How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors in Your Garage?

How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors – The acceptance of alloy wheels puts brake rotors on full display. Rotors, though, it must be made from heavy, heat-resistant, metal—unprotected metal that easily rusts. Now, under the harsh conditions of a wheel well.

The unsightly discoloration showing through their luxurious alloy wheels leads numerous people to ask how you can remove rust from brake rotors. You can simply clean up rusted rotors in several ways, depending on how bad it is. 

The most important safety tip you must witness: No lubricant (such as WD-40) or enduring coating should ever be applied to the braking surface of the rotor. Period. Rust seems on the surface while corrosion is real damage that goes deeper than the surface.

How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors in Your Garage?

How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors

If the rotors have corrosion, they will require resurfacing or extra. If you want to know more about removing rust from Brake Rotors then read this article carefully.

What are the Tools and Materials Required?

  • 6-inch C-clamp
  • Combination wrench set (standard for domestics/ metric for imports)
  • Floor jack
  • Large bucket or basin
  • Length of pipe for handle extension but is optional
  • A lug wrench or effect wrench and socket
  • Tray to catch runoff
  • Wheel chocks
  • Wire-bristled brush
  • Brake cleaner spray
  • Commercial cleaner or distilled white vinegar
  • Non-oily rags
  • Steel wool

How to Remove Rust From Brake Rotors in Your Garage?

  • Drive the Car

You will probably start to see some rust forming on the rotors if the vehicle sits in one place for some days. You can simply remove this superficial rust by simply driving. You need to take the vehicle out for a spin that contains some stop-and-go driving, then check the rotors. If the corrosion remains noticeable, simply take it to the next level. Find a deserted street or an empty parking lot and just Start the vehicle in motion, getting up to 10 mph or so, then brake hard. 

  • Rotor Cleaning Prep

You should always place chocks behind the wheels of the axle you are not working on. Release the lug nuts on the wheel you are working on, and then use a floor jack to bring the wheel off the ground. We extremely recommend using a jack stand in addition to a floor jack as a subordinate safety measure. 

  • Remove the Caliper and Pads, if Necessary

The rotor can be cleaned with the pads and caliper in place, but it might be easier to do if you remove them. You can use a box-end wrench to loosen the bolts holding the caliper assembly to the guide pins on the caliper bracket and eliminate them. Lift the caliper assembly free of the rotor and secure it in a position in the wheel well where it can hang without producing damage to the brake line. Old wire clothes hangers work very fine for this job, but caliper hangers are also sold in most auto stores. You need to use a box-end wrench to loosen and eliminate the bolts securing the caliper bracket (which holds the pads). 

  • Inspect the Pads

As long as the brakes are separate, we recommend that you take a moment to inspect the pads for glazing on the surface (a crystalline appearance). It’s also a decent time to measure the thickness of the brake pads. Anything less than 4 mm of depth should be substituted. Similarly, you need to check the caliper piston boot and guide pin boots for tears. Any loss of honesty found on these boots exposes the moving parts to dirt and corrosion that can cause them to seize. 

  • Use Brake Cleaner to Remove Rust from the Rotors

You need to put down a tray to catch any runoff, then spray the rotor with brake cleaner. Let the rotor dry, then spread it with a clean rag (no oil on the rag). If some rust leftovers, simply apply more brake cleaner and work the surface with steel wool or a wire brush. Simply wipe off the rotor and finish with a final shot of cleaner. 

  • A Note About the Caliper Assembly

As we have mentioned before, the caliper assembly might be left in place, but you will have to turn the rotor to access the area covered by the pads. Brake cleaner will not damage the pad lining, but excessive application might affect the adhesion of the lining to the pad backing, so don’t go overboard.

  • Bath Time

If brake cleaner and some elbow greases don’t do the trick, eliminate the rotors (if the caliper assembly and bracket are removed, this might be as simple as using an impact screwdriver to release an anchor screw (not present on all vehicles) and then sliding the rotor off the lugs. You can also try commercial cleaners, such as CLR and Evapo-Rust, for stubborn rust removal. These products attack the rust without upsetting the metal beneath. An eco-friendlier substitute is a vinegar, although it might not work as well as commercial cleaning products.

  • Reassemble

Once the rotors are fully clean, work backward to reunite the brakes and remount the wheel. A large C-clamp might be essential to retract the piston in the caliper assembly so it will fit over the brake pads. 

What is the Preventative Measure you can take?

Because removing rust from rotors is a beautifying exercise (normal use of the vehicle keeps it in check), painting the hub will recover the appearance and prevent the non-braking surface of the rotors from becoming unattractive. Now, before mounting a new set of rotors, you simply need to apply brake caliper paint to the center section of each and tape off the braking surface before painting to guard it against contamination and paint only the dome that fits over the hub. After painting, simply use some brake cleaner on a cloth to wipe away any remainder from the tape.

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