The Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors - Contact Us Today - The Best Vehicle Service in Albuquerque (2024)

Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors

Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors

As Albuquerque’s trusted neighborhood car repair shop, our team at Independent Vehicle Service is known for our passion and dedication to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. An essential part of car maintenance is understanding the components that keep your vehicle safe and functional, which is why we take pride in sharing our expertise with our valued customers.

Today we will delve into the world of brake rotors. We will explore the pros and cons of four common types of rotors you can have installed on your car — smooth, drilled, slotted, and drilled and slotted rotors. If you live in Albuquerque, NM, or surrounding areas and are in need of quality car maintenance and detailing, we have you covered. Contact us today to schedule your next inspection.

The Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors - Contact Us Today - The Best Vehicle Service in Albuquerque (1)

Smooth/Blank Rotors

Smooth or blank rotors, as the name suggests, have a clean, undrilled, and unslotted surface. This makes them a popular choice for everyday road use. They offer excellent durability, quiet operation and are generally less expensive to replace.

On the downside, smooth rotors can struggle with heat dissipation during aggressive braking or high-speed driving, leading to decreased brake performance over time. If you are just using your car as a daily driver and don’t plan on taking it to the track, smooth rotors are perfect for you.

The Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors - Contact Us Today - The Best Vehicle Service in Albuquerque (2)

Drilled Rotors

At our car repair shop, many performance and sporty vehicle owners opt for drilled rotors. Why? Because their surface is peppered with holes, enabling better cooling and water dissipation. They help maintain braking performance even in high-speed or extreme conditions, such as racing or when hauling heavy loads.

However, the drilling process can sometimes weaken the rotor structure, making them susceptible to cracking under severe stress. If you own a sports car or plan on putting a lot of stress on your brakes, drilled may be the best choice for you. However, If you plan on just driving around town with the occasional highway trip, drilled rotors may be an excessive decision.

The Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors - Contact Us Today - The Best Vehicle Service in Albuquerque (3)

Slotted Rotors

Slotted rotors, characterized by shallow lines or grooves on the surface, are another type we see often during brake repair sessions. These slots guide away heat, gas, and brake dust, helping to maintain consistent brake performance and preventing brake fade under high stress. However, slotted rotors may lead to quicker brake pad wear and are often noisier, which might be a deterrent for some drivers.

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Drilled and Slotted Rotors

Drilled and slotted rotors combine the advantages of both previous types, offering excellent heat dissipation and performance even under high-stress conditions, which makes them a great choice for racing and high-speed applications. Their design also adds a sporty aesthetic appeal to your vehicle.

On the flip side, similar to drilled rotors, they can be prone to cracking under intense stress, and their advanced design can accelerate brake pad wear. Every car and driver is unique, and what works for a high-performance sports car may not be the best fit for a family sedan, so make sure to talk with an experienced technician to make sure you make the right choice for your driving application.

At Independent Vehicle Service, we understand the importance of choosing the right components for your vehicle. Our passion is not just about keeping your vehicle in perfect shape; it's about ensuring you drive with confidence and peace. With Independent Vehicle Service, you're not just getting your car repaired; you're joining a community that cares about you and your vehicle. To learn more or to schedule your next brake repair or car maintenance visit, contact us today to get started.

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The Pros And Cons Of 4 Common Types Of Brake Rotors - Contact Us Today - The Best Vehicle Service in Albuquerque (2024)


What type of brake rotors are the best? ›

Choosing the right brake rotor type depends on your driving style, vehicle type, and performance expectations. For everyday driving, blank/smooth rotors may be the best choice, while slotted, drilled, or drilled and slotted rotors are more suitable for high-performance or heavy-duty applications.

What type of brake rotors last the longest? ›

The Pros Of Using Vented Rotors

Longevity: Vented rotors generally last longer than solid rotors. They're also less prone to cracking related to heat build up. Minimal brake pad wear: Smooth surfaces minimize brake pad wear. So vented rotors don't wear out brake pads as fast as slotted and drilled rotors.

Is there a difference in the quality of brake rotors? ›

Quality can vary greatly amongst economy brake rotors, and there is no way to tell how well a rotor will perform based on the way it looks. Because of the mix of metal materials, economy rotors often have hard spots that can create warping or pedal pulsation problems as the rotors wear.

Should I replace all 4 rotors? ›

All rotors do not have to be replaced at the same time. Measure the width of each brake rotor and inspect the inside and outside surfaces to determine if they need replacing.

Are OEM brake rotors better than aftermarket? ›

Genuine OEM parts typically offer better reliability, warranties and fitment than aftermarket parts. On the other hand, you have more variety with aftermarket or third-party auto parts, and they may even perform better than OEM components when towing large loads or racing.

