7 Common Symptoms of a Bad Brake Rotor In Your Truck

A brake rotor is a part of the disc brake which the pads press against to stop your truck. The rotor is made of heavy materials, making it more durable than brake pads. However, the rotors also get damaged, usually when driving with worn-out brake pads. Here are the 7 symptoms of a bad brake rotor worth knowing. 

Signs Of a Bad Brake Rotor

Here are some of the things that one can use to determine if they have a bad brake rotor in their truck.

Steering Wheel Vibrations

Whenever you press the brake pedal, the brake pads will press against the rotor, which has a smooth and flat surface, slowing down your truck smoothly. Heat is generated when braking that can warp or bend the brake rotor. If you have a bad brake rotor, your steering wheel will vibrate whenever you press the brake pedal.

Increased Stopping Distance

A longer stopping distance is another vivid sign that your truck has a faulty brake rotor. Truck drivers with experience will feel this by how the braking system performs as they drive. For instance, the truck cannot stop within an acceptable distance.


Wobbling is a sign of spoilt bearing and wheel runout. It usually occurs when driving at a certain speed and can lead to uneven brake pad wear or a bad brake rotor in the truck. Wheel runout should be treated seriously, as it can interfere with your brakes’ performance and the brake rotor’s general functioning. 

Bad Smell

The feeling of a nasty chemical smell results from overheating brakes or the calipers not functioning correctly, leading to brake failure. When the calipers are faulty, they stress the brake rotor, which can warp. When this happens, you will witness smoke from the affected wheel and a foul smell.


During winter, it is normal for rust to form on the surface of the brake rotors due to the accumulation of moisture, especially if your truck spends most of the time outside. But when rust appears on the rotors of a truck that is well-maintained and spends the warm nights in the garage. When rust starts to form on the outer surface of your rotors, consider replacing them as soon as possible.

Blue Marks

When the blue marks appear on the surface of your brake rotors is an indication of the presence of cracks on the surface of the rotor, faulty caliper, and uneven wear on the brake pads. The blue color results from the heat generated and pressure when you apply brakes. Consider inspecting your brake rotors as soon as you note the blue color on their surface.

Deep Grooves/ Score Marks

The presence of deep groves and marks on the brake rotors is a clear indication that your rotor is faulty. A healthy rotor has a smooth surface on the touch and to the eyes. The smooth rotor surface ensures uniform contact with the brake pads, which ensures the pads wear out uniformly. Grooves on the rotor are a sign that you need a new rotor. 


You can easily spot a bad brake rotor depending on the type of rims on your truck. You can inspect your rotors without removing the wheel if it is alloy. If you note any of the above signs, consider inspecting your rotors and replace if necessary.

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