Rotor Structure Identification Guide
What are the different types of Brake Rotors?
Brake rotors are an essential part of a vehicles braking system. That is why it is important when replacing your brake rotors that you know which one would be most suitable for your vehicle/driving-style.
Ventilated or Solid?
Ventilated (commonly referred to as “Vented”) rotors are brake rotors which have vents between the two contact areas of rotors and are easily identifiable by looking at the sides of the brake rotor. The purpose of these vents is to allow heat build-up to be dissipated quickly and prevent brake fade.
While vents and slots on brake rotors serve the same purpose they are not the same thing. Vents are found on the side of the rotor between the two contact areas of a rotor while slots are found engraved into the very contact area itself.
Pictured above: Left – Vents on the ventilated rotor, Right – Example of slots on the contact area
As the picture above shows, the solid rotor does not have vents. It is made as a one solid piece rotor – hence the name “Solid”.
My vehicle uses solid rotors, can I fit vented rotors on?
Generally speaking – This is not possible with a direct swap from solid to vented rotors. The reasoning for this is that vented rotors are thicker compared to solid rotors due to the vents, to successfully fit vented rotors in a car that came with solid rotors stock from factory you would require a bigger brake caliper to fit both the rotor and brake-pads.
Slots and Drilled Rotors vs Standard Rotors
These are common design features found in brake rotors with the purpose of:
– Efficiently removing high temperature
– Efficiently removing gas build-up
– Efficiently removing water
– Preventing brake fade from occurring
These are located on the contact area of the rotors, “slots” being the engraved lines and “drilled” being the holes. Due to the extra costs and time during the manufacturing process – Slotted and Drilled rotors are usually priced higher compared to a Standard rotor.
This type of rotor is easily identifiable by looking at contact area – it is completely smooth with no engravings or holes. Below is an image which shows the difference between the Slotted and Drilled against a Standard Rotor.
Pictured above – Left: Slotted and Drilled, Right: Standard