Brake rotors play a vital part in your car’s braking system. They are the parts that push against the car wheel, causing friction to stop the vehicle. Even the best brake rotors experience friction which results in wear and tear over time and it’s important to replace them to ensure your safety, as well as that of everyone else around you.
After all, there’s nothing more dangerous on the roads than a malfunctioning car braking system!
A broken brake rotor can cause your entire braking mechanism to malfunction. There are times when rotors are warped and not entirely ruined, and you can fix them. But other times, you may need to replace them to avoid malfunctions.
In this review article, we’re going to help you determine which brake rotors are best for your type of car as well as when and how to change them. We answer important questions that you may have about the types of brake rotors and their uses.
We also have a list of the 10 best options that you’ll find on the market today, complete with highlighted features. This will make your life a lot easier when it comes to choosing the right part to fix the braking system in your car.
- Best Brake Rotors: Editor’s Top Picks
- Top 10 Best Brake Rotors Reviews:
- 1. Power Stop K2073-36 Front and Rear Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Kit
- 2. TeraFlex 4303400 Front Brake Kit, Big Calipers, with PLAIN 13.3″ Rotors
- 3. Max Brakes Front and Rear E-Coated Elite Brake Kit
- 4. EBC Brakes GD7237 – 3GD Series Dimpled & Slotted Sport Rotor
- 5. TeraFlex 4304450 – Rear Large Rotor with Caliper Brackets
- 6. Power Stop K137 Evolution Brake Kit
- 7. ACDelco 18A1705 Professional Front Disc Brake Rotor
- 8. Max Brakes Front and Rear Elite E-coated Brake Kit
- 9. EBC Brakes USR7105 Series Sport – Slotted Rotor
- 10. Power Stop K3167-36, Truck & Tow Front Z36 Brake Kit
- Things to Consider When Buying Brake Rotors
- Different Types of Brake Rotors
- When Should Brake Rotors Be Replaced?
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Brake Rotors
- Q: Do I need to change the brake pads at the same time I change my brake rotors?
- Q: When changing the rotors, do I have to change the brake fluid also?
- Q: Is it advisable to change my car’s brake rotors on my own?
- Q: How long does swapping out car brake rotors take?
- Q: Do metallic brake pads damage the rotors?
- Final Verdict
Best Brake Rotors: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 10 Best Brake Rotors Reviews:
1. Power Stop K2073-36 Front and Rear Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Kit
This product from Power Stop makes it to the top of our list for a good reason. It provides the ultimate stopping power for heavy trucks and tow trucks. If you usually play in harsh conditions, then these could be the best brake pads and rotors for your needs.
The K2073 front and rear brake kit is perfect for anyone who tows boats, hauls loads, and lifts trucks. It’s even great for those who tackle mountains and all kinds of rugged terrain. With rotors drilled to help keep temperatures down for those extreme braking moments, this kit offers high-quality performance at an extremely affordable price.
It has a slotted surface that sweeps away debris to give you constant pad contact. Additional features include the performance friction formulation of Power Stop’s patented Z36 Carbon Fiber Ceramic which allows you to push your rig up to its limit with confidence.
When you haul heavy loads such as towing a trailer or when you simply add bigger wheel/tire combinations, you’re essentially changing your stock brake package’s operating conditions. This means that you may exceed the actual ability of those braking parts.
By purchasing this kit, you’re getting perfectly matched components that are designed to give you the braking torque you need because of the increased wheel diameter or weight.
- Engineered to handle extreme stress from towing, mountainous driving, or lifted trucks
- Offers dust-free braking
- Noise-free operation thanks to premium stainless steel shims
- Z36 carbon-fiber ceramic formulation for superb braking performance
- Slotted and drilled for easy heat dissipation even in extreme conditions
2. TeraFlex 4303400 Front Brake Kit, Big Calipers, with PLAIN 13.3″ Rotors
If you’re shopping for the best car brake rotors, it’s a great idea to only pick ones from top brands like TeraFlex. This product is designed specifically for JK owners who are searching for a performance brake set that can handle the increased braking requirements required when using larger wheels and tires.
