Brake Rotor Replacement Cost (Prices for 2023)
Squealing, shaking, and the inability to slow down the vehicle are signs that the brake rotors need replacement. Most of the time, you’ll need to replace the brake rotors every 50,000 to 70,000 miles, but sometimes you’ll need to do it sooner. If you want to know the brake rotor replacement cost, this article is for you. Let’s get to it.
Average cost of brake rotor replacement
When brake rotors need replacement, they are often included in a set along with brake pads. While you are at it, it would be wise to change both rotors on the axle at once. It balances the friction on both sides.
As for the average cost, there are several factors that influence it. However, considering everything, it will cost about $300–$400 for one brake motor, which includes the cost of labor and components. Usually, you’ll have to replace both rotors at the same time, so the price listed will be doubled.
Let’s take a look at the prices of rotors offered by different brands:
|R1 Concepts Rotors Kit||$311|
|Power Stop Rotors Kit||$362|
|Harts Brakes Kit||$385|
|MTC Brake Kit||$197|
Some brands offer brake rotors at very inexpensive prices, such as the DK-1038-1 by NewTek, which costs under $100. However, getting those brakes is not a great idea because they are typically substandard and do not offer much longevity.
In addition to the price of components, the labor that goes into replacing brake rotors is also expensive. In fact, about 40% of the total replacement cost goes toward the cost of labor. The labor is expensive because the wheels must be taken off to replace the component in question.
Also, both rotors are usually changed at the same time, which is something else that needs to be thought about. While you are at it, you will also want to replace calipers, shoes, and some other components, which will drive the price further. Since vehicles of different makes and models have different configurations, the overall price of replacement varies greatly between them.
Let’s look at the estimated cost of rotor replacement in some of the more popular models.
|Car||Component Cost||Labor Cost|
Factors That Determine Brake Rotor Replacement Costs
Although the average prices of brake rotors have been mentioned in the tables above, it can vary significantly because of several factors. Let us break them down for you in order to get a very accurate total cost of brake rotor replacement.
Price of components
When the term “replacement” is thrown around, you will have to purchase new parts. In this case, you will have to purchase brake rotor kits that can be divided into two categories based on their prices. The budget kits are typically priced at $40–$80, whereas the premium ones come with a price tag as high as $400.
You might be tempted to choose budget kits because they are cheap, but not all vehicles can use them. Such kits are designed only for light vehicles, which do not require aggressive braking.
If you own the vehicles that are listed in the table above, you should not go for these kits because you will have to replace them frequently. And the price will ultimately add up to be even higher than the premium kits.
When it comes to premium kits, there are two options: carbon rotors and iron rotors. Carbon motors are more durable and work better than iron ones, but they also cost more. Usually, the cost of carbon rotors starts at around $400 and can go as high as $1,000 per piece.
Cost of Labor
Labor is the second-most expensive element when it comes to the replacement of rotors. Typically, labor costs are only slightly lower than the price of components. It would not be wrong to say that it takes up almost 40% of the total replacement cost. Based on your location, the cost of labor can range between $18 and $210 per hour. The national average in the United States is about $23 per hour.
In addition to labor costs, you will also have to pay shop fees, which are usually 5–20% of the labor cost. All things considered, you will have to pay about $150 to $200 in labor to get your brake motors replaced.
Car make and model
The car’s make and model also impact the brake rotor replacement price. Vehicles that are expensive will likely have expensive replacement parts, and vice versa. Also, it can be hard to get to some of the parts, which can sometimes add to the overall cost of replacement. You will be forced to purchase the components at high prices if they are not as accessible.
Other Quick Fixes
When you take the car to a mechanic, it is likely that some other parts will need maintenance too. For example, almost always, you will have to replace the calipers on the axle along with the brake rotors. You would also want to check for brake drums, brake fluid, and brake shoes while replacing the rotors. Sometimes these components will also need replacement, which will drive up the total cost of replacement.
Typically, a full brake replacement costs around $500–$550 for most cars, but as discussed earlier, the price can vary greatly between different makes and models.
When Should You Replace Your Brake Rotors?
It is recommended that you change the brakes every 50,000 to 70,000 miles. However, because of wear and tear, sometimes replacement is required earlier. The following symptoms indicate that the rotors need to be replaced:
The squealing noise when you press the brakes is the first sign that the rotors are wearing off. This sound is produced because of uneven rotors, and the raised edges start to impact calibers. Consequently, calipers try to adjust worn discs and produce sound.
At first, you will hear the noise only when the brakes are pressed, but as the wear progresses, the vehicles will start producing that noise even when they are moving at a normal speed.
If you commute on roads that are damaged or take the vehicle off-road, the debris and small stones can get stuck between the caliper and rotors. It leads to the cracking of rotors, which reduces the gripping surface and thus makes it take a long time to stop the car.
Hence, you must check the rotors for grooves and cracks every once in a while to ensure they are in good shape. As soon as you notice the damage, take the vehicle to a mechanic and get them replaced.
When the rotors wear down unevenly, the brakes become inconsistent. Sometimes it will take longer to slow, while at others, it will stop faster than the other side. Although brake pads can also lead to this, brake rotors are usually responsible.
