How to repair a warped brake rotor

Written by teeter allen morrison
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How to repair a warped brake rotor
Always place jack stands on solid ground to prevent accidents. (fallen jack stand image by Joyce Wilkes from

A warped brake rotor on your vehicle is a nuisance and a danger, especially if it's cracked. Though it's referred to as a warped rotor, most often it's a rotor that has worn unevenly with a varying thickness. One symptom of a warped rotor is when you push the brake pedal and feel it pulsating. A clunking noise is another. Experienced home mechanics can repair warped rotors themselves by following a series of steps.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Safety goggles
  • 2 Brake rotors
  • Hand tools
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • C-clamp
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Insert blocks behind the rear wheels and apply the emergency brake.

  2. 2

    Loosen all the lug nuts, but don't totally remove any.

  3. 3

    Unsnap the master cylinder lid and wrap a shop cloth around it to catch any fluid spills. When the caliper is squeezed it might push fluid over the top of the master cylinder's reservoir.

  4. 4

    Position the floor jack under the centre of the front frame and jack it up. If a small jack is used, raise one wheel at a time.

  5. 5

    Place two jack stands under the vehicle's frame, one under each side near the front wheels.

  6. 6

    Unbolt all the lug nuts and remove both front wheels.

  1. 1

    Place a clamp over the caliper and compress it. Push the piston all the way into the caliper .

  2. 2

    Unscrew the two bolts that secure the caliper to the spindle and remove the caliper. Take care not to stretch or damage the hydraulic brake line.

  3. 3

    Remove the grease cap, cottar pin and spindle nut. Bump the rotor enough to pop the outer wheel bearing from its seat.

  4. 4

    Remove the rotors and replace them with the new set.

  5. 5

    Replace the brake pads and reinstall the caliper.

Tips and warnings

  • Replace rotors in pairs.
  • Always replace brake pads after resurfacing or replacing rotors.
  • Rotors will last longer if paired with a cheap set of brake pads. Avoid the heavy metallic pads.
  • Recheck the blocks behind the rear wheels after the vehicle is raised.
  • Brake fluid is hazardous to the skin, so wear gloves to prevent any fluid contact with your hands.
  • Jack up the vehicle on solid level ground.
  • Stay clear from under the wheels while placing the jack stands.

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