It has a simple bolt-on installation that doesn’t call for any cutting, welding, bracketry, or anything else to be done to the part. This kit comes with oversized dual-piston calipers (56mm) to give you more clamping force and increase surface area.
The quality of the TeraFlex 4303400 model is unparalleled, and it’s no surprise that this brand is so popular with car owners all over the world. The design of this rotor allows it to improve heat dissipation so that the brake rotor stays cool even in harsh braking conditions. This also helps to keep wear and tear to a minimum.
If top performance, extra strength, and value for money are what you’re looking for, this is a great product to consider purchasing for your car. All in all, it offers the ultimate in safety and high performance, particularly when you’re dealing with extra weights. It also reduces noise and vibrations to make for a quieter, smoother ride.
- Durable, non-slotted rotors give a great performance
- Rotors feature a two-wheel bolt pattern
- Makes braking while pulling heavy loads a breeze
- Competitively priced provides great value for money
- Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of one year
3. Max Brakes Front and Rear E-Coated Elite Brake Kit
Once you confirm your vehicle’s specifications like the Model, Sub-Model, Year, Engine Size, MT, Rear Rotor/Drum, and so on, you’ll be able to guarantee the fitment of this part, and you’ll have yourself the ideal brake rotors for your vehicle.
Max Advanced Brakes offers you the best automotive brake parts at extremely affordable prices. They have an impressive lineup of brake rotors and other brake products that are manufactured according to current world standards for structural integrity and safety.
Each of their brake parts is not only high in quality but it’s designed specifically for enhancing stopping performance no matter what the driving conditions are like. The rotors are rigorously tested and then closely inspected before they leave the factory on their way to the customer’s hands. This ensures that the quality of each part cannot be questioned.
According to Max Brakes, the company’s vision is to bring together the safety and quality of the original brake parts with the enhanced performance that is synonymous with the brand. In addition to all that, the entire package is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and brings extreme value to the automotive aftermarket.
- The kit has 2 front and 2 rear rotors (both left and right)
- Also comes with a matching brake pad set included free
- G3500-Grade Iron Castings offer extended protection from corrosion
- X-ray-inspected to assure vibration-free operation
- Meets or exceeds all existing World Standards including ISO 9002 and VDA 6.1
4. EBC Brakes GD7237 – 3GD Series Dimpled & Slotted Sport Rotor
This premium brakes brand offers the 3GD series that was developed for the kind of driving where brakes tend to heat up. These brake rotors are great for SUV, truck, sports sedan, and towing use.
This is the latest in sport rotor technology and has a lot of great features including wide aperture slots for drawing cool air into the part’s braking contact area thereby reducing the temperature and preventing the brakes from fading.
The dimple drilling also helps to avoid stress cracks, while EBC’s new gold anodized finish gives it a great look and prevents corrosion. According to lots of online reviews, this company also produces the best brake rotors for f250 super duty. The sport rotors manufactured by EBC now have reduced 3-slot venting which produces less air noise, particularly under heavy braking.
Its design also allows the rotor to still maintain cooler running with its full-width slot design. Some wind noise can be observed with this type of rotor design, and if you find it offensive, you can select the quieter EBC plain rotor or the USR Ultimax series.
Yet another amazing feature of the slotted rotors from this well-established brand is the way the pad maintains flat, parallel wear. They avoid the record grooves/galling that is common with non-slotted variants.
This helps to significantly improve pad contact and overall braking performance throughout the life span of the rotor and pad set. Overall, these are the best rotors for trucks, towing vehicles, and other heavy vehicles which require performance when it comes to brake fade.
