, rotor thickness is as important an aspect to check as checking the brake pads. A brake rotors must have enough rotor material to absorb and disperse heat, while at the same time, maintaining its structural integrity. Brake rotors that have a thickness below minimum specifications are at a high risk for fade and cracking. Most rotors have a minimum thickness noted either on the casting of the rotor or in the factory service manual for your vehicle model, so it’s important to accurately check actual thickness to ensure it is above these specifications.
When to Check
Thickness should be checked whenever brake pads are replaced, and before any resurfacing work is done. Mostly you can count on your auto repair shop to check the brake rotors when ever servicing the braking system. This is to ensure that the rotors have sufficient material to be put back into service. It is a good practice to do this every time the brake pads are replaced, regardless of the interval between changes. It only takes about 5 minutes or less and is a good safety measure to be in the habit of.
How to Check
If you are into doing this yourself, instead of hiring a auto repair shop, most factory service manuals are very specific about testing procedures. Using a micrometer, rotor thickness should be measured in eight to ten places, approximately 45’ apart and 10mm from the edge of the rotor. These readings should all be above the minimum specifications for thickness, and should vary by no more than the maximum brake values listed in the manual. This will help ensure smooth and consistent braking performance.
Making sure your brake rotors thickness is above the minimum listed values found either on the casting or in your car’s service or owner’s manual is an important step in brake repair. Proper measurement only takes about 5 minutes and any brake repair shop will be happy to include this service. Brakes in the car are one of the most important elements in driving; don’t take their health for granted ever.