Vented vs. Drilled and Slotted RotorsMay 16, 2021
Brake rotors are a key part of your braking system which allows your car to stop and slow down. But did you know that there are multiple types of rotors, designed specifically for superior performance and extra cooling power? With a modified rotor, you are able to customize your vehicle for your driving style and preferences.
Different types of brake rotors
There is the classic standard OEM solid rotor, vented rotor, and drilled and slotted rotor. Learn about the difference between these types of rotors and the best usage for each.
Vented rotors look like two rotor discs put together with space left in between. It is this space - the vents - that allows the rotor to get rid of extra heat and prevent undue brake fading. The big difference between vented and drilled and slotted rotors is that vented rotors are not necessarily drilled and slotted. A lot of rotors nowadays are vented in modern vehicles.
Drilled and Slotted Rotors
This type of rotor is traditionally not vented although a combination of all three modifications exists. Drilled and slotted rotors have both holes and slots in the metal surface. These extra openings allow extra heat generated during braking to escape and offer superior cooling and braking performance.
Drilled vs. Slotted Rotors
There is also such a thing as a drilled rotor vs. a slotted rotor, where a rotor has only one type of opening and not both. Drilled rotors are best for normal city and highway driving and high-end vehicles like BMW and Porsche are outfitted with drilled rotors. Slotted rotors on the other hand are best suited for high-speed stops that you'd see during track racing.
|Vented Rotors||Drilled and Slotted Rotors|
|Features||Allow heat to escape, increase the longevity of brake pads, installed on most common modern vehicles||Prevents brake fading, allows gas and heat to escape, helps clean off brake pads|
|Performance||Standard, better than solid rotor||Superior, great cooling performance|
|Usage||Normal city driving, highway driving, high speeds||Modern performance cars, track racing, high-speed stops|
Can I replace vented rotors with solid rotors?
If your car requires vented rotors, and comes with them by default from the manufacturer, you cannot replace them with solid rotors because they won’t be the same size as the vented ones. And there is a reason your car has vented rotors in the first place.
For example, a Dodge Charger with a 3.6L engine requires solid rotors at the back wheels. If you need more performance, you can replace these with drilled and slotted rotors, but not vented. However, a Dodge Charger with a 5.7L engine requires vented rotors at the rear and while you can get your vented rotors drilled and slotted, you will not be able to put non-vented (solid) rotors on the back wheels of your vehicle. Putting solid rotors in place of vented ones can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance as more powerful vehicles require the extra braking performance vented rotors can provide.
As you can see, vented rotors are not the same as drilled and slotted rotors. It's important you buy the right kind for your vehicle so the rotors can withstand the high heat generated and offer strong braking performance when needed!