Braking systems have common and recurring problems, from worn brake pads to warped rotors to frozen calipers. A warped brake rotor can make even short car trips very irritating, as the vehicle ceases to move in fluid motion. This article focuses on some symptoms of brake rotor failure troubling your vehicle. Your Ford Ranger rotors can show some early warning signs of failure if you know what to look for.
Listen for unusual sounds coming from the brakes under normal driving conditions. Brake rotors that have worn or overheated make a variety of noises. When brake pads have overheated and become glazed, they will make a squeaking sound when they're applied, and this can be most noticeable during very slow stops.
Brake rotors that have worn past their lining limits make a louder swishing, grinding, or howling noise when the brakes are stepped on. Note that a grinding, metal-against-metal sound when braking indicates it's too late. You are now on the way to totally ruining your brake rotors. They have most likely worn down to their rivets or have worn past factory specification limits and need to be replaced.
Heavily gouged, warped, rusted, or damaged rotors should be replaced. Both inner and outer rotors should be replaced on both wheels, even if only one side has worn considerably. They're fairly easy to replace, and the parts and the process of replacement is not at all expensive.
However, if while driving at low speed you applied the brakes and they just gave a low squeal, there's still a chance for your rotors. They just might need to be resurfaced or machined to get back to optimum working performance.
A pulsation or pedal vibration when applying the brake pedal, particularly when braking at higher speeds, is indicative of warped brake rotors. Your rotors are in for some troubleshooting if you feel this symptom.
Disc rotors should have a smooth, clean, and shiny surface free from striations or deep grooves sometimes appearing as parallel lines. They have a minimum thickness requirement and must be measured with a micrometer.