- Wide slots which run to over 200 degrees cooler
- Dimple drilling reduces stress cracks
- Maintains flat, parallel pad wear
- Reduced 3-slot venting
- Massively reduce fading of brakes
- Great color selection, including gold and black or all-black
5. TeraFlex 4304450 – Rear Large Rotor with Caliper Brackets
This is the second product on our list by this brand. The TeraFlex JK Rear Big Rotor with caliper brackets is the ideal upgrade for JK Wrangler owners who want increased stopping performance to complement larger tires.
It’s always a good idea to upgrade your brakes when upgrading your 2007 – 2018 JK Wrangler Jeep to larger tires. When increasing the horsepower of performance cars, you need upgraded brakes to go with that. In much the same way, off-road vehicles also need an upgrade of brakes when you upgrade to heavier tires.
The performance you get from TeraFlex’s 4304450 models is outstanding. The rotors are much larger than factory rear rotors, and they feature mill-balancing and vents, as well as external cooling fins that provide maximum heat dissipation when braking.
The easy bolt-on installation means you can fit this on your vehicle and be on your way in no time. All in all, these are the best brake rotors for anyone looking for an effective and affordable means of increasing their car’s braking performance on any kind of terrain.
- Improves braking performance
- No brake line modification or brake bleeding needed
- Retains internal factory parking brakes
- Larger 13.5” rotors give a superior braking performance
- Mill-balanced and vented rotors offer maximum heat dissipation
6. Power Stop K137 Evolution Brake Kit
This upgrade kit makes it super easy to increase your vehicle’s braking power using quality components geared to work together. The Power Stop K137 Evolution Brake Kit is designed to be a true upgrade compared to stock brakes. It reduces brake dust and eliminates noise which allows you to ride in comfort.
Everything you need is included in the box and this greatly simplifies you’re your brake job. You get perfectly matched drilled and slotted rotors, carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads, high-performance lubricant, and upgraded hardware in one convenient package.
While priced slightly higher than other products in its category, it’s well worth it for anyone who values performance. This kit from the Power Stop brand comes with the ready-matched set of brake rotors and pads to give you that big brake experience without the big price.
If you’re searching for a quick, easy, and affordable means of improving the braking system of your car, then look no further than this package. The unique features of this brake kit make it one of the best options when it comes to replacing the brake rotors in your everyday car. All in all, this is the best brake rotor and pad set for both heavy loads and performance.
- Noise-free performance means you can say goodbye to embarrassing, noisy brakes
- Dust-free carbon fiber/ceramic pad formulation
- Power Stop formulas give increased brake power for everyday drivability
- Perfect bolt-on upgrade without any need for modifying
- Drilled and slotted for cooler temperatures and smooth braking
- Plated to perfection using silver-zinc dichromate which looks great and prevents corrosion
7. ACDelco 18A1705 Professional Front Disc Brake Rotor
ACDelco is a reliable company that offers the best replacement brake rotors for a vast number of vehicles. It features a thickness variation of less than 0.0004 which helps to minimize pedal pulsation and noise. It also extends the life of the brake pad.
The ACDelco Professional Front Brake Rotor meets all the standards set by the SAE for structural integrity. It has OE-matched G3000-qualified material which delivers guaranteed performance. When you buy this kit, no machining is needed. The disc brake rotors are ready for installation straight from the box.
If you’re searching for high-quality original parts to enhance your car’s braking mechanism then consider this ACDelco offering. This company is the only GM parts brand that sells the same original equipment parts as those shipped for GM car production.
As far as brake rotor manufacturers go, they strive to meet and exceed all expectations for fit, function, and form. Their parts are not only manufactured to strict tolerances and expertly engineered but are also thoroughly tested to uphold the ACDelco name.
The kit is competitively priced and is arguably the best alternative to low-quality, unbranded aftermarket components. Bottom line is that this is a high-quality product that offers excellent performance and great value for money.
