The naked eye alone is usually not able to tell if a brake rotor is warped or not. There are a multitude of reasons why you may believe your brake rotors are warped. It's important to narrow down your symptoms so you don't end up replacing the wrong components and wasting money.

Brake Pedal Vibration

Probably the most common sign of a warped brake rotor is the vibration through the brake pedals when pressure is applied on them. Sometimes you can feel it even when there is only a light amount of pedal pressure on the brakes. Other times, it can only be felt when slowing down drastically from higher speeds.

Steering Wheel Vibration

The brake rotors and brake calipers are attached to the same spindle that the wheels are attached to, so in certain cases vibrations from warped brake rotors will transmit through the brake calipers and then to the wheels and steering wheel.

Brake Noise

There are certain cases where you will hear noises emitted from your brake rotors during braking. This is due to the brake rotors contacting your brake pads at uneven intervals due to the rotor no longer having a flat surface. These noises can range from a lower pitched groaning hum to a rhythmic thumping.

Malfunctioning Brake Calipers

With the brake calipers squeezing the rotors together, a malfunctioning brake caliper may exert too much force, putting too much stress on a overheated brake rotor causing it to go off-balance, leading to warped brake rotors.

Damaged Wheel Bearing

If your wheels are not bent, but there seems to be a wobble, it is most likely due to a worn out wheel bearing that has excessive play. This can also lead to warped rotors and inconsistent brake pad wear, along with more serious issues. If a damaged wheel bearing is the culprit, it should be replaced or it will continue to be a source of warped rotors and uneven brake pad wear.
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