Brake Resurfacing - What It Is and When to Do It

You may need brake resurfacing if you experience:

  • Shuddering in the steering wheel during braking.
  • Vibrations in the brake pedal when you apply the brakes.
  • Wobbling wheels – which may be caused by worn wheel bearings that lead to warped rotors or uneven brake pad wear.
  • Unusual brake noises.

But what exactly are brake rotors – never mind resurfacing them?” you ask.

NOTE: Our auto service shop in Cambridge Ontario is prepared to assist with brakes repair services, provided by our experienced, professional and certified auto mechanics.

Inside this guide, you will discover how your car’s brakes work, what to do if they break, and what the best solution is, taking your budget and safety into consideration.

What Is a Brake Rotor?

Integral components of the disc brakes system found on most vehicles, brake rotors are large metal discs connected to the wheel hubs. They rotate along with the wheels when the vehicle is in motion.

The brake rotor is surrounded by brake pads, which are pressed against it when the brake pedal is pressed. The action is facilitated by a hydraulic clamping mechanism known as a brake calliper. This applies pressure to the brake pads, generating friction to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Now, because brake pads are made of organic, semi-metallic, or ceramic materials that wear down, you must replace them as part of routine maintenance on your car. Brake rotors, however, are hardier and should last a lot longer. However, their lifespan is shortened by:

  • Aggressive braking
  • Carrying heavy loads
  • Brake pad type
  • Exposure to salt and moisture
  • Your driving style
  • The quality of the rotors can also impact their durability.

What Is Brake Resurfacing?

Brake rotor resurfacing removes any corrosion and deposits from brake pads that cause the rotor to have an uneven surface. Grooves, warping, and uneven wear negatively affect the performance of the brakes – putting your safety at risk.

The process is often done at the same time as brake repairs. The smooth surface of the rotors combined with replacement brake pads results in maximum brake pad friction and minimum braking vibrations.

Resurface or Replace?

Each vehicle manufacturer specifies a rotor thickness that must be maintained. Because resurfacing rotors involves skimming off some of the metal to achieve a smooth finish, there is a minimum thickness beyond which it is unsafe to continue.

Brake resurfacing is an attractively less expensive option than replacement. It is often the preferred choice when the rotors are still in good condition. But a brake rotor replacement is needed when they are too thin or too damaged to be resurfaced.

Removing the old rotor and replacing it with a new one may be more expensive, but there comes a time when the safe operation of the braking system requires it.

It makes sense to replace a rotor with replacing the brake pads. This is because new brake pads will usually wear down more quickly when used with worn or uneven rotors

Get an Expert to Help

It is essential to consult a professional mechanic if you suspect your brake rotors need to be resurfaced or replaced. At Special Interest Automobiles, our trusty auto service technicians in Cambridge will visually inspect the rotors on your vehicle. Our facility is equipped with modern diagnostic equipment to help us recommend the best course of action for your specific situation.

Before our qualified technicians start, you will receive a digital inspection report with an estimate for needed services and repairs. We will only do repairs with your authorization.

Don’t delay brake resurfacing or replacement – it can be life and death on the roads. Contact Special Interest Automobiles Cambridge today to book an appointment.