Can I Drive with Rusted Rotors? – Everything You Need to Know

Are the rotors of your dear vehicle not shining bright? Have you left your car exposed to potential elements which have made the rotors rusty?

Are you concerned about whether you can drive with rusted rotors? Well, don’t you worry because we have all your queries answered.

Can I Drive with Rusted Rotors?

Rust on the rotors can be due to several factors. You need to be well aware of what to do in that case. Moreover, you should be very vigilant and inspect your car regularly.

If you notice that the rotors have developed a thing layer of rust, drive your vehicle as this will wipe it off. You might hear a humming noise when applying the brakes, but this is normal. It should go away after a couple of minutes.

Rusty Brake Rotor

However, if the car has been sat for a long period of time, the rotors might be completely damaged.

Rust can be quite dangerous for the rims and the rotors. It eats away the metals, destroying the structural integrity of the vehicle. Thus, it is essential to take your car to professional mechanics in case of deeply rusted rotors.

Furthermore, driving your vehicle in case of deep oxidation will have a negative impact. This negligence can destroy the rotors and the rim entirely and cost you more out of your pocket.

None of this is desirable. Thus, it is strongly advised to take your vehicle to a mechanic in such situations. 

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Why Do Rotors Get Rusty- Potential Elements and Common Causes?

Have you ever wondered why the rotors develop rust? The majority of the parts of the vehicle are composed of steel. Due to the astounding toughness and unbeatable durability, the brake pad parts are also made of steel.

Brake rotors are one of those. Steel is a strong, resilient, tough alloy containing a significant concentration of cast iron.

Cast iron is a material that develops rust easily in case of exposure to moisture.

The outside weather conditions sometimes go harsh. Thunderstorms followed by rain or snow can attack the cast iron parts, oxidizing them. Every vehicle is subjected to this phenomenon.

Rusting is inevitable from SUVs to trucks, luxury vehicles to crossovers. Thus, all one could do is keep a regular check. Moreover, make sure to take your car for regular maintenance.

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The Impacts of Rust

Rusty rotors can have a substantial impact on the performance of the brake pad. Furthermore, it results in the weakening of rotors which deteriorates the roto’s life. Moreover, it introduces weird noises while you drive the car.

Lastly, it contributes to the wear and tear of other parts due to the rotor’s pitted surface. Therefore, one should protect their vehicle from moisture by parking it in a sheltered area.

Can Rust on Rotors Cause Noise?

Rust on rotors is a prevalent issue. It produces a squealing noise which can put you at unease while driving. Brake noises, though distributing, are indicative of a preeminent problem.

One should pay close attention to that and take appropriate measures. Neglect will result in even worse situations. From the thumping sounds to grinding noises, every brake noise indicates an issue in a specific part.

Rust develops on the rotors which are behind the rim. The smooth surface of the rotors turns into an uneven, bumpy surface. This affects the brake pad performance.

It doesn’t run smooth and thus produces a thumping sound while you drive. Therefore, whenever you experience such a noise from the brake, it is wise to head over to a trusted and professional mechanic.

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How to Keep Rotors from Rusting?

To keep your rotors from rusting, you need to follow some practices. Adhering to them will keep your rotors shiny. The rotors will not be subjected to corrosion or oxidation. Thus, the brake performance will not be affected.

In addition, you will not have to spend hundreds of bucks to fix the issue now and then. Let us head over to these practical tips. Dive in!

Drive the car Regularly:  Are you working from home? Don’t need a vehicle to drive every day? Well, whatever the case is, make sure to drive your car regularly. Take a drive to a grocery store or a mechanic. This will prevent the build-up of rust on the vehicle’s rotors as driving will wipe off the rust.

Car Wash: Dirt and debris make their way into the vehicle parts. Therefore, car washing is an effective process that prevents the accumulation of dirt. Furthermore, it also prevents the oxidation of components as rust is wiped off.

This effective and thorough cleaning process will ensure that your vehicle’s performance is outstanding. It also extends the life of your vehicle. Thus, a car wash is one of the best methods to keep the rust off the rotors.

Keep Your Vehicle Out of the Moisture: Rotors get rusty due to exposure to moisture. The most probable cause of rusty rotors is rain. Hence, one should try to keep their vehicle sheltered, whether in a garage or any other covered facility. This will keep your dear vehicle all protected from potential elements.

Coated Rotors: Coated rotors are another great option to keep the rust off your rotors. This premium and excellent coating will enhance life while maintaining the ideal brake pad performance.

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How to Fix Rusty Rotors?

Have the rotors of your vehicle gone rusty? Are you all perplexed about how to fix them? Don’t you worry because we have got it all covered for you:

  1. Go for a drive that will wipe off the excess rust. The superficial rust will be removed.
  2. With the help of the jack, remove the assembly to access the rotor.
  3. Try removing the pads and the caliper to ensure the rotors are exposed.
  4. You can inspect the calipers and the pads while disassembling.
  5. Using a brake cleaner, you should remove the rust thoroughly. After cleaning the rotor, dry it off using a clean cloth.
  6. Reassemble the brake and wheel assembly using the clamp and other tools.

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Final Note

The important thing to remember is that a little bit of rust on the rotors is normal when you have not driven the car for a few weeks. This will happen, especially in humid conditions.

The rust will go away as soon as you will start driving and engaging the brakes. If you hear a weird humming noise, it is normal. Keep driving, and it will go away after a few minutes.