Should I replace or resurface my brake rotor

Should you Replace Or Resurface Your Brake Rotor

Your brake pads may be worn out, a caliper may be dragging, or your rotors may be damaged if you’ve been experiencing braking problems. The question of whether to replace or resurface rotors that require maintenance is one that is frequently discussed. Not all rotors require replacement, but not all rotors can be kept intact.

Should I replace or resurface my brake rotor

Rotor prices typically range from $50 to $80 for each piece if you need to replace them. Furthermore, the cost is typically reduced to half or less if you can resurface them. So, read on as we uncover if you should actually replace or resurface your brake rotor


Should I Replace Or Resurface My Brake Rotor

Whether to replace or resurface your brake rotor depends on the situation of the rotor. Let’s go over some instances.

Why you should resurface a brake rotor

Here is where rotor resurfacing can really payoff:

  • Still thick enough for resurfacing, the rotor
  • There are no more severe damages to the rotor, such as gouges caused by worn-out brake pads.

Resurfacing helps to increase braking performance to like-new levels by restoring smoothness to the rotor’s surface. When a rotor is too old, resurfacing it may not be a good idea. The best time to do it is when the rotor is still fairly young.

It’s crucial to understand that resurfacing does not restore the rotor’s structural integrity. It won’t resolve any security-related problems brought on by warping. The rotor’s surface is just being smoothed out by a procedure.

Why you should replace a brake rotor

It’s not always a good idea to get your rotors resurfaced. It only makes sense as a solution if:

  • Your Brake rotors are still quite fresh.
  • Your Brake rotors have only a little wear, such as no significant scratches.

Replace your rotors if the damage is more obvious. Your decision may also be influenced by the expense of replacement versus resurfacing. Resurfacing the rotors is almost usually less expensive when having a shop perform the operation. Many times, if you can change the rotors yourself, it will be less expensive than resurfacing.

It’s crucial to get replacement rotors of the highest caliber when you decide to repair your rotors. Rotors of lower grade deteriorate significantly more quickly than rotors of higher quality. Your car won’t stop as quickly if your rotors are deformed. Invest in high-quality rotors if you want them to endure a long period.

Signs of brake rotor damage

The wearing down of brake rotors is unavoidable. High temperatures and abrasion are produced as a result of the extreme pressure brake pads exert on them from both sides when they squeeze inside a caliper. It also makes sense that corrosion could form since they are made of bare metal that has been exposed to a harsh environment.

One or more of the following frequent symptoms may be present when your brake rotors need to be replaced:

  • Unusual brake noises, such as squeaking, screeching, or grinding.
  • Feeling of pulsation or vibration in the steering wheel or pedal when applying the brakes.
  • On the rotor surface, there are obvious deep grooves or scoring.
  • High heat can result in discolored or bluish heat spots on the rotor.
  • Rotors are no longer flat or even, which results in uneven brake pad contact.
  • On the rotor surface, particularly close to the edges, small or big cracks.
  • Excessive rust buildup around the edges or on the rotor surface.

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Is it better to replace or resurface rotors?

When the rotor face is consistent, it will probably be less expensive in the long run to replace the rotors. Damaged rotors may cause your brake pads to wear more quickly than new ones will, and resurfacing the rotors will only give them one more “hoorah” before they need to be replaced.

What are the disadvantages of resurfacing rotors?

Although some people machine rotors to increase rotor life, resurfacing rotors rather than replacing them has drawbacks. Poorer-quality rotors and safety problems can result from machining. Additionally time-consuming, and the procedure can be challenging to complete accurately.

Should brake rotors be turned or replaced?

Your rotors may get deformed as a result of frequent braking use and hot spots; having them rotated can help them survive as long as possible before needing to be replaced. In most cases, turning your rotors is unnecessary if their surface is smooth.

Does resurfacing brake rotors work?

The best time to do it is when the rotor is still fairly young. It’s crucial to understand that resurfacing does not restore the rotor’s structural integrity. It won’t resolve any security-related problems brought on by warping. The rotor’s surface is just being smoothed out by a procedure.

How long do resurfaced rotors last?

Resurfaced brake rotor lifespan varies depending on driving style, brake pad quality, and rotor construction, but it normally ranges from 30,000 to 70,000 miles.

How do I know if my rotors need resurfacing?

  • The steering wheel trembles when you brake.
  • When you apply the brakes, your brake pedal vibrates.
  • Possibly due to worn-out wheel bearings, wobbly wheels might cause uneven brake pad wear or warped rotors.

What are the signs of bad rotors?

A vehicle taking a long time to stop, loud bangs while braking, vibration or pulsation in the steering wheel, high-pitched squealing noise when braking, shaking steering wheel, large edges on the outer part of the brake rotor, and scratch marks on the rotor are some common signs of bad rotors.

Do new rotors improve performance?

It is frequently advisable to upgrade both the rotor and the pads simultaneously. When you pair a decent rotor with a pad made for that rotor, you’ll receive better braking performance than you would with an improperly matched combination. The price of a brand-new set of rotors and brake pads is its only drawback.

Do rotors last longer than pads?

Standard brake rotors can live far longer than brake pads, however, this is highly dependent on how well you maintain your brakes and how you drive. In order to extend the lifespan of rotors, they can also have their surfaces resurfaced as needed.

Is it OK to reuse rotors?

Many of today’s automakers advise against resurfacing the rotors when changing brake pads regularly. If they meet the minimum thickness and runout requirements set forth by the makers, are unscored, and show no symptoms of corrosion, they are advised to be reused. Rotor reuse has never caused me any issues.


In conclusion, a brake rotor’s condition will determine whether to replace it or resurface it. The best option is replacement for serious wear or damage. Resurfacing might save you money for small problems. To make sure that your brakes are trustworthy and safe, seek advice from a competent repair.


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