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Brake Rotors

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Get Smooth Stopping Power by Installing New Brake Rotors

The brake rotors and brake pads rub together so that your vehicle can slow down or stop safely. When the rotors lose their thickness or have been damaged through constant use and misuse, braking will be more difficult because the brake pads won't be able to rub with the surface of the rotors properly. If you're already experiencing a problem with your car's braking performance, then this guide can help you replace the brake rotors on your vehicle.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Lug wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • C-clamp
  • Hammer or mallet
  • New brake rotors
  • Preparing the wheel area of the vehicle

    Determine on which side of the car is the brake rotor that needs to be replaced. Lift that part using the floor jack and the jack stand. When all of these are done, remove the wheel and the caliper until you are able to see the entire brake rotor. Take the brake rotor off by pulling it towards you. If it doesn't come off easily, you may use the mallet to tap the edges of the brake rotor. A rust-remover spray can also lessen the tightness of the brake rotor. Just make sure that when you use the mallet, do not hit the other parts which may cause a chip or dent.

    Attaching the new brake rotor

    Get the new brake rotor and slip it to the axle plate. Make sure that the rotor is seated all the way back, the same as its previous position, to ensure that it won't move around or wobble. You may place the brake caliper in its previous location, and bolt it tightly afterwards.

    Cleaning the surface from other impurities

    Make sure that the brake rotor's surface is free from oil or debris by using any type of a recommended brake cleaner on the surface of the rotor. If the fluid doesn't dry quickly, wipe the surface with a clean rag immediately. Turn the rotor around as you clean it, so you won't miss other areas.

    Refilling the master cylinder

    Check the amount of brake fluid in the master cylinder, and refill it with the necessary amount of brake fluid. When you're done, seal the master cylinder properly with its cap.

    Brake Rotors Articles

    • AC Delco vs. Centric: The Brand Match-up for Brake Rotor Dominance 11 January 2013

      Two of the leading aftermarket brands today, Centric and AC Delco, have been producing various automobile brake system parts for over one hundred years in total. With countless features they've claimed that their products have, which of two names will stand on top after this brake rotor comparison is over? Here's a guide to help you determine which one of them can provide the better brake rotor for your vehicle.

      Product innovation

      Centric utilizes what is called an electrocoating finish or e-coat for its high-carbon and power alloy brake rotors. It's an innovative process that increases the durability of the brake rotor to withstand corrosion even up to 400 hours of salt water exposure without rusting. Its rotors are also produced with double-disc ground, taper-free finish compared to other brands. AC Delco, on the other hand, only has its standard rust-preventive coating for their brake rotors.

      WINNER: Centric


      Product variety

      Both brands offer three different types of brake rotors. AC Delco has the Advantage rotors, which are premium quality parts at an affordable price; the Professional Durastop rotors for high-end street cars, and the Performance rotors that are specifically designed for law enforcement vehicles. Centric has three premium quality rotors namely: Power Alloy, Power Slot, and High Carbon brake rotors. All these types of rotors from Centric are mill-balanced to reduce rotor vibration in any type of vehicle application.

      WINNER: AC Delco and Centric


      Performance

      When it comes to performance, AC Delco tests its products using a patented procedure called Dual Dynamometer Differential Effectiveness Analysis or D3EA. This procedure measures the friction performance of the brake rotors and ensures that the products comply with the federal safety standards. Centric also tests its products to meet the ISO9000 Quality System Standards. These are the main reasons why both brands gave a good performance when we tested the AC Delco Advantage and Centric Power Alloy brake rotors on a 2006 GMC Sierra 3500. Both products gave a smooth and noiseless braking on the pickup truck.

      WINNER: AC Delco and Centric


      Price

      With its premium, high-quality brake rotors, Centric's top-of-the-line products can go as high as $870, while its standard rotors are priced around $50 to $150. AC Delco has more affordable high-end products that only go up to $430, and its standard range of products is worth $40 to $100.

      WINNER: AC Delco


      Warranty

      AC Delco gives the clear advantage for this one because it offers up to 12 months, unlimited-mileage warranty. Centric only offers a 90-day 3,000-mile limited warranty for its products.

      WINNER: AC Delco

      The verdict

      Both brake rotors from the two brands delivered well in the performance tests. However, the price and the warranty is a one-sided victory for AC Delco. Although Centric has proven the value of the product with its product innovation, you don't need to spend more because an AC Delco brake rotor is solid enough for a street car. Still, if you have the budget and want the best out there, then choose a Centric brake rotor.