Rusted Brake Rotors: How to Resolve the Issue in 8 Steps

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Rusted Brake Rotors

Rusted brake rotors are common conditions to find due to the fact that rotors are made from unprotected metal, albeit being heat-resistant, and they constantly exposed to the harsh situation of the wheel. The rust is caused by corrosion and can be detected from the displeasing discoloration that’s visible through alloy wheels. Luckily, cleaning rusted brake rotors is not a complicated task at all. Learn and follow from the steps below to get this particular job done by yourself.

  1. Drive your car – yes, it is that easy and simple! Simply driving around your vehicle can remove superficial rust. However, if a spin driving cannot work to get rid of corrosion, then you may need to move into the next step.
  2. Release the lug nuts from the wheel that has rusted rotors. Bring the wheel of your vehicle down to the ground by using floor jack then remove it to disclose the rotor.
  3. You may clean the rotor in place by using caliper and pads, but it’s easier if you removed it first.
  4. Inspect the glazing pads surface for a moment (the one that looks like crystalline). Calculate the brake pads’ thickness, because if the depth is less than 4 mm, then it should be replaced. Then examine the guide pin boots and caliper piston boot of any corrosion or dirt.
  5. Using brake cleaner, you can spray the rotor out, wipe it off with clean rag, and then let it dry. If there’s any remaining rust, spray the cleaner again and clean the surface with wire brush or steel wool.
  6. If the step 5 doesn’t work, use specific cleaner for removing rust purpose such as Evapo-Rust or CLR.
  7. Rinse the rotors and wipe until dry.
  8. Once all the rust has been removed, reassemble and remount the brakes and the wheel back.

Rusted brake rotors are often caused by a vehicle that’s not being used for relatively long period of time. Corrosion causes so many disadvantages such as creates noisy brakes or impair the rotors over the time. It also can cause brake pad to wear off faster.

Brake rotors typically last between 30,000-70,000 miles, so it can be cost effective to have it resurfaced or replaced when you are about to replace the brake pads. Both replacement and the tutorial on how to clean rusted brake rotors above will ensure that your vehicle’s rotors are in good condition.

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