BRAKE ROTORS: SLOTTED/DRILLED vs. OEM

brakes
#1

I need to replace my OEM brake rotors and while I’ve been shopping on-line, I noticed that drilled/slotted seem to be very popular. However, are they worth it, better, and easily maintained (for follow-up brake pad changes)? Need to find something soon…Thanks!

#2

unless you’re into performance driving the slotted/drilled are unnecessary. the reason for the slots/holes is to allow gases that form between the pad and rotor to escape while braking. This helps prevent fade during hard braking. The slots/holes will also be harder on pads. if you’re simply using the car for commuting I would look for oem style-smooth- rotors. however I’m always a little skeptical of the super cheap rotors some stores offer. My suspision is that they’re cheaper b/c they are made of lower grade steel and will therefore wear/warp sooner than a more expensive options.

#3

I suggest OEM unless you have some reason for changing. The OEM is generally designed to meet most people’s needs. The rotors you are talking about are generally recommended and used for performance cars or cars that for some reason are demanding more from their brakes than most. By more I mean things like towing, racing or mountain driving.

#4

I agree with Steven on this. Unless you’re into high performance driving, slotted or drilled rotors have no benefit.

Unless, of course, you just want to LOOK like you’re into high performance driving, which is the real reason lots of kids get them.

#5

What kind of car? It would look ridiculous to have a set of big Brembos on something like a Caravan.

#6

Why? And “big”? He didn’t talk about changing calipers/sizes, just the rotors.

#7

Because if you are going through the expense of getting high-end brakes you might as well do it right and get some nice 4 pot or better calipers as well. Otherwise you’re just wasting your money since stock-sized cross drilled rotors offer nothing but reduced surface area and will be much more prone to cracking. There’s a reason most cross-drilled rotors are larger the the stock units in any given application.

#8

Drilled rotors are really for racing only. They tend to crack and so would not be reliable for street use.

My original brakes went 138k miles. I replaced them with OEM grade pads and slotted rotors. Those brakes only lasted about 35k miles. Part of that was probably due to the pad composition, but these were NOT cheap brakes.

I went back to OEM rotors (Wagner) and ceramic pads.

#9

Drilled rotors are not generally allowed on the race track, unless they are OEM units. Aftermarket drilled rotors are generally for show, not go! They have come apart on the track! The slots and holes are there to allow gases to escape from the pad/rotor interface. My understanding is this is not a major problem with current pads, and should never be an issue on the street. OEM pads are usually good, especially if you are not driving beyond the “normal” use.

I race a Miata with stock rotors and racing compound pads. I tried a set of slotted rotors and they cracked after one test day of use. There are many aftermarket pads that can give better performance than OEM. Most make more noise and dust to deliver better braking performance.

#10

I would stick with the OEM-type rotors. Actually, I would buy rotors at an auto parts store that meet OEM specifications rather than pay the high price for OEM rotors. In either case, drilled and/or slotted brake rotors can’t be turned (resurfaced). So when they warp, or as soon as you put on a new set of pads, you will have to replace the rotors. (Most people resurface the rotors at each replacement of the pads.) At least with OEM-type rotors you can resurface them once or twice before having to replace them.

If drilled and slotted rotors were appropriate for your application, the car would have them already.

#11

2001 Acura Cl Type S