Measuring Brake Rotors

It's important to measure your brake rotor wear every 10,000 miles or at the very least every time you change your brake pads. You want to use a micro measuring caliper to determine your brake rotor thickness. For example, a new brake rotor with a thickness of 10mm is required to be replaced or turned at 9mm, meaning that your naked eye has to detect 1mm of rotor wear. Kinda impossible.

In order to get an accurate measurement for the amount of brake rotor wear we depend on our trusty micrometer. Prepare your car so you can remove the wheel.

With the wheel removed, you will have clear access to the rotor for you to make accurate measurements. There are several types of micrometers and measuring calipers so you want to make sure you caliper can measure to the tenth of a millimeter.

Next, you simply measure the thickness in at least three different spots of the brake rotor. Make sure to write down your measurements and you may get a few small variations. It helps to get at least 4-5 different measurements and to take the average of that.

Next, take a look at the brake rotor center hat. This is the portion that doesn't get exposed to the brake pad. You will normally find your minimum rotor thickness stamped there. It may be faint, but it's usually there. In some cases it may be located on the outer edge of the rotor.

Tip: Keep in mind that you want to avoid measuring too close to the inside/outside of the rotor, as the actual brake pad doesn't contact those edges. Also, for slotted rotors stay away from measuring the slots, as those will skew the results. Same goes with dimpled/cross-drilled rotors. Keep clear of measuring the holes.

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