- Inspected for balance and for smooth braking
- Independently tested for harshness, vibration, and noise
- Designed for longer rotor and pad lifespan
- The product meets all SAE standards for structural integrity
- High-quality replacement rotors
- 2-year warranty without regard for miles covered
8. Max Brakes Front and Rear Elite E-coated Brake Kit
This product from a well-known brand, Max Brakes is made from high-quality, durable material and has an E-shield coating that puts its head and shoulders above the majority of other aftermarket brake rotors available on the market.
It’s designed to help prevent rust so that you get the longest and most effective use from your brake rotor. In addition to the E-shield feature, this rotor also has a slotted drilled surface that offers you the best of every world.
It not only keeps the dirt and dust away from your brakes but also works to keep temperatures down when in use during extreme conditions. This means that this part won’t crack or break easily, no matter how hard you push it.
Add that to the corrosion resistance, and you have yourself a brake rotor that will last for many years to come. It’s also super easy to install and you’ll save lots of valuable time when changing your vehicle’s brake rotors. This unique design also helps in reducing noise levels significantly.
- The kit comes with two matching brake pads
- Made from high-grad iron castings that offer extended protection from rust
- Thorough testing and inspection for maximum quality guarantee
- Comes with a one-year warranty against cracking
- Meets world standards and is vibration-free
9. EBC Brakes USR7105 Series Sport – Slotted Rotor
This slotted brake rotor from EBC Brakes is super quiet and features the innovative EBC narrow profile pattern of slots that help to keep brakes cool when under heavy load and speed. It de-gasses the brakes and also works to eliminate air noise, which makes for a smoother, quieter braking experience that most users really appreciate.
In an effort to make these the best brake rotors available, EBC also added another great feature to their offering: the black zinc finish that not only protects your rotors from the elements but also makes them visually pleasing as well.
They come with bearing cups where they are fitted as OEM. The rotors come in sets for either the front or the rear, which means that the set you buy will have the left and right rotors. They maintain flat, parallel pad wear, and also avoid record grooves or galling – something that is common with the non-slotted versions. This helps to improve contact with the pads and enhances the overall braking experience.
- Brakes run cooler
- Pads remain flat and smooth
- Reduced brake fade even at high speed
- Narrow slots for air noise reduction
- Perfect for Premium sedans
10. Power Stop K3167-36, Truck & Tow Front Z36 Brake Kit
The second Power Stop product on our list is the K3167-36 Model which provides a higher level of stopping power for heavy vehicles. If you’re someone who loves to drive on harsh terrains then you will really appreciate this Truck and Tow Brake kit.
The brake rotors boast a carbon-fiber ceramic formulation that reduces friction significantly. The rotors are drilled to allow heat to dissipate while braking. The slotted pattern helps to sweep away dust and debris, ensuring constant pad contact.
The overall design of this product is to give you extra braking power and bring your F-150 to a very swift halt. If you need to find the ideal brake rotor to give you ample stopping power when towing or hauling heavy loads, then this product from a very reliable brand is well worth looking at.
- Components can handle the stress of hauling, towing, lifted trucks, and mountainous driving
- Effective, dust-free stopping performance every time
- Z36 Carbon-Fiber Ceramic formulation gives extreme braking performance for 4×4’s
- Stainless-steel shims for improved heat dissipation and better braking power with next to no noise
- Drilled and slotted rotors keep your brakes cool even in the most extreme conditions
Things to Consider When Buying Brake Rotors
No matter the type of brake rotor that you choose, it’s important not to skimp on quality. There are tons of options available on the market today. They come in different designs to suit all driving styles. Choosing the wrong brake rotors can compromise your vehicle’s efficiency as well as the effectiveness of your braking system.
In order to help make the job of choosing the right one for your vehicle an easy one, we’ve listed some of the most important factors to consider before purchasing your brake rotor. Use this brake rotor comparison to better inform your buying decision.
Consider the Brake Rotor Brand
As with all other components of your brake system such as the oil and filter, it’s important to purchase your brake rotors only from reputable brands. The top brands on the market understand that different vehicles have different performance needs, and they adhere to stringent quality standards.
