NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
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Brake Rotors & Brake Drum Parts

Part Types

Shop Replacement Brake Rotor and Drum Brake Parts

Do you think that your brakes are starting to fail? It may be time for rotor replacement or brake service if:

  • Your car squeals or comes to a grinding halt at red lights
  • It is taking longer to come to a complete stop than normal

Unfortunately, the bad news is that braking components aren't typically included in a car's warranty, as they are considered preventative maintenance/wear and tear items that need to be regularly replaced.

When you're faced with hazards on the road, you need to make sure you're equipped with adequate stopping power. Save on premium quality brake pads, quality rotors, drum brakes, calipers, wheel bearings, brake fluid, master cylinders, and more.

The good news is that NAPA AUTO PARTS carries a wide selection of brakes and brake parts online for you to reserve and pick-up in store. In addition, we have stellar brake installation hardware and recommendations for your area's best brake inspection and replacement services.

Find a NAPA AUTO PARTS location near you if you aren't comfortable doing the work yourself and speak with one of our qualified associates to find the best quality product for you.

Why Upgrade Your Braking System?

There are many reasons to upgrade your braking system: better brake performance, better heat dissipation, and longer-lasting components.

It's important to know that every car is different, and the way you drive will profoundly affect your braking needs. For example, performance street drivers often update factory components to smaller calipers with slotted brake rotors or cross-drilled rotors. A drilled rotor or vented rotors will dissipate extreme heat more efficiently than a stock brake rotor. In contrast, a daily driver simply needs a stock replacement brake rotor and not performance components.

Track drivers need even bigger brake rotors to handle the brake torque from aggressive racing and better brake pads that dissipate heat without experiencing brake fade from similarly aggressive braking.

The bigger the rotor, the greater the heat dissipation. The downside is that these specialty parts often only work well in extreme heat if they are too cold, they are much less effective.

So while it makes sense for track drivers to make these changes, the needs of the vast majority of everyday drivers are far simpler as many commuters are dealing with cooler brake temperatures overall.

It is critical to analyze your braking needs to get the most out of your vehicle.

How Do You Know When Brake Rotors or Pads are Bad?

There are all kinds of tricks for diagnosing a worn rotor or worn brake pad that any mechanical novice can pick up on.

If your car is vibrating under braking pressure, making screeching brake noise, experiencing brake fade, discoloration, or uneven wear, your components are likely bad.

If you are uncertain, have an expert take off your brake calipers for a thorough inspection.

How Often Do Front & Rear Brake Rotors Need Replaced?

There's no actual set mileage for how often you should be replacing your brake pads updates to stock rotor design and components have profoundly lengthened the lifespan for wear on brake pads and braking systems. If you drive a Ford F150 or a Dodge Ram it is unlikely that you need performance brakes, and can stick with the manufacturer's recommended mileage for brake replacements.

Most of these updated rotors are made of gray iron (a premium quality cast iron disc), but the more premium front and rear brake rotors are made from blended ceramic materials. However, these can be costly.

The need to replace your rotors will be based on how the rotor's friction surface interacts with the brake pads or drums. If you regularly slam on the brake pedal for a power stop, you will likely be wearing out your rotors in an uneven manner and grinding the two surfaces together in a way that can warp the rotor and erode your brake pads. If you drive in the winter, road salt can cause long-term corrosion and will lead to the need for replacement rotors.

The good news is that many newer braking components meet higher quality standards than older models and have multiple-year to lifetime warranty against defects.

What Are The Different Types Of Auto Brakes?

When looking for the correct brake components, it's essential to know how vehicle braking systems work and their different parts.

At its core, a brake is a device that inhibits motion and absorbs energy to scrub speed. Almost all automobiles use friction brakes, but others machines use pumping brakes or electromagnetic brakes to impede motion.

In many vehicles today, we see a combination of brake types that offer greater stopping power over the factory brakes of the past.

What Are Friction Brakes?

This is a catch-all term for brakes that use friction to slow a vehicle or wheel. They can often be divided into two types of frictional brakes: shoe brakes and pad brakes, which use a component that presses against a brake rotor or brake disc and creates thermal energy, which is dissipated as the wheel continues to spin. Hydrodynamic brakes are used by certain bus manufacturers and are technically frictional but are incredibly rare.

Older vehicles almost universally used drum brakes that push a set of brake shoes against the interior of a rotating brake drum and a wheel cylinder. The drum is connected to the tire's hub with a metal backing plate for stability. As they compress, the energy is converted into heat, and the car stops. Drum brakes tend to wear out somewhat quickly, which can lead to overheating.

Today most vehicles are equipped with disc brakes. This brake configuration takes a brake caliper device and places it on the outside of the disc brake rotors attached to each wheel hub.

Then, like a drum brake, the driver activates the braking mechanism to squeeze the brake pads against the rotor, which scrubs speed, converting the energy into heat.

Because the act of braking requires so much force, most friction brakes are equipped with a hydrologic system that powers the pistons inside the calipers. In comparison, there is no real distinction in most cars between the front and rear brake systems. Smaller vehicles, like a motorcycle, often do not have linked brakes and experience much greater stopping power from the front wheel.


Are you curious about how to find the perfect slotted rotor for your performance machine? Do you want to know the percentage of stainless steel in performance brake rotors?

Shop for compatible parts for your car, truck, or SUV using our search by vehicle feature. Simply select your vehicle, ex. '2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty', 'Honda Accord', or 'Toyota 4Runner'.

Our experts online or in our stores can teach you how to mount standard rear and front brake rotors while explaining why performance rotor ceramics offer the proper heat transfer for track days.

No matter what, you can rest assured that all of the brands at NAPA AUTO PARTS are of outstanding quality.