How to replace your car's brake rotors

And how to tell if they need replacing
by Paulo Rafael Subido | Feb 20, 2017


The latest product to be made available by Bendix in the local market is its replacement brake rotor. If you don’t want to spend on a pricey original, buy a surplus Japanese part, or go with a no-name brand, then this is a smart alternative. With the help of brothers Ricky and Raymond Tan of Supreme Motor in Makati, we teach you how to tell if your ride’s brake rotors need replacement, and how to install a brand-new set from Bendix.


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What you need:

*A ratchet or wrenches for removing the brake caliper and rotor from the wheel hubs

*Jack

*Jack stands

*Wheel chocks

*Sand paper

*Brake parts cleaner

*Protective gloves



How to install Bendix brake rotors:

1) Loosen the lug nuts and raise the vehicle with a lift or jack. Remove the wheel and place it under the car for added safety. Find the bolts that hold the caliper in place and loosen them. Remove the old brake pads, and then lift the caliper from the rotor. Do not let the heavy caliper dangle from the brake line. Find a way to support it.

2) Sometimes you can just pull the rotor off from the wheel hub, but if it is stuck, you can use a hammer to loosen it. Strike the center, but use a buffer. Don’t be afraid to use force. If the rotor is held in place at the hub with a cotter pin, you might have to remove this as well.

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3) Before fitting the new rotor, the mechanics at Supreme Motor suggest using sand paper to remove the protective coating. They also sand down the new brake pads to make sure that they bite properly. After placing the rotor on the hub, use a clamp to press in the caliper pistons, position the new brake pads, and then bolt the assembly back in. Now, bleed the brakes. Wait a while for braking force to return. You may need to drive a few kilometers before braking force returns to normal.


Important things to check:

*Make sure that the Bendix rotor will fit by checking that it has the right size and has the proper PCD measurement for your car.

*It is a good idea to change to a new set of brake pads when you replace rotors. It’s the smart thing to do.

*Make sure to bleed the brake system after any work is done to it. This cannot be stressed enough.

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Extra tips:

*It is possible to reface an older rotor, but you can only do this so many times.

*Because Bendix is used in OE applications, you can be sure that it carries the rotor size for your car.

*A worn-out rotor probably has rust on the leading edge, grooves on the surface, and a warped shape. It needs replacement if braking power is reduced, there is much noise when braking, and if the brake pedal pulses when slowing down from highway speeds.


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Note: This article originally appeared in Top Gear Philippines' September 2014 issue.

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