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How to Identify Toyota Rotor Problems in 5 Steps

When one of your brake rotors goes bad, your Toyota’s stopping power is drastically reduced. This means you have to start consciously increasing your stopping distance. You might end up rear-ending another car if your car doesn't stop as fast as you were expecting it to.

What Makes a Rotor Go Bad?

Rotor damage

Sometimes a rotor becomes warped. It’s important to mention that rotors don’t get warped in the traditional sense. Instead, they get uneven wear as a result of hot brake pads “painting” the rotors. This means that the brake pads leave deposits on the rotors. You'll feel that braking is no longer smooth. This can happen if you use the wrong kind of brake pads, ride the brakes for a long period of time, or engage in high-speed driving and braking.

Brake rotors will also wear out over time. Usually, and rotor will last as long as two or three sets of brake pads before it is too thin to safely use. Every rotor is stamped with a minimum thickness specification.

When you identify a worn or warped rotor on your Toyota, you want to replace it as soon as possible. A bad rotor comprises the safety and effectiveness of your braking system.

Symptoms of a Bad Rotor

The most common symptoms of a warped or worn rotor are:

  • Squealing or squeaking noise when you apply the brakes
  • Excessive vibrating or pulsating feeling in the brake pedal when braking. (Vibrating usually means a worn rotor. Pulsating usually means a warped rotor.
  • Jittery and inconsistent braking

The above symptoms could also mean that your rotors are fine and that just your brake pads are worn. That’s why it’s important to confirm that you have a bad rotor before buying a replacement part. Luckily, the diagnostic process is easy and straightforward.

Diagnosing a Warped or Worn Rotor

Take the following steps to check your rotors:

  1. Lift your Toyota just enough to take the weight off your tires. If you’re lifting your vehicle by the tires, insert jack stands underneath your car to take the weight off the tires.
  2. Remove the lug nuts from a wheel.
  3. Take off the tire and wheel.
  4. Now, you’ll see the rotor. Carefully inspect it for any grooves, scoring, or uneven surfacing. If the rotor is anything but flat and smooth, it’s bad and needs to be replaced.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the rotors on your vehicle.

Replacing Your Rotor

Toyota rotor

Replacing your rotor is the much safer and easier option than resurfacing it. When you replace your rotor (and the rest of the braking system if necessary), always get genuine OEM replacement parts.

We sell genuine OEM Toyota parts at discounted prices. Take a look at our catalog of replacement rotors to see if we have one for your Toyota model. Also, here are five of our top selling OEM Toyota replacement rotors:

  1. Part No. 43512-0C020: For 2009-2018 Sequoia and Tundra models
  2. Part No. 43512-0E030: For 2010-2018 Highlander and Sienna models
  3. Part No. 43512-60191: For 2010-2018 4Runners
  4. Part No. 43512-06150: For 2009-2018 Avalon, Camry, and Matrix models
  5. Part No. 43512-08040: For 2004-2010 Avalon, Camry, Sienna, and Solara models
Written by Jason Lancaster