Brake Mods: Brake Rotors
If you are into cars like we are, working at a used car dealership like Driver’s Auto Mart can be a lot of fun because we get to see a huge variety of awesome cars every day.
While the 8-cylinder, 6.2-liter engine on a Chevy Corvette clearly separates a Corvette from a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine Toyota Corolla, the brakes on both cars are just as different, yet important and as thoughtfully engineered as the engine.
From the average daily driver up to a highly sophisticated high performance vehicle, brake systems change in size, appearance and capability. One of the interesting brake parts that changes and is easily identifiable by looking through a car’s rims, are the brake rotors.
Generally speaking, faster performance sports cars need more advanced brakes to be able to properly stop a powerful car. Power equals heat, so very powerful cars that are driven aggressively create a lot of heat and if that heat does not escape, the brakes begin to go bad and can eventually fail.
So overtime, engineers have created modifications to rotors that react better to friction and allow heat to escape faster. There are four main brake rotors and rotor modifications include – smooth or basic, slotted, grooved and drilled, and dual ventilated rotors.
These modifications have been made because they make it easier for heat to escape the rotor or brake pad. Adding holes into a basic, solid brake rotor allows heat to quickly escape the disc. The use of grooves or slots, also allows for a faster cooling process and they also create added friction which makes it possible for a car to stop faster when traveling at high speeds.
Just as important as those modifications are to controlling heat, so is the size of brake rotors. Bigger rotors can handle hotter temperatures and therefore make for improved stopping power, and this is one reason you see bigger wheels on performance and sports cars. The larger the rotor, the larger the wheel needs to be to fit over the rotor.