How to Drill Out Rotor Screws

Removing rotor screws can be a challenging task, especially if you’re not experienced with power tools. These screws are usually used in vehicles and are intended to hold the rotor in place. The screw may break or freeze in place, making it impossible to remove with a regular screwdriver. Using a drill is an effective way to remove the screw in such cases.

Whether you are a professional mechanic or a diy enthusiast, drilling out rotor screws is a valuable skill to have as it can help you save time and money. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps involved in drilling out rotor screws, which tools you’ll need, and some safety precautions to take while doing so.

The Problem with Rotor Screws


What Are Rotor Screws?

Rotor screws are small components that are crucial in the function of a car’s rotor assembly. Simply put, they are the screws that help to attach the rotor to the wheel hub. Their main purpose is to hold the rotor in place to allow it to rotate as the wheels do.

Without rotor screws, the rotor would not function properly and could lead to major damage to the vehicle. It’s important to note that rotor screws are not one-size-fits-all. They come in different sizes and types, ranging from hex-head to button-head screws.

Therefore, understanding their function and the importance of getting the right size and type of rotor screws is critical to ensure proper vehicle maintenance.

How to Drill Out Rotor Screws

Drilling out rotor screws can be necessary when you’re dealing with stuck or stripped screws that cannot be removed through regular methods. Rotor screws are often found in automotive brake systems and can be challenging to remove due to corrosion and other factors.

Here’s a general guideline for how to drill out rotor screws:

Note: This procedure requires caution and precision. If you’re not comfortable with mechanical tasks or lack the necessary tools, it’s recommended to seek professional help from a mechanic.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Drill with variable speed settings
  • Drill bits (starting with a small bit and gradually increasing in size)
  • Lubricating oil or penetrating oil
  • Hammer and punch
  • Screwdriver or other flat tool
  • Extractor set (optional)
  • Replacement rotor screws


  1. Safety First: Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands during the process.
  2. Spray Penetrating Oil: If the screws are stuck due to corrosion, spray a penetrating oil like WD-40 or PB Blaster on the screws and let it sit for a while. This helps to loosen the screws and make drilling easier.
  3. Select Drill Bit: Start with a small drill bit (usually around 1/8 inch) and set your drill to a low speed. Center the drill bit on the screw head and begin drilling. Apply gentle pressure and allow the drill to work at its own pace. The goal is to create a small pilot hole in the center of the screw.
  4. Gradually Increase Drill Bit Size: As you drill, gradually increase the size of the drill bit. The aim is to create a hole that is slightly larger than the screw’s shaft, without damaging the surrounding material. This should help to loosen the grip of the screw on the threads.
  5. Use Lubrication: Apply lubricating oil or penetrating oil as you drill to reduce friction and heat buildup. This can help prevent the drill bit from getting too hot and breaking.
  6. Punch and Hammer: Once the hole is deep enough, use a hammer and punch to create a small indentation in the center of the hole. This will provide a starting point for the drill bit and help prevent it from wandering off.
  7. Continue Drilling: Switch to larger drill bits as needed, gradually increasing the hole size until you’ve drilled through the screw head. Take your time and avoid applying excessive force, as this could break the drill bit.
  8. Extract the Screw (if possible): If you’ve successfully drilled through the screw head, you may be able to use a screwdriver or other flat tool to turn and extract the screw from the hole. If the screw is still stuck, you can try using a screw extractor set to remove it.
  9. Replace Rotor Screws: Once the stuck screws are removed, clean the holes thoroughly and replace them with new rotor screws.

Remember that drilling out screws can be challenging, and there’s a risk of damaging the surrounding components. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic for assistance.

Removing Brake Rotor Screw “Fast and Easy”

Common Mistakes To Avoid Drill out Rotor Screws

Drilling out rotor screws can be a frustrating task for anyone. However, avoiding certain mistakes can save a lot of time and effort. To start with, do not rush the job and take your time to ensure accuracy. Make sure you have the right drilling bits and equipment.

Use lubrication to ease the process and prevent damage. Also, avoid using excessive force or pressure to drill. If you encounter resistance, stop and re-evaluate your approach. Lastly, always wear appropriate safety gear and use caution. Following these tips will help you successfully drill out rotor screws and avoid common pitfalls.

Preventative Maintenance

Drilling out rotor screws is a task that every car owner must master. Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding the frustration of having stuck screws. When dealing with rotor screws, use a torque wrench to tighten them to the manufacturer’s specifications.

This will prevent over-tightening and the possibility of stripping the threads. Additionally, it’s good practice to apply anti-seize lubricant to the threads before re-installing screws. This will make them easier to remove in the future. Ultimately, sustaining the lifespan of rotor screws will save you time and money.

Following these simple steps will help prevent them from getting stuck again.


To sum up, removing rotor screws is necessary for a smooth brake repair process. The task may seem challenging, but with the right tools and techniques, you can efficiently drill out rotor screws. Remember to take necessary precautions and wear protective gear to avoid any injuries during the process.

Be patient and take your time, as rushing through the task may lead to damage to your vehicle. With the information provided in this guide, you can confidently attempt to remove rotor screws and complete your brake repair job. Follow the steps correctly and take your time.

Finally, we hope this article has been helpful to you and has given you the knowledge to complete this task successfully. Happy repairing!