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Old 03-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #1
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Nomadcat's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Greenwich Village, NYC
Posts: 567
Brake rotor resurfacing philosophy

I'm getting to about 65% on my first pair of disc brake pads, front and rear.

I was at Ford the other day getting some service work done and telling the mechanic I was thinking of changing the pads after my next cross country or 15,000 miles, roughly. He said he changes the pads and then, every OTHER pad change, he'll just get new rotors, his theory being they're almost disposable.

The guy at the desk, when I was asking him about prices on that, said they always re-surface the rotors when they do pads.

I then googled around and a lot of people say they won't necessarily re-surface the rotors if they still look good, kind of like what the mechanic was saying. Also, removing some metal leaves less metal to dissipate friction, which is not really a great thing.

In addition, I can get the pads done while I wait - and I go to a dealer in Jersey cause they're mainly trucks and they're cheaper. Waiting is okay. Leaving it overnight is a hassle.

What do you all do?

I was going to get another service in Portland, OR, at the midway point on my trip. Perhaps I'll have them throw in new pads while they're rotating the tires.

I want to know what your philosophies are on this.

Thank you.


2009 E350 5.4 Quadvan Homebrew
One day at a time
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,477
Re: Brake rotor resurfacing philosophy

We do not resurface rotors unless there are grooves or other uneven wear on the rotors, or there is other problems such as runout, wear (lifetime pads = wear on rotors instead), or corrosion.

If rotors do exhibit these issues, we rarely re-surface them. New rotors now are so inexpensive, it's only about $10/rotor more for us to put on new ones, vs resurfacing once you factor in labor time. I generally offer the re-surfacing option to customers of there is enough material to be re-serurfaced. They usually opt for new anyways. About the only time we fire up the turning machine is when we a have a rare car and new rotors and drums are not available anymore.

Even on our MDTs (F650s), it turns out new rotors are pretty cheap.

But if you decide to get them turned, it should not be an overnight ordeal. It's about an hour turnaround time for a pair. Just enough time to swap the pads and do an oil change during the wait.

If happen to be coming by Corvallis on your travels, I'll make you a good deal on a brake job
2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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