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Brake Rotor Resurfacing vs. Replacement

Every time you drive your vehicle, a complex braking system ensures you stop safely. Components of the braking system wear overtime, making regular inspections and maintenance necessary. When your vehicle needs a brake job, one decision you'll have to make is to resurface or replace the brake rotors.

vehicle undergoing brake rotor replacement

What is a Brake Rotor?

A brake rotor is a circular metal disc attached to the axle and each wheel. When you press on the brake pedal, brake pads squeeze against the rotor, creating friction that slows your vehicle and brings it safely to a stop. Your brakes experience wear every time you drive your vehicle. Over time, the brake pads wear away, and the rotors may become uneven from wear or deposits. Failing to resurface or replace the rotors can reduce the effectiveness of your brake system and cause your new brake pads to wear prematurely.

What is Brake Rotor Resurfacing?

Replacement is the easiest way to handle a worn rotor no longer meeting the original operating specifications. However, sometimes a rotor can be resurfaced and brought within the required specifications. Brake rotor resurfacing is a machining process that uses a lathe to remove a small amount of the rotor's material. Resurfacing removes corrosion and brake pad deposits and can smooth out surface irregularities that cause vibrations.

Deciding to Resurface or Replace

Whether you resurface or replace your rotors depends on their condition. Rotors can be resurfaced if they are free of cracks or grooves and enough metal remains to maintain the minimum-safe-operational thickness after completing the process. While replacing your brake rotors is more expensive than resurfacing, it's also quicker, and the replacement rotors may have a manufacturer's warranty. Rotor resurfacing can save you money but requires specialized equipment and takes time.

Choose an Expert for Your Vehicle's Brake Maintenance

When it's time for a brake job on your vehicle, you want an automotive repair and maintenance shop that you can trust. With over 40 years of experience, you can count on the expert brake services offered by Custom Complete Automotive. To learn more about our brake repair and replacement services, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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