Brake rotors are parts that require attention and routine inspection. Since rotors are important parts of the braking system, you should know how to recognize the signs of worn rotors. This buyer's guide has all the information you need, including what rotors are and how to replace them.
What are Brake Rotors?
Image Credit: Eric Krzyzanowski
In a disc brake setup, the discs are the rotors. They're large metal discs that are about 12" in diameter. The rotors are attached to the wheels, so they turn when the wheels turn. When you apply the brakes, the brake pads come into contact with the rotors and create enough friction to either stop or slow down the rotors. The wheels stop or slow down along with the rotors. The rotors are the sole link between the wheels and the braking system.
To read more about what rotors are and why they're an essential part of your VW's braking system, check out this article.
How to Diagnose Failing Brake Rotors
Brake rotors start to wear out after about 30K miles. Sometimes they'll fail sooner from being paired by the wrong brake pads or being scratched up by worn brake pads. When you're driving with bad rotors, you car's braking performance is seriously compromised. Simply being able to recognize the signs of failing rotors (which includes noisy brakes and excessive vibration in the brake pedal and/or steering wheel) and thoroughly inspect your rotors is the key to keeping your VW's braking performance optimal at all times.
This diagnostic guide is all you need to diagnose bad rotors on your car.
Are Aftermarket Rotors a Good Investment?
When it's time to replace your rotors, you might be wondering if outfitting your Volkswagen with aftermarket rotors is worth saving a few bucks. Our answer is a resounding NO. Aftermarket rotors aren't worth the savings because:
- Aftermarket rotors aren't built to OE specs, which will affect your VW's braking performance
- Aftermarket rotors are often incompatible with OEM brake pads
- Aftermarket manufacturers rarely offer any sort of a warranty on their parts, including rotors
Basically, aftermarket rotors are a very risky buy. This comparison guide has more information on why aftermarket rotors aren't a good investment.
How to Replace the Rotors on Your VW
You don't need any fancy tools to replace the rotors on your car. All you have to do is to lift your Volkswagen, remove the wheel, move the caliper out of the way, take off the old rotor, and then put the new rotor on. It's a process that involves quite a few steps, but you should be able to tackle the job pretty easily with this tutorial.
We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions that weren't addressed in this buyer's guide.