Brake Pads vs Rotors

The braking system is one of the most vital parts of any automobile. It’s what causes the car to stop, helping prevent an accident around Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley. Two components of a braking system are the pads and rotors, but what’s the difference between them?

To help answer that question, our team at Land Rover Albuquerque created this guide on brake pads vs. rotors. Read all about them below and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

How the Braking System Works

A moving car has a lot of kinetic energy (or an energy of motion). To stop a car, the brakes have to get rid of the kinetic energy. They do this by using the force of friction to convert the energy into heat.

When you push your foot down on the brake pedal, a connected lever will push a piston into the master cylinder, which is filled with hydraulic fluid. The hydraulic system will then multiply the force of your foot on the brake pedal into enough force to apply the brakes and make the car come to a stop.

The brakes can either be disc brakes or drum brakes. Most modern cars have disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear wheels. However, some cars can have disc brakes on all four wheels.

The disc brakes consist of a brake disc (also known as rotor), a brake caliper, and a brake pad.

What Are Brake Pads?

Brake pads are a key component to the braking system since they’re what contacts and applies pressure and friction to the rotors.

Due to how fast a car’s wheels rotate and how much a car weighs, brake pads undergo much stress each time you slow down or come to a stop. Since they experience frequent stress, they need to be inspected often. A great time to have them looked at is whenever you get an oil change or some other type of routine service.

Brake pads can come in several various materials, including ceramic and metallic. No matter what they’re made of, they’ll begin to break down over time. However, there are ways you can slow down this process, which includes not riding your brakes or slamming on them.

If there’s a point when you hear squealing or grinding or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, then the brake pads will need to get replaced.

What Are Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors are the shiny discs seen behind the wheels of some vehicles. The pressure and friction applied to the brake rotors is what slows and stops the wheels, which then stops the vehicle.

Like brake pads, there are different types of rotors. You’ll find drilled and slotted brake rotors, as well as rotors made specifically for vehicles like trucks and motorcycles.

If you hear the high-pitched squealing mentioned above, that could be worn brake pads scratching the rotors. Rotors are typically much more expensive to replace than brake pads. Due to this, you’ll want to replace the pads before the issue transfers to the rotors.

Learn More at Our Service Center

If you need more information about brake pads vs. rotors, then contact us at Land Rover Albuquerque. If you need any type of brake repair or replacement, schedule an appointment with our service center. We’ll get your car as good as new to take on the streets of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley.