Generally, electric scooters tend to be durable and long-lasting. Still, some of their components are prone to damage, and rotors are no exception.
Have you been noticing that your electric scooter is dragging? Is it becoming more difficult for the wheel to rotate? These are all signs that your electric scooter rotors are warped. But the good news is that we can tell you exactly how to fix your bent rotors.
To straighten your warped rotors, you should put the scooter on a raised surface and ensure that the wheels don’t make contact with it. Using a permanent marker, make a guideline to distinguish the rotor’s low and high contact points. Then, bend the low contact point away from the tire with a small crescent wrench. Finally, spin the wheel to ensure that it’s straightened out.
Should You Fix or Replace Warped Rotors?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this because it depends on how bent the rotor is. However, if it’s a severe warp of over 45 degrees, you should certainly replace the rotor.
Also, note that rotors don’t have the longest lifespans, so they may last 30,000 to 80,000 miles on average. If you’re past that, we recommend you buy a new rotor. In addition, a rule of thumb is to replace your brake rotors every time you replace your brake pads; that’s how fast they wear out!
If the warping is minimal, you can fix your rotor, but know that this will thin it out in the warped spots, so it’ll warp again and even faster. Still, we can’t deny that straightening your rotors is a handy quick fix.
How to Fix the Warped Rotors in 5 Steps
Now, it’s time to have an in-depth look at the steps you’ll need to take to fix your warped rotor.
1. Set Up Your Scooter on a Raised Surface
Put your electric scooter on an elevated and sturdy surface, such as an upturned milk crate or a durable box. Note that you should be able to spin the wheels, so they can’t come in contact with the elevated surface. You also need a clear view of the brake caliper.
Now, spin the wheel. If you notice the rotor moving back and forth from the caliper, the wiggling confirms that it’s warped.
2. Draw a Guideline for the High and Low Contact Points
It’s vital to locate where the bend is precisely, and you can do that by inspecting the rotor from above or behind. Using the brake caliper as a reference, turn the wheel, and mark the disc areas that touch the caliper with a permanent marker.
But a more accessible and accurate method is to position your hand so that it’s braced against the caliper. Then, point the marker’s tip to the rotor, and spin the tire. The trick is to have the marker close enough to the rotor to leave marks without creating a full circle.
This way, you’ll be able to locate the high contact points (the marked spots) and the low contact points (the unmarked ones).
3. Bend the Rotor Outwards
You need to use a small crescent wrench or an adjustable spanner wrench if the former isn’t available. Line it up with the low spots, and make sure it has the rotor in a tight hold.
You’ll have to bend the rotor outwards to counter any heat or outside forces that have pushed it toward the wheel. However, the chances of a rotor being turned outwards (that you need to bend inwards) are almost non-existent because the spot between the rotor and wheel is tough to reach.
So, bend the motor slightly away from the wheel, but don’t make any big bends. The last thing you want to do is over-straighten the rotor.
4. Spin the Scooter Wheel
Spin the wheel to see if the rotor is still wobbly. Look for any low points where the rotor is still touching the caliper, and mark them with your permanent highlighter.
5. Tweak and Adjust
Gently tweak the rotor with the wrench again. Repeat this process until your wheel is spinning efficiently. However, don’t expect it to go back to how it was; a minor rub isn’t a problem as long as the wheel is still spinning freely. Last but not least, make sure that the brakes aren’t dragging and adjust the brake cable as needed.
Overall, fixing a slightly warped rotor is a process of trial and error. Just remember to make slight adjustments with your small crescent wrench and spin the wheel to see if it needs more tweaking. Although this may not be a long-term solution, it can be the quick fix you want to get your electric scooter running.