As you’ve seen on our list of the 10 best brake rotors on the market, there are quite a few really good brands that you can choose from including Power Stop, TeraFlex, Max Brakes, ACDelco, and EBC Brakes. Each of these brands has unique qualities that set them apart.
Specific makes of vehicles have different types of brake rotors that are designed to fit them. So, before making your choice, make sure that it’s the right one for your type of vehicle. Each vehicle requires different stopping powers according to its size and weight, which means that you will need to consider the general vehicle type such as heavy trucks, SUVs, towing vehicles, and so on.
You also need to consider the driving conditions before making your purchase. For instance, normal driving conditions call for a smooth rotor, but you’ll need something like a cross-drilled, slotted one that can handle the load of a towing vehicle.
Most car brake rotors are manufactured using metal, but you also get various other materials. The most common materials used in making brake rotors include steel, cast iron, aluminum, carbon, and ceramic. Each of these comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks that should help you in determining the best option for your car.
For instance, cast iron typically gives the best performance of all materials, and it’s a great choice when buying a heavy-duty vehicle. However, the cast iron rotors tend to expand quite a lot because of the heat and therefore are more prone to cracking and breaking. On the other hand, steel brake rotors are lightweight and can take on a lot more heat, but they are less durable.
It’s important to choose brake rotors that are easy to install if you plan on doing the installation yourself. Of course, this factor doesn’t matter if you’re going to have someone else do the work. If you’re planning on making your rotor replacement a DIY project, then it may serve you to watch the manufacturer’s installation video first.
The good news is that as long as you have basic mechanical skills, you should be able to follow the instructions and install your brake rotors easily. However, you should note that slotted and drilled rotors are usually the most problematic when it comes to installation. Smooth rotors are a lot more straightforward to install, as are the ones with directional slots.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider the price of the parts. Remember, it’s not about going for the cheapest product that you can find. Rather, it’s about getting the most value for money. Prices range from one end of the spectrum to the other, but you need to pick a high-quality product that will enhance your safety for a long time to come.
Different Types of Brake Rotors
Brake rotors come in different types. Before deciding on which one is best for your vehicle, you need to understand what these types are and how each of them is different from the others. According to the brake best select rotors review, there are four common types which we look at below:
- Smooth Brake Rotors
The definition of these brake rotors is in the name. They have a smooth surface and the metal has no markings or holes. This type of rotor is designed to give sufficient braking power assuming normal driving conditions. The majority of cars come with this type of rotor directly from the factory.
Smooth braking rotors are usually the longest-lasting type. They are also very quiet and produce considerably less dust than the other common types we discuss here. If you don’t own a luxury car, and if you don’t drive aggressively, then these are a great choice for you. They are also the most affordable.
- Slotted Brake Rotors
This brake rotor type has grooves running through the face of the rotors at the points where there is interaction with the pads. The slots emit the dust produced during braking. They are also useful for dissipating the gasses that build up when the material heats up during braking. Slots increase the coefficient of friction and allow better contact of the pad for more precise braking.
A high coefficient of friction means that your vehicle is using less energy when towing heavy loads, or when it stops at high speeds. These types of rotors are best for SUVs, tow trucks, heavy trucks, and off-road vehicles. Their biggest shortcoming is that the slots tend to increase the wear and tear of the brake system.
- Cross Drilled Rotor Brakes
These brake rotors are similar to the slotted brake rotors in that they feature escape routes to allow the gas build-up to escape. They have holes drilled through them all over the whole surface of the brake rotor. This is designed to allow more heat to dissipate, and to provide a great wet bite for those times you have to drive in the rain.
The holes allow the water to quickly escape; thereby keeping the car’s braking system dry. However, these aren’t a great option for race cars as they aren’t able to withstand the repetitive cycles of heating and cooling. When that happens, they tend to develop cracks and wear out unevenly.
