[6 DIY Tips] How to Clean Brake Rotors at Home?

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How to Clean Brake Rotors at Home

A car can easily be compared to your body. To keep yourself fit and healthy you have to take regular care of the different organs of your body. The same thing you have to do with your car also where to have to keep well the condition of every part of your car. Even you cannot ignore the smallest ones as they all play a vital role to keep your car moving smoothly.

Not only does moving your car matter, but you also have to make your car stop at once when you require it and that calls safe driving. To make this possible the brake of your car should be in the best condition. There is one component that plays an important role in brake management and that is the brake rotor.

What is The Brake Rotor?

A brake rotor is a kind of round flat piece of steel that is fixed to a rod held on the inside of the wheel. You can see brake pads on both sides of the rotor. When you put pressure on the brake pedal, simultaneously the pads compress around the rotor making the speed of your car slow or even stop the car.

The Problems that Brake Rotor Occurs

As the brake rotors do a lot of responsibility to control the speed and the motion of your car, so it is obvious that over time, the metal rotor starts wearing out and becomes thinner. As a result, the rotor will heat up faster. This may create a pedal pulsate while applying the brakes. In this situation, the only thing you can do that you have to replace the rotors. But if the situation is not so serious and if you need to keep your rotors safe or remove the rust from the brake to keep it in full working order, then you have to take some preventive action, and what better you could do than cleaning the rotors frequently.

When Do You Need to Clean Rotors?

The ways where you need to drive your car every day are polluted enough to make your brake rotors dirty. Even if you keep your car in the garage for a longer period it also gets dirty equally. This may increase the possibility of building rust on the rotors. If that is so, then you have no way left but to clean the brake rotors regularly. Generally, you always start taking care of the brake rotors after noticing rust on them. Sometimes you make late and end up buying a new one as the condition gets worse.

[6 DIY Tips] How to Clean Brake Rotors at Home?

There are many ways to clean the rotors. You can easily manage this work at your place all by yourself. But if the rust development is high, then you have to go to a professional garage for help. Now let’s find out the ways for cleaning the brake rotors at your home.

A Regular Clean-Up

This is perhaps the most common way to clean up the brake rotors. As you use to rub your car almost every day before taking a ride, make sure you do the same to your brake rotors. Try to go as deep as possible to clean the dust off the rotors. Using a brush instead of cloth might be a better idea for this job. Regular cleaning extends the durability, and also helps your rotors perform better.

Braking Away the Rust

Suppose your car is kept idly for a few days and you find the rust build-up happens on the wheels as well as the brake rotors. In this situation, you have to follow this method to remove rust easily. At first, you have to drive your car freely at a low speed (5-10 miles per hour) to some distance and then press the brake continuously. The brake should be sharper than normal driving. It can create harsh friction between the brake pad and rotor and the rust will be removed only to make the rotors clean. You cannot repeat this more than 5-6 times as it may exhaust the rotors.

Using Dishwasher and Scrub

This method is suitable for those who know how to take out the brake rotor. This is one of the best processes to clean the dust that accumulated on the rotor. All you need to take out the rotor and clean the rotor using some dishwasher and scrub. Once the cleaning is done you have to dry the rotor using a piece of dry cloth. But remember, this method is not for removing the rust.

Using WD-40

W-D in WD-40 stands for Water Displacement. This multi-use product is a unique kind of lubricant which contains anti-corrosion agents and ingredients that can easily remove rust from any metal surface. If you find a light build-up of rust on the rotors, then spray some WD-40 over it and leave it for 5-10 hours. After that, wipe the rust away from the rotors using sandpaper. To get the best result out of that, you need to draw out the rotors and wipe the rust out of the whole surface of it. 

Using an Angle Grinder

If you prefer to do all your work on your own as long as you’re capable of it, then this process is for you. Especially, if you find heavy rust on the brake rotor of your car. To make the process possible at first you have to take out the brake rotor from the car. At the same time, you need to adjust a brush wheel to the angle grinder and set the machine on. Now move the grinder over the rusty parts of the rotor so that the rust is started wearing off. But while using this grinder you should not apply too much pressure as it may eat away the surface making it uneven. When the grinding is done, you’ll certainly get the rust-free, clean brake rotor for your car.

Taking Preventive Measure

As I said earlier, the brake rotors cleaning job usually is done after the rotors build rust. But there is a process that you may use while scaling a new rotor set that can prevent the rotors from building rust for an extended period. To make this possible you have to give a coat of brake caliper paint to the middle portion of each rotor. But before that seal off the braking surface with the tape to save it from desecration. Finally, wipe off the residue of tape using a kind of cleaner on a cloth that works better in this case.

Some Necessary Tips

At the time of the rotor cleaning job, there are some tips that you need to follow for yourself as well as your car’s safety. Here they are-

  1. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses while spraying the cleaning chemicals as they might be harmful to your eyes.
  2. Before doing the job, make sure the car is being held up properly with jack stands so that you can avoid an accident.
  3. After touching the rotors with your hands always spray Brake Kleen a chemical to make sure there are no oil residues left.
  4. If you find scratches on the rotors while inspecting the job, you should take your car to a service center or try to replace the existing rotors with a new one to avoid any kind of problem while driving the car.
  5. Remove the wheel before you can access the brake rotor. After lifting the car with a jack, use a lug wrench to cut-off the wheel’s lug nuts.
  6. If you have to remove the rotor for better cleaning, disconnect the brake caliper and the mounting bracket from the rotor. Using a hex wrench to pull the rotor right off the studs that come helpful to remove the excessive rust out of the brake rotors.

Final Verdict 

Some people love to do their job themselves. I am sure you must be one of them who never back out easily from any job without giving it a try. A cleaning rotor is certainly a job that easily could be done by you. Only you need to provide some time and a few necessary things. Here in an above-said article some of the ways are given to solve at least 5 types of problems of your car. Hope this will be helpful for you to keep the brake management of your car in better condition that allows you to have a safe and very happy journey.

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