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Ford Ranger Brake Rotors

Signs that Your Ford Ranger Brake Rotors May Not Be Up to Par

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.

Unnecessary noise whenever you do something related to the brake pads

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.

Pulsations or jerky tremors

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.

How to tell if your brake rotors are in good working condition

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.

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  • Maintaining the Good Quality of Your Ford Ranger Brake Rotors

    Your automotive brakes are one of the most important mechanisms in your Ford Ranger. These brake rotor maintenance tips not only ensure the functionality and safety of your Ford Ranger brake rotors, but they also help ensure a longer life span of your braking system.

    • Perform regular inspections of your braking system to find out where the problem may lie.
    • Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear can protect you and your passengers while saving you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly. On many cars you can inspect the brakes without removing the wheel. If your car has alloy wheels with spaces in the middle, you can get proper assessment done by just peeping through the hole. Be sure you have a clear view of the brake pads and the big shiny disc.
    • Maintain correct fitting on brake rotors.
    • Incorrect fitting can warp brake rotors; therefore, the rotor's retaining bolts (or wheel/lug nuts, if the brake rotor is sandwiched in place) must be tightened evenly. The vehicle manual will indicate the proper pattern for tightening as well as the torque rating for the bolts. Some vehicles are sensitive to the force the bolts apply and require tightening to be done with a torque wrench.
    • Remember to replace brake pads to prevent scoring of brake rotors.
    • Scoring can occur if brake pads are not changed promptly when they reach the end of their service life and are considered worn out. Once enough of the friction material has worn away, the pad's steel backing plate (for glued pads) or the pad retainer rivets (for riveted pads) will bear directly upon the rotor's wear surface, reducing braking power and making scratches on the disc. Generally, a moderately scored rotor, which operated satisfactorily with existing brake pads, will also be usable with new pads. If the scoring is deeper but not excessive, it can be repaired by machining off a layer of the brake rotor's surface. To prevent scoring, it is prudent to periodically inspect the brake pads for wear. Tire rotation is an appropriate time for inspecting the brake pads since rotation must be performed regularly based on vehicle operation time and all wheels must be removed, allowing ready visual access to the brake pads. Pads that are near the wear-out point should be replaced immediately, because a complete wear-out leads to scoring damage and unsafe braking. Be aware that 'lifetime' brake pads don't actually last forever, yet many auto parts manufacturers call them that because they do last a very long time and most car owners will sell or junk their cars before the pads need to be changed. Many disc brake pads will include some sort of soft steel spring or drag tab as part of the pad assembly, which is designed to start dragging on the rotor when the pad is nearly worn out.
    • Regularly sand your rotors.
    • Sanding the rotors improves the finish by making it smoother, knocking off sharp peaks, torn and folded metal left on the surface by lathe bits and may improve the surface finish 2 to 5 microinches for better pedal feel, pad seating, and overall braking performance.