- Drilled and Slotted Rotor Brakes
Designed to offer the advantages of both drilled rotors and slotted rotors, drilled and slotted rotor brakes have both features on their surface. This combo affords you the confidence of more precise, high-power braking. This rotor type lasts very long, provided you don’t force it past its normal threshold. They work best on tow trucks, heavy trucks, and other vehicles which need more power for stopping.
When Should Brake Rotors Be Replaced?
Brake rotors are some of the most important brake system components that you need to replace regularly to ensure that your vehicle is safe for you and everyone else on the roads. On average, your brake rotors are going to need replacing every 50,000 miles or so.
But, this interval can be a lot shorter for some vehicles (about 25,000 miles). It can also be much longer (75,000) for some vehicles depending on usage. How long your brake rotors last prior to needing replacement will depend on a number of factors.
For instance, if you’re particularly rough or aggressive on your brake pads, then they will obviously wear down a lot quicker than normal. Also, if your vehicle manufacturer made the car brake rotors from low-quality material, like poor quality cast iron, then the rotors will wear a lot quicker. High-quality brake rotors will always last longer than low-quality alternatives, given equal use.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Brake Rotors
Q: Do I need to change the brake pads at the same time I change my brake rotors?
- This isn’t necessary. You can leave your current brake pads when you change your rotors, but it’s always a good idea to change both of them at the same time. It simply makes more sense. The brake pads are inexpensive, and it doesn’t take that much more time to change them if you’re already changing your brake rotors.
- Also, you’ll be able to ensure that you get the best performance from your brand new rotors. You’ll not only get even wear between pads and rotors, which reduces the chances of you wearing them out unevenly, but you’ll also get a much smoother braking performance and feel that if you simply changed the rotors only.
Q: When changing the rotors, do I have to change the brake fluid also?
- The majority of manufacturers suggest that you change your brake fluid every two years or 20,000 miles. If your brake fluid hasn’t been changed recently, then it’s a good idea to change it at the same time you’re doing your rotors.
- If you’re not sure what type of brake fluid you need to get, consult your vehicle owner’s manual. Always stick to what the manufacturer suggests as this is the best way of ensuring the safety of your brakes.
Q: Is it advisable to change my car’s brake rotors on my own?
- A lot of people choose to swap out their car’s brake rotors themselves. Others opt to hire a mechanic. If you have basic mechanical skills and can follow how-to videos and instructions from the product manufacturer, then you shouldn’t have any trouble with this.
- You also need to have the right kind of tools on hand to complete the job easily. If you know how to remove the brake fluid from your car then this should be an easy DIY job for you. Basically, you’ll have more success with this process if you’ve already got some experience in this area.
Q: How long does swapping out car brake rotors take?
- The period of time it’s going to take to change your car brake rotors is going to depend on what else you’re changing at the same time. Obviously, if you change your brake fluid and brake pads at the same time, it will take you longer than if you’re just focusing on your brake rotors.
- Also, the length of time will depend on whether you’re an experienced mechanic or a first-timer learning as they go. Depending on your level of skill, the entire process can take between an hour and two hours for two wheels. Expert installers may take just half an hour for a full installation.
Q: Do metallic brake pads damage the rotors?
- Metallic pads can be damaging to your rotors if they are cheaply made. Premium brake pads, however, are smooth and uniform in composition and will keep the face of your car’s rotor smooth without excessively wearing it down.
If you’re someone who drives under normal conditions and doesn’t want to spend too much on brake rotors, you’ll want to choose smooth rotors. They are affordable and long-lasting. If you drive a lot in wet conditions, then you want drilled rotors. Read our brake best rotors review to find out more about the options available to you.
If you have a heavy vehicle that requires increased stopping power then you’re better off going with cross-drilled or slotted brake rotors.
Whether you’re looking for the best brake rotors for honda odyssey or the best brake rotors for trucks, use this review and buying guide to help you choose the ideal part for your vehicle so you can enhance its overall safety and performance.