How Brake Rotors Stop a Vehicle

Brake rotors (also called discs) are one of the three critical components needed to stop a vehicle. The rotor works with the brake caliper and brake pads to create friction against the wheels and tires, slowing them down.

Transforming Energy

According to physics, energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. The process of stopping a vehicle transforms the energy of forward or backward movement into heat. The faster and heavier the vehicle, the greater the energy that transforms into heat.

Anyone who has driven a vehicle knows that stepping on the brake pedal stops the vehicle. But most people don’t think about how it works. When the car or truck fails to slow down or stop, it’s too late to avoid an accident.

How Rotors Transform Energy

How does a brake rotor, going at the same speed as the vehicle, cause it to slow down?

Brake rotors spin with the wheels and tires. A rotor can be mounted on the wheel studs, called a floating rotor, or attached to the wheel hub. The wheel hub is a bearing that the wheels and tires use to spin freely.

The brake caliper, which houses the brake pads on both sides of the rotor, is mounted to the vehicle’s suspension. The rotor spins in a slot in the middle of the caliper.

These components, the rotor, caliper, and pads fit inside the wheel and tire assembly.

The rotor spins with the wheel and tire, while the caliper is fixed to the car. When the brakes are applied, the caliper pistons push the brake pads firmly against the rotor creating friction and slowing its spin. The rotor slows the wheel and tire because of the friction between the brake pad material and the rotor.

With some exceptions, there are brakes on each wheel and tire. All the brake components must work together and nearly simultaneously for effective stopping.

Imagine if only one front brake worked and the others did not. The wheel and tire on the side that worked would slow down, but the other three wheels and tires would keep going at the original speed. The car or truck and the steering wheel would turn sharply in the direction of the wheel with the working brake causing a dangerous situation.

Maintain your brakes, so they function correctly every time you press the brake pedal.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through Goodyear Brakes at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for its products when they are subjected to improper applications, installation, or accident.

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