Are brake rotors covered under warranty?

Most of the time, the answer is no — but not always

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Endurance Auto Warranty, Toyota, Omega Auto Care, Concord Auto Protect, Toco Warranty and American Dream Auto Protect
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Brake rotors are an integral part of a vehicle’s braking system. When you press the brake pedal in a vehicle that has disc brakes, your brake pads and calipers squeeze your spinning rotors to a halt. This generates heat and friction, which wears the pads and rotors over time.

Unfortunately, most warranties exclude rotors from their standard coverage because of this. (They aren’t meant to last, so car makers and warranty providers don’t want to cover them the same way they cover permanent, non-degrading parts.) However, there are exceptions, and some warranties offer supplemental coverage for rotors as an add-on option.

So, is there any chance your vehicle qualifies for coverage? Keep reading to find out.


Key insights

Brake rotors are considered “wear-and-tear” components, which means they’re not covered under most factory or extended warranties.

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However, some extended warranties offer supplemental coverage for brake parts.

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If you have to pay for new brake pads and rotors out of pocket, expect to spend between $450 and $900 per axle unless you have a luxury or performance vehicle.

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Brake rotor warranty coverage

Factory and extended warranties generally don’t cover brake pads and rotors because warranty providers consider them “wear-and-tear” items. (Wear-and-tear parts, like windshield wipers and tires, usually require multiple replacements over the life of your vehicle as a result of normal use.)

Basically, your brake rotors wearing down isn’t covered under warranty because that’s what they’re supposed to do. (And adding coverage for wear-and-tear parts would just make things more expensive for everyone.)

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

Do any warranties cover brake rotors?

No major automaker or extended warranty company covers brake rotor replacements or repairs unless they are involved in a recall or have a manufacturing defect.

That’s right — even the most comprehensive coverage options lack protection for brake rotor replacements. These warranties are sometimes called ”bumper-to-bumper” or “exclusionary” plans, which means they pay for so many repairs that it’s easier to list what isn’t covered. However, you’ll find brakes listed in those exclusions as a wear-and-tear item alongside tires and windshield wipers.

Warranty providers don’t cover wear-and-tear parts because they’re simply not designed to last forever.

That said, some extended warranty companies offer add-on coverage that might cover some or all of your brake rotor replacement costs, and you may also find rotor manufacturers or retailers that offer warranties for their products.

For example, Endurance sells add-on coverage for brakes that may cover a portion of the replacement costs. Just be aware that these plans often cost extra and don’t cover the entire repair cost, so they might not be worth the expense if you’re just buying them for the rotor benefits.

» MORE: Car warranty guide: what you need to know

Does your extended warranty cover brake rotors?

We checked the offerings from a few major extended warranty providers to see who offered supplemental coverage for brake rotors and included the results below.

How much does it cost to fix your brake rotors?

You generally replace your brake rotors in tandem with your brake pads, which adds to the overall cost. Our estimates show that a pad and rotor replacement costs between $450 and $870 per axle on average, but your costs will depend on your vehicle.

Replacing your brake pads and rotors usually costs between $450 and $870 per axle, but the make and model of your vehicle will play a big part in your overall costs.

Some premium models, performance vehicles and trucks may cost much more. For example, the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla, a high-performance hatchback, takes large slotted rotors that cost more than $600 each, and that’s before you add on the price of labor or brake pads.

You might also be offered the option to resurface or “turn” your rotors, which involves machining a small amount of metal from the rotor surface to create a smooth gripping area for the pads. While this is possible and might not result in damage to the component, it’s a practice many in the industry recommend against. Rotors experience extreme heat and wear during use and are designed to be thick enough to withstand that abuse, so removing material from the surface can affect the structural integrity.

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FAQ

How long do rotors last on average?

Most rotors can be expected to last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles on average. However, keep in mind that your driving style, type of vehicle and road conditions can impact your rotors’ longevity.

Are brake rotors covered under bumper-to-bumper warranties?

Brake rotors are considered wear-and-tear components and are not covered under bumper-to-bumper warranties. There are exceptions however, including in cases where a manufacturing defect is detected, requiring a recall or other action.

Are rotors covered under extended warranties?

Most extended warranties exclude brake rotors, but some companies offer supplemental coverage that pays for part of a rotor replacement. It’s worth noting that some of these add-on coverage options cost extra, which complicates the relative value of their coverage.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. AutoZone, “How Long Do Brake Rotors Last?” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  2. Omega Auto Care, “Omega Auto Care Maintenance Program.” Accessed April 29, 2024.
  3. Endurance Warranty, “How Often Should Brakes Be Replaced?” Accessed April 29, 2024.
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