What are they?
Rotors, with assistance from the brake pads and calipers, cause your car to slow down and/or stop. They are the circular metal part that the brake pads rub against to cause the wheels to stop spinning. They are as important as brake pads for stopping.
Why do they go bad?
Heat isn’t a friend of metal parts. Heat from friction can cause warping and wear. For those of you that remember LP records, think of records that were left in the sun.
Signs you need new rotors.
Squeaking, rough stopping, vibrating when slowing,
When your rotors go bad you will hear it and feel it. Make it over to your mechanic as soon as possible.
Rotors should be replaced every 30-70 thousand miles. And when you change the rotors you should change your brake pads too. Since the rotors and brake pads rub together the brake pads are ‘mated’ and have the same wear pattern to the old rotors. Not replacing your rotors and brake pads when they go bad can cause your brakes to fail or wear our prematurely. Rotors don’t usually fail which is why this photo of a broken rotor is so unusual, which is why when you hear squeaking you should have you mechanic check out your brakes and rotors. Not being able to stop is a very, very bad thing.