What Causes Grooves in Brake Rotors? [Causes & Effects] 

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Are you noticing grooves in the brake rotors and are worrying if they appear because of the bad condition of your car’s rotor? Is it your first time seeing grooves in brake rotors, and you have no clue what has gone wrong for them to appear in the first place? Well, don’t worry; this guide has all the answers you have been looking for. 

Brake Rotors, as you might already know, play an important role in stopping your car on the road. Any damage to them can affect the smooth stopping of your vehicle, ultimately affecting your entire driving experience. 

But lately, many users have reported this problem when tiny grooves appear on the brake rotors and keep growing as time passes. We have come up with a comprehensive guide for you explaining why these grooves appear on your car’s brake rotors. 

We will also explore some problems that arise in your vehicles due to these grooves in brake motors. So, keep on reading to know more about this issue. 

Causes of Grooves In Brake Rotors 

Like other problems with the cars, including its RPM going up and down, heating up of the engine, the engine turning off suddenly, and other such hardware and software issues, the grooves in brake rotors also appear for certain reasons. Though some users don’t care about these grooves, they can lead to several problems in the long run. 

Before moving towards the part of the leading causes, let us first let you know that tiny grooves in brake rotors aren’t something to worry about. However, if these grooves start getting more profound over time, you need to take strict action against them before they take over the rest of the rotors and other components of the car, eventually affecting its performance. 

Some of the leading causes of grooves in brake rotors are as follows: 

  • Worn Out Break Pads 

One of the leading reasons for the appearance of grooves in brake rotors is worn-out brake pads. As brake rotors work together with the pads to stop the vehicle when the brake pedal is pressed, the pad pushes down the rotor to stop the vehicle; worn-out brake pads cause the appearance of deep grooves on the rotor, affecting its performance. 

  • Excessive Heat 

Another reason why you see grooves on brake rotors is excessive heat. As mentioned earlier, the pads clamp onto the rotor when you press the brake pedal to eventually stop the car. This clamping of the pads creates friction, producing heat every time the pads push the rotor. 

However, when you apply brakes too often, i.e., the vehicle is used excessively, the amount of heat produced as a result of friction increases, resulting in grooves on the rotor surface. 

  • Hard Braking

Hard braking is generally one of the major reasons for most braking component problems, and grooves in brake rotors are no different. If you aren’t an experienced driver or are generally too harsh on your car’s braking pedal, this will affect all the connected components. 

As brake rotors make your car stop, the highest pressure is exerted on them, which appears as grooves. 


Does A Grooved Brake Rotor Affect Stopping Distance? 

A grooved brake rotor comes with many disadvantages and harms to the vehicle and the entire braking system, and one such harmful effect of this is its effect on the stopping distance. At this point, you must already know that rotors work in stopping the car. 

When the brake rotors are grooved, their efficiency in stopping the vehicle is affected. This way, the time a vehicle requires to stop increases. Due to this, the stopping distance of a car increases, i.e., you have to apply the brakes from a larger distance to the point where you want your car to pause. 


What Are Some Other Negative Effects of Grooved Brake Rotors? 

An increase in a car’s stopping distance isn’t the only thing caused by grooved brake rotors. You will experience some other adverse effects on your vehicle, including the car’s pulsating and poor brake performance.

Normally when a brake is applied, the car jolts slightly for a second and then returns to its normal state. However, a grooved brake rotor will push the car into pulsating motion, which keeps it vibrating for a few minutes. 

Similarly, the overall braking performance of the car also suffers as you won’t be able to apply the brakes with little pressure on the braking pedal. As the stopping distance and time increase, the overall riding experience on the car isn’t smooth either. 


Can I Drive With Grooved Rotors?

If the grooves in the brake motors aren’t too significant and have just appeared due to the smooth wearing and tearing of the brake pads, and your vehicle isn’t pulled to one side because of the grooves, there is no harm in driving your car. 

However, if the grooves are too deep, and you can hear loud noise while applying brakes and experiencing the pulsating motion of the car, it’s best to avoid driving the vehicle. 


What Happens If You Put New Brake Pads On Grooved Rotors?

If your car’s brake rotors are damaged or grooved, the brake pads previously used to clamp onto them won’t be able to contact the rotors properly. Eventually, this affects the car’s stopping ability and braking performance. In this case, installing new brake pads won’t make a significant difference as they won’t be able to get in contact with the rotor that well. 

Note: Here is a YouTube tutorial for you if you want to install new brake pads on your vehicle. 


Are Grooved Brake Rotors Too Noisy? 

Well, as far as noise is concerned, grooved brake rotors are indeed a lot noisier than smooth ones, and you would definitely hear comparatively louder sounds. However, the sound isn’t too loud for you to get bothered.


Conclusion – What Causes Grooves in Brake Rotors?

In this guide, we have included all the possible causes for grooves in brake rotors. We have also explored some negative impacts of grooved brake rotors on the vehicle and the overall braking performance of the car. 

Hopefully, this guide has cleared all your doubts regarding the grooves in brake rotors, and seeing grooves on your vehicle’s brake rotors won’t trouble you anymore. 


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