What are the best rotors for daily driving? ›

Blank Rotors are the best choice for normal daily driving in standard terrains and consistent weather conditions. On the contrary, blank rotors are also the best choice when doing extremely aggressive driving such as racing.

Which is better, drilled or slotted rotors? ›

Given the choice between drill holes and slots, the drill holes will give you better braking power over slots for normal city/highway driving. This is why high end BMW, Porsche, Corvette, and Mercedes rotors are drilled, not slotted. However, for track racing (high speed stops), slotted rotors are the better choice.

What to look for when buying brake rotors? ›

How to Select Brake Rotors
  • Smooth rotors offer the quietest operation, lowest dust and longest pad life. ...
  • Drilled rotors offer slightly more bite and friction than slotted rotors. ...
  • Slotted & Drilled rotors offer a compromise, midway between the benefits of slotted rotors and drilled rotors.

Is it better to get coated or uncoated rotors? ›

Properly maintaining uncoated brake rotors typically requires brake cleaner, whereas coated rotors don't need any special cleaner. If you want to optimize your braking performance and don't mind spending a little extra for higher-quality parts that stand up to harsh weather, coated rotors are the way to go.

Which rotors wear out faster? ›

Drilled and slotted rotors wear faster than other types of brake rotors and may also shorten the life of brake pads.

Is it okay to buy cheap rotors? ›

Another reason why you don't want to use cheap brake pads and rotors is because the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is programmed to have a certain amount of braking force and the computers know when the brakes are cold or hot.

Does the brand of rotors matter? ›

The answer to that question depends on what you want to accomplish. If you're replacing OE equipment with something comparable, there's no reason you can't switch from one brand to another. And there's no reason you can't buy pads from one company and rotors from another.

Are upgraded brake rotors worth it? ›

Upgrading your brake rotors can be a wise investment, especially if you prioritize performance and safety. The high-performance brake rotors offered by PowerStop are designed with advanced materials and technologies that improve heat dissipation, reduce fade, and enhance overall braking performance.

How much should 4 rotors cost? ›

Rotors cost between $30 and $75 each. Higher-quality rotors like Duralast Gold, which feature a coated hat and edge and are designed to outperform your vehicle's original equipment, usually cost a little more. Labor at a shop to replace rotors and pads is approximately $150 to $200 per axle.

Can you put new rotors with old brake pads? ›

While there are different schools of thought on this paired part replacement, at ADVICS, our technicians always recommend replacing brake pads and rotors at the same time to keep the vehicle in peak working order, and more importantly, to ensure the braking system delivers the safest and most reliable stop possible.

What is the average lifespan of a brake rotor? ›

Many factors determine how long your rotors will last, but you can generally expect them to require replacing somewhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles of driving. For an average driver covering 12,000 miles per year, this means that brake rotors may need replacing anytime between 2 1/2 years and six years of driving.

What are the best type of rotors to buy? ›

Summary List
  • Best Overall: Raybestos R-Line Brake Rotor.
  • Best Value: ACDelco Silver Brake Rotor.
  • Honorable Mention: EBC Brakes Dimpled and Slotted Sport Rotor.
  • Best for Comfort: Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor.
  • Best Performance Bundle: Power Stop Z26 Carbon Fiber Brake Pads with Drilled and Slotted Brake Rotors Kit.
May 21, 2024

Who makes quality brake rotors? ›

Power Stop stands out for its trustworthy slotted rotors designed specifically for everyday drivers who seek steady braking power without needing the extravagant performance typical of racing brakes.

What brakes are better than OEM? ›

OEM brake pads and rotors are made for your car by the same engineers who designed it, which can provide some peace of mind. However, there are plenty of brake pad options from aftermarket brands like Duralast and Brembo that operate as good as the original equipment brakes, and often even better.

Do drilled and slotted rotors wear pads faster? ›

Drilled and slotted rotors may result in increased brake pad wear due to the additional friction caused by the drilled holes and slots. Drilled rotors may wear faster due to jagged edges, while slotted rotors can cause faster pad wear.

What is better, drilled or dimpled rotors? ›

The dimpled rotor is an evolution of the cross-drilled rotor designed for track and sport cars. Because SUV's and trucks exert a much higher load and stress on the brake rotors, the dimpled rotor is recommended due to the higher stress handling capacity. Outgassing is important as it allows the brake pad to "breathe".

Do drilled and slotted rotors crack? ›

When a rotor is drilled out at the factory, it often leaves jagged or otherwise microscopic fractures in its plate, in which cracks may originate.

Which is better ventilated disc brakes or solid disc brakes? ›

You have a couple of options when it comes to brake rotors. Solid rotors that have a slightly larger surface and offer better durability and stopping power. Vented brake rotors that provide better cooling and are less likely to warp and fade, particularly when heat cycles spike up and down during a competition.

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