Can You Replace the Brake Pads Without Changing Rotor

Can You Replace the Brake Pads Without Changing Rotor

This article will be discussing the topic of can you replace brake pads without changing rotors. This is one question that most car owners ask before replacing brake pads. The braking system is an extremely sensitive area so you want to make sure any work done in this area doesn’t derail your efforts.

If you have rotors in good shape and only need to replace the brake pads, it would not be necessary to change the rotors. This should save you time and money.

What Are the Functions of a Brake Rotor?

A brake rotor is a crucial component of a car’s braking system. It acts as the second of the disc brake components.

In most modern cars, the brake disk relies on the rotor for stop power.

The main thing that the performance brake rotors do is to stop a car. They will be important for you to know.

When braking, you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder will work immediately. –> This cylinder will make the brake fluid flow to the brake lines and then to the brake calipers. -> The calipers, car disc brake pads will surround the brake rotors -> Stop the wheel.

Essentially, the rotor is what allows your car to stop.

How Long Should Brake Rotors Last?

Once you buy brakes and rotors, you’ll want to make sure they last for a long time. This will help ensure that your car never becomes immobilized.

When it comes to brake rotor, newer is better. However, the average lifespan of a rotor is between 15,000 and 70,000 miles. To be exact, it can be four times the amount of brake pads.

Changing the rotor after changing the brake pads three times is possible but not recommended.

How Do I Know If My Brake Pads Are Worn Out!

It is up to you and your driving habits to determine the life span of brake rotors.

When you need to replace your brake pads and rotors, look for the best place to buy them from.

Can You Replace the Brake Pads Without Changing Rotor

Clean all contaminants off of the brake pads using rubbing alcohol or other solvents before removing them.

Inspect inside surfaces of brake pads for external contamination of any type.

Inspect each rotor for damage, excessive wear, rust pitting, and glazing.

Remove rotors from brake calipers according to manufacturer specs.

Minimum Rotor Thickness

The minimum rotor thickness is called the “discard thickness.” This is a heat-related dimension and means that, if your rotor is below its discard thickness, it must be replaced because it can no longer get rid of the heat from braking.

All good rotor brands have the thickness of the metal that is not used specified in their product documentation.

Warped/ Rust Rotors

You should have your rotors checked and replaced if they are warped.

If you have excessive rust and pitting on the backside of your rotor, it may be necessary to replace this as well as brake pads.

Worn/Gauged Rotors

The worn surface of your rotors could be resurfaced without the need to replace them.

Rotor renewal requires the use of a lathe. However, brake lathes are hard to find these days and the machining time and cost would be comparable to a new rotor.

If your brakes are not working properly, you should replace them. Warped or severely gauged rotors should be replaced because they can’t be fixed and the damage is permanent.

Wagner VS Bosch Brake Pads!

If you are unsure about how severely your rotors have deteriorated, you may want to get a professional opinion or replace them.


When your brake pads have deteriorated to the point where they must be replaced, you may not need new rotors. Check with a reputable mechanic before purchasing brake pads and/or rotors for further information.

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