How To Remove A Stuck Brake Rotor?

Removing a stuck brake rotor has never been an easy task. If there is much rust and corrosion, it might take you some time to free the rotor. However, a little experience and hammering are enough to release the two pieces.

Before we talk about how to remove a stuck brake rotor, you should know some specific factors. Whenever you find rust on components like your shoes or brake pads, replace them immediately. This is due to the action of rust on a brake plate, and rust can cause you to suffer from brake failure.

In addition, removing a rotor can take some time and requires tools like an acetylene torch, propane torch, and a rotor puller. The specialist tools necessary for this task depend on the corrosion and level of rust present. Furthermore, do not engage the parking brake before working on your rear rotor.

We recommend that you have some experience to avoid damaging components around your brake plate. Consequently, professional mechanics are the best option to fix such a situation.

With that explained, immediately your car is jacked up with its wheel taken out, follow the following steps to pull out the stuck rotor.

How To Remove A Stuck Brake Rotor

Separate the Brake Caliper from the Bracket

We have two rotor bolts in the brake plates. One is around the top of the bracket, and the next caliper bolt is close to its bottom. When you remove the brake caliper, it allows you to work on the brake pads. Then, pull out the pads and drop them into a safe place.

Take Out the Caliper Plate

When you have successfully disconnected the caliper, take out the caliper plate. The process is straightforward. Remove some bolts at the caliper bracket’s back. Meanwhile, these bolts connect to the car’s wheel hub through the caliper bracket. Since glue holds the bolts in place, you may have to exert some effort to take them out.

how to Take Out the Caliper Plate

However, you should know that a rotor screw might be on the rotor face. This would give you an idea of how to go about taking out the brake disc. This means that you have to pull out every rotor screw first. When you remove the screws, it becomes easier to dismantle the brake disc. In addition, if rust has affected the screw hole, an impact driver would be required to dislodge the screw.

To do this task, you have to fit the head of your impact driver into the screw’s head. Then, it would help if you hit your impact driver from the other end. The screw can come loose when you try and turn it.

Temporarily Reassemble the Brake’s Lug Nuts

The brake rotor is ready to come out of the wheel at this step. Nevertheless, it would be best to break the corrosion or rust before letting the rotor free. Meanwhile, it would help if you temporarily reassembled the brake’s lug nuts before you do this. You should screw the nuts to prevent the brake rotor from injuring people while you take out the rust.

Do Away with the Rust

You should remove the rust to free the stuck brake rotor. To achieve this, you should begin with a hammer-like ball-pein, rubber, small sledge, standard claw, or dead blow hammer. However, a metal hammer does the task faster and better because of the vibrations created. Additionally, you could damage the brake rotor if you mistakenly hit it directly.

First, you can begin your hammering between the lug nuts respectively. If you directly hit the brake rotor, you can damage or break it from the wheel hat.

Find Additional Tools

Sometimes, a hammer may not do the trick for you. When the hammer fails, you should gather additional tools to support your effort. You can bring two wrenches, two nuts, two washers, and two hex bolts.

Insert the Bolts Into the Threaded Holes

There are threaded holes from the rotor’s back that need the bolts. The threaded hole could be single or double. The purpose of the threaded holes is to support the removal of the rotor. You should use a washer on a bolt-on for every threaded hole when fixing them. The washers help in securing the bolts with the nuts.

Then, attach one wrench to the nut. The next thing to do is to use another wrench in tightening the bold.

Clever Tactics to Remove a Stuck Brake Rotor

When you try the above steps, and the brake rotor proves stubborn, here is what you can do:

  • Rotate The Brake Rotor: Try to lose the bolts in the bolt holes and leave the vehicle in neutral before releasing the parking brake. The next thing is to swivel the disc rotor before tightening the bolts again.
  • Apply Penetrative Lubricant: Apply lubrication on the rotor’s backside and the wheel hub. The lubricant helps in loosening the rotor.
  • Use A Puller: When you use a puller on the back of the rusted rotors, it leaves the center of the rotor with indentation. You secure the center bolt with the indentation and work on the bolt.
  • Use Heat: With the help of a propane torch, you can apply heat between the lug nuts.
  • Use A Breaker Bar: People who want fast action can use a breaker bar to remove their stock brake rotor. However, they should be careful with their leverage to avoid rounding out your bolts.

Finally, pick an angle grinder and cut off the rotor if all these tips do not work on the stuck rotor. However, this will work to repair your new rotors, not old ones.

Ways to Stop Rotors from Being Stuck

Removing stuck rotors could be time-wasting and stressful to many car owners. Many of us may not want to try eliminating rotors after our first trial. Hence, we search for ways to prevent brake rotors from rusting.

  • Clean Rotor When You See Rust: First, do not allow rust or corrosion to stay around your wheel studs. Pick a wire brush drill attachment or a wire brush to clean the tops and sides of the wheel hub. Rust happens here the most.
  • Use Some Grease: To prevent corrosion, you should apply some grease on the wheel rotor’s backside and wheel hub.


Brake rotors suffer from rust and corrosion when exposed to weather elements, and this means you should have a good maintenance culture to prevent the rusting of the rotors. If you end up with a stuck rotor, you should get a professional mechanic for repair.