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How Brake Rotors Work


Performance Brake Rotors
High-performance brake rotors are used on the street by enthusiasts and on the track by professionals.
High-performance brake rotors are used on the street by enthusiasts and on the track by professionals.
JOSE LUIS ROCA/AFP/Getty Images

­Some brake parts get less attention than others. That's just the way it is. For example, high-performance brake pads tend to get a lot more attention than high performance brake rotors. As we mentioned earlier, when you're talking about high performance rotors, slotted, not drilled, rotors are the choice of most racers. The benefit of the slots is that they allow hot gases, water and other debris to move off of the face of the rotor; however, they do tend to wear the brake pads down faster. That's likely not a problem for most performance drivers. Most probably already have ceramic or carbon fiber brake pads which are pretty long-wearing anyway.  

High performance brake rotors are also vented to allow even more heat to dissipate away from the braking system and prevent brake fade. While the slots in slotted brake rotors are carved into the face of the rotors, the vents run around the edge of the rotor. As the rotor spins, the heat escapes through the vents. Without the extra heat, there's less of a chance for brake fade, which makes the car perform better on the track. 

If you're thinking about slowing down or stopping, this isn't a good time. The next page is full of lots more information about braking, brake rotors and other related topics -- just follow the links.


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