How To Diagnose Failing Brake Rotors In A Mazda

Without a healthy set of rotors, your Mazda can't stop quickly when you hit the brakes. So it's important to understand a little bit about your rotors and be able to recognize the signs that they need to be replaced.

The best way to determine if any of your rotors have gone bad is to physically inspect them. This guide will show you how to access your rotors and adequately inspect each one.

Symptoms of a Bad Rotor

Mazda rotor

Image Credit: Backyard C

It's recommended to check your rotors every time the oil is changed. But, many people wait until they notice the symptoms of a bad rotor. Once the symptoms crop up, it's a good idea to physically inspect the rotors as soon as possible. Here are the most common telltale signs of a bad rotor:

  • Squealing or screeching sound when the brakes are applied
  • Fluttering feeling in the brake pedal
  • Vehicle pulling to one side when the brakes are applied
  • Increased stopping distances

Luckily, checking the brake rotors on your Mazda is certainly something you can do at home. Here's how:

Accessing Your Rotors

  1. Loosen all of the lug nuts by just a quarter turn.
  2. Jack up one end of your Mazda. Be sure to do it safely with the right equipment.
  3. Remove the lug nuts on one wheel and then take the wheel off of the car.
  4. At this point, you have a clear view of the rotor. Follow the steps below to inspect the rotor and then repeat this set of steps with the rest of the rotors on your car.

Inspecting a Rotor

You don't have to remove the caliper or rotor itself to inspect it. You just have to visually examine it and run your fingers across it. Look for the following indicators that the rotor is bad and needs to be replaced:

  • Cracks
  • Deep grooves
  • Uneven surfacing
  • Lip along the edge
  • Discoloration from overheating

If you don't find any visible damage but you still suspect that the rotor is worn out, you can use a caliper to measure the thickness of the rotor. Sometimes a rotor will wear to the point of being too thin.  The minimum rotor thickness can be found stamped on the brake rotor center hat). In such a case, the rotor definitely needs to be replaced.

Replacing a Rotor

Replace rotor

Image Credit: Backyard C

If you determine that one of the rotors is a dud, it's a good idea to replace it as soon as possible and in pairs (to keep your car's braking performance optimal).

You can certainly order genuine OEM replacement rotors from us at a discounted price and then replace your brake rotors at home with the right tools.

If you have any questions about inspecting your rotors or finding the right replacement rotors for your car, please feel free to reach out to us. We're happy to help any way we can!