Can I resurface just one rotor?
Normally both rotors need to be replaced because they will usually have the same amount of wear. Even if one side is "good enough" it is wise to replace both brake rotors at the same time to maintain even braking as any difference in rotor thickness will cause the brakes to pull to one side.
If a mechanic identifies rotors as warped or excessively worn, they'll advise replacing them with new brake pads. Alternatively, resurfacing rotors is an option but may reduce their durability and accelerate brake pad wear.
Replacing Your Brake Rotors
Not only is replacing your rotors less expensive, it's also the safer option since you know they'll last you a certain amount of time as long as you keep up with your regularly scheduled maintenance. At Coulter Nissan, we know how valuable your time is.
Although some people machine rotors to extend rotor life, there are downsides to resurfacing rotors instead of replacing them. Machining can lead to poorer quality rotors and safety issues. The process is also time-consuming and can be difficult to do correctly.
Brake rotors should never be turned more than once. There are many variables that determine if you can turn brake rotors. The design and thickness of the rotor material will affect the tolerances. These specifications will indicate how much material can be safely removed without compromising the rotor integrity.
Some common symptoms of bad rotors include vibration or pulsation in the steering wheel, high-pitched squealing noise when braking, shaking steering wheel, brake pedal pulsing, vehicle taking a long time to stop, loud bangs while braking, large edges on the outer part of the brake rotor, and scratch marks on the rotor.
Even if one side is "good enough" it is wise to replace both brake rotors at the same time to maintain even braking as any difference in rotor thickness will cause the brakes to pull to one side.
For most cars, if you're doing it yourself it may be cheaper to resurface them. But if a mechanic is doing it, the amount of time it takes to resurface versus just swapping them out, considering that rotors are fairly inexpensive for most cars, makes it not worth resurfacing.
The national cost for a brake rotor resurfacing with CarAdvise in 2023 is between $20 and $58 with an average of $36.
If new brake pads are put onto a vehicle with damaged rotors, the pad won't properly contact the rotor surface, reducing the vehicle's stopping ability. Deep grooves that have developed in a worn rotor will act as a hole-puncher or shredder and damage the pad material as it is pressed against the rotor.
How much should I charge to change rotors?
Rotors cost between $30 and $75 each. Higher-quality rotors like Duralast Gold, which feature a coated hat and edge and are designed to outperform your vehicle's original equipment, usually cost a little more. Labor at a shop to replace rotors and pads is approximately $150 to $200 per axle.
Many factors determine how long your rotors will last, but you can generally expect them to require replacing somewhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles of driving. For an average driver covering 12,000 miles per year, this means that brake rotors may need replacing anytime between 2 1/2 years and six years of driving.
Compared to a manual lathe, a Brake Rotor Grinder costs a fraction of the cost. This machine can resurface all types of brake discs, including drums, heavy-duty rotors, and flywheels.
With the engine in the front of most vehicles, the front weighs more and needs extra braking capacity. Because of the weight distribution, the front brake pads and rotors typically wear out before the rear pads.
When brake rotor surfaces become compromised due to grooves and score marks, the braking efficiency can be significantly reduced, potentially leading to longer stopping distances, increased wear on brake pads, and even safety concerns.
- After pressing the brake pedal, the driver feels a vibration in the steering wheel and/or the brake pedal. Cause: Pad Deposits. ...
- The brakes produce very loud noises when braking. ...
- The brake rotor has developed surface cracks.
The process of resurfacing your rotors, which is also referred to as turning, cutting, and machining, involves "turning" the rotor. This essentially means evening out the warps in the rotors so that it's flat enough for the brake pad to be pressed down onto it.
As a general rule, you should get your brake pads replaced every 10,000 to 20,000 miles to keep wear to a minimum. When it comes to your rotors, you have a bit longer. Your rotors should be replaced between 50,000 and 70,000 miles to keep your brakes in peak health.
If you feel the shaking or vibration in your steering wheel and your brake pedal, it could be your rotors. The rotors get pressed by the brake pad to help slow your vehicle down, and if the rotors are out of balance, this could be causing the vibrating tremors that you feel in the pedal and steering wheel.
A resurfaced rotor must meet the minimum thickness specification defined by the rotor manufacturer. If a rotor can't meet the minimum thickness, you shouldn't resurface it as it'll become too thin, unsafe, and warp easily. Next, the rotor mustn't be warped or cracked. Always get a new rotor for this type of damage.
Does resurfacing rotors fix warp?
It makes the most sense when the rotor is still relatively new. It's important to know that resurfacing does not restore the structural integrity of the rotor. It will not fix any safety-related issues associated with warping. It is just a process that smooths out the surface of the rotor.
If you need to have your brake drums or brake rotors resurfaced, O'Reilly Auto Parts offers in-store resurfacing services for drums and rotors.
Resurfacing can usually restore the friction surface on worn rotors to like-new condition, unless a rotor is worn down too far to be safely resurfaced or has cracks, deep grooves, severe rusting, hard spots or other structural defects.
When your rotors have grooves or are warped, the brake pads may bump against the uneven surface and cause pulsations felt through the vehicle. In general, pulsations felt in the steering wheel indicate the front brakes need replacement, while pulsations in the brake pedal indicate the rear brakes need replacement.
If components of your braking system need replaced like your rotors and calipers, your brake pads are going to wear out quickly. Have your rotors and calipers inspected if your brake pads are wearing out faster than normal and buy replacement parts if needed.