Brake Rotors and Pads

What is a Brake Rotor?

A brake rotor is popularly known as a brake disc.  It is a shape or surface that is round and flat in appearance. As it is shown in the image below that fine flat surface is the disc. This rotor or disc spins with the wheel as the car moves forward and backward.

The function of a Disc

Brake rotors are a necessary component in the braking system that stops the vehicle. Brake rotors are what the vehicle’s brake pads clamp down on to stop the wheels from spinning. Brake rotors are just as important to stop the vehicle as the brake pads are.

Brake Rotors and Pads-disc brake
Brake disc/brake rotor


In a disc brake system, most vehicles have disc brakes only on the front wheels, though newer vehicles may have disc brakes on all four wheels.  A disc brake is a type of brake that uses calipers.  As it is shown above, the caliper is the one attached to the side of the disc. It is in the caliper that the brake pads are attached and the disc will be in between the pads. The caliper will squeeze the pair of pads against a disc or “rotor” to create friction.

How is it done? With disc brakes, the fluid from the master cylinder forces into a caliper where it presses against a piston. The piston squeezes two brake pads on a disc rotor attached to the wheel. This forces the wheel to slow down and stop

The Brake Pads

Brake Rotors and Pads-pads Brake Rotors and Pads-pads






These pads are installed by pairs in the caliper. In between the pads is the brake disc.  When the inner pad is pushed by the piston both the pads will squeeze the disc to halt the car.

You can have different pad models that fit your car here or just click the image above.


Brake Rotors and Pads-pads in a caliper
Caliper with pads

Brake Calipers

Brake Rotors and Pads-caliper with piston
Caliper with pistons


Brake Rotors and Pads-caliper

When to Replace Brake Pads?

It is not easy to determine when a brake pad is to be replaced. While other cars have exposed brake pads so you can easily see it if it’s replaceable or not, others need to be intentionally inspected by a technician. One way of calculating and determining when to replace a brake pad is the number of years you used your car and that depends on your way of driving.

Are you fond of driving fast that you have to use the brake every time and then?

Or, the road condition to where you are driving needs the braking every time you travel? Let’s say you drive uphill to downhill every day and vice versa. Or, you are driving in an offroad that sometimes it’s muddy?

These will determine how long your car’s brake pads can last. I know good brake pads can last up to five years or more.

To ensure your brake pads are in the expected condition you need to check it every two years. There’s nothing wrong if you are always on the safe side than to be regretful by being lenient about it.

Looking for parts that fit your car, it’s just around your corner you can find it through the websites and this is just one of them. Find here.

Thank you for reading this short and simple post. I found a helpful video and you can enjoy understanding how the disc system parts work together. You can watch it here.




11 thoughts on “Brake Rotors and Pads”

  1. How many breaks can it be caught with this Brake rotor?. The article provides a clear concept of brake rotors and pad. After that, I learned a lot of experience from this article. The author presented the matter beautifully. Highly recommendation from me and I am interested to use. Great article about Brake Rotors and Pads.

    • Thanks Jafor for leaving a comment. Your question is interesting, I never thought of that. My car is already forty years old but I never know a time the disc or rotor has been replaced. So it gives you all the breaks you wanted along your way. A break for snacks, a break to view scenery, or a break to have a rest.

      More of something to think about the pads because they easily wear than the disc.

  2. Used in almost all the automotive we have today this are essential parts of a vehicle when it comes to driving the break pad a steal plates that aids in friction of the brake when driving very crucial to a vehicle. Let not also leave the break rotors out of the gist as they are also has important as the break pads, that helps in bringing the vehicle to halt when commanded, working hand in hand the break pad holds on to the rotor to prevent wheel gyration . Both mechanism serve a great purpose as the other, a car is doomed without a break pad and likewise it’s also doomed if it does have a break pad but lacks the rotor , incisive post, Very informative. Couldn’t have been better very good job. 

    • Thank you, Dammy. I can see you understand about the disc brake system. Yes, the rotor is the one that is clamp by the pads in order to halt the car. 

      Since you are knowledgeable of disc brake system may I ask a question for us to engage our readers. Which is more often changed or replaced, is it the disc or the pads?

  3. fantastic post you put up here, short and simple you have explained what break pads and rotors are and how they function. Though the emphasis seemed to be more on the break pads, we need to take nothing away from the break discs which are really also important in the break system… It’s been a while I read on anything about cars…Kepl it up, I’ll share your post and visit your site for more of this…Best regards

    • Hi! Jackson. Thank you for reading this post and leaving a comment. You may have the right observation but I have clearly covered brake discs, in fact, the title of the article states it. However, brake pads easily wear than brake discs.
      More often brake discs can function and lasts for thirty to forty years depending on how the manufacturer designed it.

      Thanks again if you would share this post to others.  I hope this will help other lives keep safe along the road.

  4. I am not an automotive expert or have a car yet this post has taught me a lot about how brakes work. Thanks for post and I hope you keep putting out more material like this.

  5. Hi, just wanted to say thanks for a really nice simple explanation of how a disc brake system works. I was trying to explain this to my wife and your article manged to explain it much better than I was able to. I was trying to explain how the difference in quality of the materials of both the disc and the pad play a major part in both the effectiveness of the breaking and the longevity of the parts. This all started because she couldn’t understand why some parts were twice the price of others. I tend to go for a softer pad to ensure that the discs last longer, is this something that you personally would recommend?

    • Kevin, we always want to have the best brake pads so they can last longer and perform better. So any best available around you, you can exploit it. Yes, I think soft brake pads last longer than rough and besides they will do less harm on the discs.

      Thank you for coming and joining the discussion.

  6. Hi Accad!
    It is unnecessary to emphasize the importance of the breaks in your car! Having a proper and great break installed in your car can save you life when needed.
    Unfortunately, there are people that don’t pay enough attention to breaks. Maintaining regularly your car and checking your breaks is the ultimate task for every driver.
    It is great to see the elements of the brake rotor within your article. Your detailed presentation and description are very useful and it is good to know what needed to be taken care of when speaking about the proper brake rotors and brakes.
    Best regards,

    • The fact that there are people who don’t care about checking brakes for their safety it is important to emphasize. We know there is a brake but often times we don’t care if it’s working normally or not. We keep on using any vehicle but we don’t know if it’s safe to use. This is the case to many accidents, particularly on trucks. Every day they just drive and when there is an accident it’s because of no proper brake system. So what we should do as drivers? We should regularly check the brake system and that includes the brake rotors and brake pads.


Leave a Comment