So, whenever you experience this, take the vehicle to a mechanic and get it checked as soon as possible. Letting it go unchecked can cause nasty accidents.
Vibration and Wobbling
When the brake rotors are broken, the damage goes all the way through the steering assembly. You will notice vibrations in the steering wheel and brake pedal, which should be taken as an indicator that something is either wrong with the brake rotors or the steering assembly.
If the brake rotors are causing this, you can get them fixed by resurfacing them. However, sometimes a complete replacement is needed in these cases as well.
How to Replace the Brake Rotors on Your Own
As we’ve already talked about, most of the cost of replacement goes to labor. It might compel some people to do the replacement on their own. Let us break down the process for you, but first, check out the tools you will need for this:
- Hex Key wrench set
- Ratchet and socket set
- Wrench set
- Brake cleaner
- Channel lock
- Lung wrench
- Jack and Jack stand
- Disposable paper towels
The initial cost of purchasing these tools might be even higher than the labor, but it is a one-time investment. If you have the tools at home and know how to replace the brake rotors, you will save about $40 on their replacement.
After gathering all the tools, follow these steps:
- Use the Jack Stand to jack up the side of the car that needs rotor replacement.
- Use the hex keys to take off the wheel.
- Identify the brake caliper and use the keys to remove the two bolts from the top and bottom. Depending on the make and model, you will need different tools to unbolt them.
- Once the caliper is removed, use the hammer to loosen the brake rotors and then take them off. You should not take the axle nut off because the rotors are installed on the front of the axle.
- Clean the grease off using brake cleaner and install the rotors.
- Re-attach the calipers and ensure that all the small screws and bolts are tight before putting the wheel back on. Grease the components and then reattach the wheel.
Brake Rotor Replacement Cost FAQs
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Brake Rotors?
The cost to replace rotors varies based on the make and model of the vehicle and the other parts that need replacement along with them. But if you take all of these things into account, you should be able to replace a brake rotor for $300–$400.
Is it worth replacing the brake rotors?
You should always replace the brake rotors when it is required because if it goes unchecked, it can result in nasty accidents that can be potentially fatal.
What is the average cost of rotors?
The average cost of rotor repair is around $300–$400 a piece. However, you will generally want to replace both rotors at the axle once you double the cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace All Four Brakes and Rotors?
It will cost around $1,500–$2,000 to replace all four brakes and rotors at once.
Should I replace all four rotors at once?
You do not have to replace all four rotors at once, but changing the two rotors on one axle is recommended.
How Do I Know If My Rotors Need Replacement?
When the steering wheel shakes, the car makes squealing sounds, and it takes longer to stop, it’s time to replace the brake rotors.
How much does brake pad replacement cost?
The cost to replace brake pads and rotors is anywhere from $50 to $150 per axle for standard brake pads, while high-performance or ceramic pads can cost anywhere from $150 to $350 per axle.
How Often Should Brake Pads be Replaced?
It’s also important to regularly inspect your brake pads and get them checked by a mechanic if you hear any unusual noise, such as squealing or grinding, or if you feel any vibration or pulsation when braking.
In some cases, brake pads may need to be replaced sooner or later than the average lifespan, so it’s always best to have them inspected by a professional to ensure your vehicle’s best performance and safety. Brake pads should be changed every 50,000–70,000 miles or when they reach the minimum thickness required by the manufacturer.
Is there a warning light for brake pads?
Most modern vehicles have a brake system warning light that alerts the driver when the brake pads have worn to a certain point and need to be replaced. The exact warning light symbol and when it comes on may vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
It’s important to pay attention to this warning light and get your brake pads checked and replaced as soon as possible to make sure your car runs well and stays safe.
How Do I Examine My Brake Pads?
You can check your brake pads by looking at them and figuring out how thick they are. Here are the steps to follow to check my brake pads:
Visually inspect the brake pads: Look for any visible signs of wear, such as cracks, holes, or missing chunks of pad material. You can inspect the brake pads through the spokes of the wheel or by removing the wheel altogether.
Measure the thickness of the brake pads: Use a brake caliper gauge or a ruler to measure the thickness of the brake pads. The brake pads should be at least 1/4 inch thick. If they are thinner than this, they may need to be replaced.
Check the brake rotors: Look for signs of scoring, warping, or cracks in the brake rotors. If the rotors are damaged, they may need to be resurfaced or replaced.
Check the brake hardware: Make sure that the brake caliper, brake pad retainers, and other pieces of hardware are in good shape and working well. If any of the hardware is damaged or missing, it should be replaced.
Important Note: If you are not familiar with your vehicle’s brake system or are unsure about how to perform a brake pad inspection, it’s best to have it done by a professional mechanic. They will have the right tools and knowledge to check your brakes and fix anything that needs fixing.
Brake Rotor Replacement Cost: Final Words
The replacement of brake rotors is important because leaving them unchecked can lead to nasty accidents. The major cost of replacement goes into purchasing components and labor, but the latter can be reduced by learning to change the rotors by yourself. We hope this article has helped!