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How to Buy Brake Rotors

How to Buy Brake Rotors

A NAPA Guide on How to Buy Brake Rotor Replacements

Are the brakes on your sedan, crossover, SUV, minivan or pickup truck squealing? Do you hear a grinding noise when you approach red lights? Does it seem to take longer to stop your vehicle when pressing down on the brake pedal? These piercing sounds and soft response mean it is time to replace its brake pads and possibly the brake rotors as well.

Unfortunately, components of your brake system are not typically covered by your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. These brake parts are designed to wear down over time, and purchasing replacement brake rotors, brake shoes and brake pads are all part of routine maintenance as a vehicle owner. Even brake hardware diminishes and causes ‘brake drag’ when the pad presses against the rotor even without braking. In this case, you may need a NAPA Ultra Premium Caliper Bolt Kit after a thorough inspection.

Our NAPA experts recommend following the mileage listed in your vehicle’s owner manual to schedule brake replacement and maintenance. Depending on your driving style and the climate where you live, the timeframe for brake rotor replacement can fluctuate. If you live in a humid, rainy environment, take frequent trips to the beach in the salty air or regularly commute through frozen sleet, snow, ice and road salt, then your brake repair schedule is more frequent and more critical. Traveling through elevated terrain (where drivers are constantly riding the brakes down steep highways) or commuting alongside high-speed traffic (with brake lights frequently illuminated ahead) are all driving factors that can quickly wear down automotive brake rotors.

Choose the Right Fit, Form & Function of Your RotorsNAPA brake rotors

Brake rotors are crafted for optimal performance based on the type of vehicle. For instance, race cars typically rely on brake rotors made from steel, because it is a lightweight, thin material that can stand up to high heat. However, these steel designs do not last long and easily warp, making them impractical for daily driving. Aluminum brake rotors are engineered to effectively transfer heat without adding much weight, which is ideal for motorcycles and ATVs.

Most modern commuter cars use high-quality cast iron rotors, often with carbon mixed into the metal. This added-carbon fabrication dissipates high heat without cracking under the stress. While this upgraded material might cost more, cast iron brake rotors with blended carbon are typically much quieter and free of vibrations. Premium front brake rotors and rear brake rotors are often constructed from a blend of high-performance ceramic material, which offers an increased heat capacity at 85 percent higher than cast iron, while delivering consistent pressure at high temperatures.

Throughout time, even standard rotors for everyday vehicles started incorporating internal cooling channels and strategically placed vented slots. And, the pressure to constantly improve fuel economy with less drag, as well as the trendy look of monster rims on pickup trucks and eye-catching hub caps on sports cars, led to open-wheel designs that leave brake parts extremely vulnerable to corrosion. Thankfully, advances in chemical technology created space for coated brake rotors on the list of aftermarket brake parts. For example, these Adaptive One Coated Rotors offer the longest-lasting, cleanest defense against rust, withstanding 300+ hours of accelerated corrosion-resistance testing.

It is industry standard for new vehicles to contain some form of coating or surface treatment on brake rotors to prevent corrosion. The high-tech polymer coating is applied to the entire rotor for total protection and optimal performance. Keep in mind, this treatment is designed to wear away in certain areas due to the normal operation of the disc brake system. The coating that does remain will continue to protect the hub, vanes (on vented discs) and rotor edges. For a thorough break down on the recent advancements of aftermarket brake systems, including Ultra Premium Coated Brake Rotors, watch the NAPA Brakes Tutorial and Testimonials video.

Not All NAPA Brake Rotors are Made Alike

NAPA Brakes offers a complete line of brake parts for passenger vehicles and light trucks to emergency service and fleet vehicles. From full brake rotors replacement to a brake pad upgrade, count on NAPAOnline to provide the highest quality parts for your next DIY brake job. Our NAPA Auto Parts stores also stock multiple brake pad and rotor combinations to provide safe, reliable stopping that is tailored to your exact driving style and performance needs.

Whether you drive a classic car or a new-age electric vehicle, NAPA Premium Brake Rotors consistently deliver confident braking. NAPA Premium Brake Rotors are engineered to improve stopping distances, minimize brake fade and extend the life of your brake pads and brake rotors. NAPA Premium Phosphate Finish rotors feature an added defense against rust and corrosion thanks to the Graphite Guard coating on the hat and edges.

NAPA Brakes Adaptive One Coated Rotors are corrosion resistant, optimize air flow and performance for sedans, crossovers, SUVs, minivans and light trucks, including Asian and European imports. NAPA Adaptive One Performance Rotors are cast from high-carbon enhanced iron to keep them running cool, quiet and vibration free. And, Cool Track vents provide an improved pedal response (vented rotors dissipate extreme heat more efficiently than a stock brake rotor). This luxury line of brake rotors can run upwards of $100 each because they are engineered to last and are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Check out this NAPA Adaptive One Performance Brake Rotor – Slotted with an out-of-the-box, ‘No Turn Guarantee.’ The Cool Track vents found on Adaptive One Coated Rotors can increase pad life up to 30 percent by allowing the continual escape of harmful heat and gas. The polymer coating on the brake plate, vanes and edges keeps these components cleaner to optimize airflow for improved overall performance.

If you need to keep your replacement cost less than $100 per brake rotor, our experts suggest the NAPA Proformer Rotors. This NAPA Brakes brand is manufactured with value in mind for the budget-conscious consumer and is backed by a Two-Year Limited Warranty. Engineered for an OE fit, NAPA Proformer Rotors are ideal for high-volume passenger vehicles, including light trucks and SUVs. Of course, our loyal NAPA customers looking to buy brake pads and rotors are also encouraged to take advantage of our monthly promotions, limited-time deals and clearance sales.

If you are an aspiring mechanic or confident car enthusiast, tackling a brake rotor repair project is a great challenge to tackle. Browse this list of brake kits that pair high-quality brake rotors with NAPA brake pads. If you are looking for the best brake inspection in the area or a body shop with service technicians who can obtain the best brake replacement parts in a timely manner, schedule an appointment with your local NAPA AutoCare Center.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.

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