Rotor Resurfacing- Should I Replace or Machine Brake Rotors?

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Rotor Resurfacing/Machine Rotors

Brake rotors lose some thickness little by little whenever brakes are applied. People machine rotors to extend rotors life. Some machine them to solve problems, like gain back stopping power, vibrating, squeaking, squealing, etc. However, machining rotors results in poor quality, time consuming, cost, safety issues, and not getting them done properly.

Resurface drilled and slotted rotors?
You can cut or machine a drilled and slotted rotor. Just set your brake lathe to its slowest setting to avoid any chatter. Whenever replacing your pads, you’ll want to replace or cut your rotors, so the new pads can bed-in properly. However, if you want that non-directional cross-cut finish go with a new set of rotors from Power Stop. It’s likely to cost close to the same, and even possibly less than cutting a rotor.

What is machining rotors?
Machining rotors can gain back some friction on worn rotors and reduce run-out. Some people even resurface rotors a couple times before rotor replacement. The machining process usually start with sanding the rotors with 120 grit sandpaper to get rid of build-up deposit and dirt. Then cutting, thinning, and trimming the surface of rotors, also known as resurfacing. Finally, testing. Test drive the vehicle to see if the rotors gained some friction back.

Why do people machine rotors?
-To gain back friction and stopping power
-Extend rotors life
-Reduce run-out on new rotors

4 reasons why resurfacing rotors is concerning?
-Reduce rotor quality
-Cost and time
-Hard to resurface rotors properly

Reason1: Quality
-Machining rotors make rotors thinner, susceptible to warping
-Machining rotors pushes the rotor thickness to the limit
-Thin rotors lead to overheats, warping, vibrating, etc.
-When the rotor thickness is different, it results in imbalance, weight shifting, shaking, and vibrating

Reason 2: Cost and time
-The cost to machine rotors might be as much as replacing new rotors
-Need to machine both rotors (a set) to avoid imbalance
-Machine rotors might take a couple hours at the repair shop

Reason 3: Safety
-Rotors weight need to be evenly distributed or else it leads to shaking and vibrating
-It takes as little as .001 inches difference in thickness to notice when driving and braking
-If machined rotors too thin, they can warp and damage brake parts
-By machining the rotors to the maximum thinnest, rotors will overheat, fade, and lose stopping power

Reason4: Not getting rotors resurface properly
-Some repair shops may resurface rotors as fast as possible. This often cause peeling to much metal and thinning of the rotors being replace as a pair, so they will have the same amount of wear and tear
-Using worn bits to machine rotors may result in vibrating
-Rotor vibration due to trimming metal off rotors and left out the lateral run-out

-Depends on the rotor condition, replace rotors is a better option than resurfacing it
-Check our Power Stop’s high-quality performance brake kits and rotors! Do it yourself, replace your own rotors to save money or bring Power Stop’s rotors to a reliable repair shop.

Don’t Just Stop… Power Stop!
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