Brake Rotors An Outline and the Best Performance Options

Your brake system is one of those systems that also need checking on a routine basis in order to keep yourself, your passengers, and others on the road safe. So you might need to know more on brake rotors.

This article will help you decide which brake rotors are best for your vehicle and application. Especially if you are looking to upgrade the system with performance brake rotors for enhanced driving.

How Do Brake Rotors Work?

Why exactly would you want to upgrade your braking system? Well, it has become a quite popular item to upgrade. One reason is for looks. If you install open spoke wheels, a set of upgraded brakes and rotors look sharp behind those tires. Another reason to upgrade would be for safety reasons. Better brakes and brake rotors will allow a driver to shorten the stopping distance when a brake is applied. Finally, if you are a racer, you will need performance braking to reign in the added power of your ride and improve stopping ability on the track. Whatever your reason, it is something to understand and consider.

Brake rotors make a very critical part of your braking system as a whole. Yet, they tend to be overlooked until a problem has become apparent. When you press the brake pedal inside your vehicle to stop, it causes the calipers in the system to squeeze shut. The calipers hold your brake pads and your brake rotors are there to give the pads a surface area to clamp onto in order to perform that stop. When pads wear they can cause pitting and damage your brake rotors, reducing and compromising that necessary friction between them.

Upgrading your braking system is beneficial because it can create a drastic improvement. This is especially important for cars who hit the track. Performance brakes will give you larger, heavier parts that are tougher and can last through harsher driving conditions when compared to OEM options.

General Specifications

  • Performance variations include slotted and cross drilled;
  • Kits come with sets of 2;
  • Should be replaced in sets;
  • Performance rotors allow more heat to release when the pads make contact;
  • Typically should be changed every 15,000 to 70,000 miles, more under harsher driving conditions such as street racing;
  • More aggressive pads will last longer;
  • Need changing if there is less than a mm of surface area on the lip.

PROs and CONs of Upgrading Your Braking System and Brake Rotors


  • It is a fairly inexpensive upgrade that you can immediately see the difference it makes;
  • A fairly easy stem to work on;
  • Larger rotors, heavy duty brake pads, chunkier calipers, tough brake lines in an upgrade means they will stand up to rougher driving conditions;
  • Can be purchased as a kit that includes everything needed to switch from OEM, this makes that conversion simple;
  • Fewer dust issues;
  • Minimizes friction heat and in turn brake fade;
  • Helps you control added horsepower;
  • Higher clamping force;
  • Bolt on applications make it an easy job to do;
  • Better braking performance;
  • More consistent function;
  • Shorter braking stops.


  • Performance brake systems are larger than stock. Thus, stock wheels are usually not designed to allow the install of the bulkier components due to the limited clearance areas. This means you will likely need to upgrade your tires as well to something with a larger diameter, sometimes adding 2 or 3 inches.
  • Upgrading rotors will usually necessitate upgrading all other braking components including calipers, lines, and pads.
  • You will have to take into consideration the size and shape of a new caliper. Together with the new rotor, it will create a profile that has to be measured to ensure it will fit behind your wheel.
  • Using the new profile of your rotor and caliper along with the diameter and wheel profile of your tire will be needed to determine the area you have to work with to stay within clearance.

Examples of Performance Rotors

Brembo- GT Series Slotted 2-Piece Brake Rotors

  • In 2011 Brembo celebrated 50 years of success in the industry. They have forged a name for themselves as a go to for performance braking system components and have become one of the most prestigious brands even on the professional racing circuits.
  • Customers have nothing but incredible experiences with their products. They enjoy the light weight yet durable rotors that ooze Motorsport technological advancement. The venting system on the rotors is also another customer favorite.
  • Available on Ebay for $365.98.

Brake Performance Premium Cross Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit

  • Another company consumers look for is Brake Performance. And as their name states, their brakes perform.
  • Customers comment on the brake rotor’s ability to release a ton of heat. They also love the quiet braking that they get due to included shims to reduce rattle.
  • Available on the company’s website.

StopTech Sport Rotors

  • StopTech is a customer favorite because they offer rotors that are slotted to help improve safety on the roads that actually fit your stock calipers and brake system. This makes it easy to get better performance out of your daily driver as well as increase overall safety.
  • More models available on Amazon for $77.02 – $225.82.

To the Brake

Before you hit the track, you are likely to make many performance enhancements to your vehicle. With all that extra horsepower you factored in, you will need something to help control it and keep you safe. Look to a brake system upgrade with heavier and more durable brake rotors to accomplish that task.

An upgrade will provide you with better performance, safer and shorter stopping distances, and maybe even a hot new look for your wheels. It is fairly inexpensive when compared to other upgrades and can make an immediate difference you can enjoy from the start. Happy driving!

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