The national cost for a brake rotor replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $118 and $448 with an average of $226.

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What is a brake rotor and how does it work?

Attached to each wheel in a disc brake system on a vehicle is a heavy metal disc called a "brake rotor". A pair of brake pads are sandwiched around the rotor, held in place by a hydraulic clamping mechanism - the brake caliper. When you press on the brake pedal, the brake pads are squeezed against the sides of the brake rotor, creating friction to slow and stop your vehicle. When you release the pedal, the caliper releases the brake pads and frees up the rotor so the wheel can continue to rotate. This is similar to the way a hand-operated brake works on a bicycle.


How is a a Brake Rotor Replacement done?

To replace your brake rotors, a technician will do the following:

  • Lift and support your vehicle to remove the wheels
  • Disconnect the brake caliper and set aside
  • Remove the old rotor and install a new one
  • Retract the caliper and Insert new brake pads
  • Lubricate the caliper sliding pins and other components before reinstalling the caliper
  • Check and top off the brake fluid as necessary

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National average cost of a a Brake Rotor Replacement
for popular vehicles:

Car Model

Avg. cost


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Signs that a brake rotor needs to be replaced

A brake rotor may or may not show you signs that it needs to be replaced. Although it is not technically considered a wear item, like the sacrificial brake pads, over time, a brake rotor will wear down and get too thin to work safely. A mechanic can measure the rotors to determine if there is sufficient thickness for safe operation and visually inspect them for signs of damage, like cracks or grooves. But sometimes a brake rotor does display symptoms that it needs to be replaced. Signs of a bad brake rotor include:

Pulsating brake pedal

Vibration in the steering wheel

Grinding noise when braking

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Other questions customers ask

Do brake rotors need to be replaced?
Like brake pads, brake rotors will wear out in time. In order to be considered safe for use, vehicle manufacturers designate a minimum thickness for brake rotors. If your rotors no longer meet that minimum thickness, or if they show other signs of wear or damage, they need to be replaced.
What happens if you change your brake pads but not the rotors?
Brake pads and rotors do not wear evenly. So, when you put new brake pads on a vehicle with old brake rotors - a practice referred to as “pad slapping” - without either replacing or resurfacing the rotors, the new pads will wear unevenly, decreasing their life span, and stopping power may be reduced.
How long do rotors last on average?
Many factors play into the lifespan of a brake rotor, including vehicle make and model, driving conditions, and driving habits. Typically, you can expect a brake rotor to last 50-70K miles.

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