Brake Pads vs Brake Rotors

Assisting you with the power to decelerate and come to a full stop within seconds, you depend on your car’s brakes to perform every time your foot hits the pedal. But, like many of the systems in your vehicle, your brakes are made up of many different parts. That’s where understanding the two components that should be replaced most often comes in. You got it, we’re talking about brake pads vs brake rotors!

Learn all about the roles that brake pads and brake rotors play below, when each of these parts needs professional care, and where you can schedule certified service.

What Do Brake Pads Do?

When you put your foot down on the brake pedal, it’s your car’s brake pads that press together to stop the rotor on each wheel, and thus bring your car to a stop. As you can imagine, after many drives spent in stop-and-go traffic around Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, your brake pads begin to wear down and lose their effectiveness.

Continuing to drive your vehicle with worn out brake pads can actually cause more damage to other parts of your car’s braking system, like the rotors. That’s why it’s important to have your brake pads evaluated by a professional auto technician on a routine basis, like every time you bring your car in for an oil change.

What Do Brake Rotors Do?

By the same token, when you put your foot down on the brake pedal, it’s your car’s rotors, which rotate alongside your wheels, that must be stopped first in order to stop your car’s motion. As we just learned, it’s your brake pads that do this, the pads squeeze the rotors and your car gradually comes to a stop.

While it’s easy to see how these two parts are related, one of the biggest differences between them is the rate at which they wear down and need to be replaced. While your brake pads should be checked at each service visit, your brake rotors are far more durable and can go up to 70,000 miles of driving with normal use before needing to be swapped out.

Brake Pads vs Brake Rotors: What You Need to Know

As you can see, even though brake pads and brake rotors both have the same overarching duty (to bring your car to a stop), they’re actually very different equipment components with different lifespans and care requirements.

Have your brake pads checked with each routine service visit to get your car’s oil changed and have your brake rotors replaced about every 70,000 miles. Bringing your car in for service and following your local auto technician’s recommendation will ensure you always keep your brakes in tip-top shape.

If your vehicle needs brake repair, reach out to the BMW of Manhattan Service Center to schedule an appointment. We’ve been serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens drivers with trusted brake repair services for many years, and can assist you with all of your brake needs.