MYTH: A Rotor’s Minimum Thickness Specifications are Based on Heat, FALSE!

brake pad thicknessNope, the discard or minimum thickness specification is based on the travel of the caliper piston if the pads were worn to the backing plates. While heat absorption is an important consideration, it plays a secondary role according to brake system engineers.

If you have worn pads (or delaminated pads) and a rotor below specification, there is a greater possibility of brake failure from the piston start leaking and possibly becoming dislodged from the bore that will cause a complete hydraulic failure. Warping and fading have very little to do with discard specifications.

Think about this the next time you have a rotor that might be near the limits and you are throwing another set of pads on. Also, some cheap pad sets use thinner than normal backing plates, so the tolerances can stack up…