OT: Should I resurface the rotors on my car? - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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OT: Should I resurface the rotors on my car?

Hello, this is off topic, but I have the feeling that some of the frequent posters here are savvy on cars as well.

I will replace the front pads on my car, 2008 Honda CR-V, which is a small SUV.
How can I tell if I need to resurface the rotors?

The car runs well and stops well.
It has 55k miles, with original front pads.
The rotors look somehow grooved and have some surface rust.
The outside pad seems to have 2mm left. I didn't see the inside pad yet.
I think the noisy wear indicator is not touching the rotor yet, as I don't hear the horrible noise that I heard when my rear brakes reached the limit. Does the wear indicator damage the rotor when it starts touching it?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:40 AM
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DO NOT resurface them. Unless you can feel a shimmy in the car when you are putting on the brakes - don't even think about it. Just run them forever. I have a pretty new Audi sports car with rotors that have a huge sharp lip and look worn out for this reason. When I take it in to the dealer I walk back and talk to the mechanics and they say the look just fine and that they are in spec with their factory recommendations! It totally blows me away... but the brakes perform absolutely perfectly and I run them hard. If they don't vibrate your car keep rollin them dude. I have cars and trucks, I have worked in a couple shops and have a commercial license as well. I've seen it all.


Change your pads + change your brake fluid! Grab a friend and pump out the old brake fluid. You should be able to do it in under an hour with the help of a friend - from start to finish. Buy a couple bottles of fluid and go crazy. It takes a lot of fluid and you want to get it crystal clear again. Even if it looks clear right now... it's old. Change it.



When you put new pads on them the first thing you do is pump the brakes to make sure you have pressure before you drive out of the driveway. Then drive down the block and when you get up to 50mph stab on the brakes really hard until you are almost stopped... then accelerate to 50+ again and do the same thing. Do this like 4 times safely and this will help break in the pads. This causes the perfect brake pad surface to "wear down or mate" to the imperfect surface of the brake rotor. Then you will be good to go. If you don't brake them in real quick like this then the gaps that don't connect with the surface of the brake rotor will get brake dust in them and you will get poor performance.



If you ever develop squeaking or they don't work right you can take them back in and get replacements. If you need to do this the first thing they will ask you is "did you bed the brakes in right?". It's their test to see if you know what you are doing. If you answer no then they will roll their eyes and tell you that is why they don't work right. It will be up to them to warranty them or not from there.



Resurfacing just takes away material from the rotor and you don't want that. It will decrease their performance and waste money. Then they will also be more prone to warping. When you do need new rotors because of vibration or cracking - buy new ones from the dealer! They aren't as expensive as you think. You can also find dealers online selling parts for less than your local dealer probably. Aftermarket won't last nearly as long. Enjoy.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:48 AM
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Wear indicator won't damage the rotor one bit. Not in the slightest.


Don't let the brake pads wear out... if you do kiss the rotors bye bye $$. ANd you might not be able to stop when you hit the brakes! A friend of mine just totalled out his newer R1 track bike because of this. He neglected his brakes! Couldn't stop and went flying off the track! Lucky to be alive. Brake pads were metal to metal and right when that happened.. wrecked.


And the calipers should slide back and forth on the pins. They are covered with rubber boots for protection from brake dust. You can wiggle the boots free and make sure they are greased. If they don't have a lot of grease on them... then fix that situation as well. Any high temp grease will work. This will allow the calipers to slide back and forth so that both brake pads make constant and even pressure /contact with the rotor. If it isn't smooth and lacks grease then eventually one will wear faster than the other. Make sure and take your time when scheduling your job. Lots of people are in a hurry and slap pads in there and call it good. If you don't do this right yourself it will never get done - like if you paid a shop or dealer to do your brakes.



If you want to clean the calipers - remove the brake pads and use brake cleaner or wheel cleaner in a spray can (eye protection!). Maybe a parts brush if super dirty. I would recommend some WD-40 once your done cleaning to just coat the whole thing so it doesn't corrode because you stripped it clean with the brake cleaner which is really harsh on rubber and metal/painted surfaces.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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thank you very much, @Smitherz !
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
Hello, this is off topic, but I have the feeling that some of the frequent posters here are savvy on cars as well.

I will replace the front pads on my car, 2008 Honda CR-V, which is a small SUV.
How can I tell if I need to resurface the rotors?

The car runs well and stops well.
It has 55k miles, with original front pads.
The rotors look somehow grooved and have some surface rust.
The outside pad seems to have 2mm left. I didn't see the inside pad yet.
I think the noisy wear indicator is not touching the rotor yet, as I don't hear the horrible noise that I heard when my rear brakes reached the limit. Does the wear indicator damage the rotor when it starts touching it?

Thanks
Attachment 111065
55,000 miles

Personally, from somebody that has owned multiple vehicles such as Sports Cars, SUV's, Coupes, Sedans, etc. I would replace PADS and ROTORS. Then you know everything is right with your brakes, especially with that mileage.

Also, do not let anybody talk you into just TURNING the ROTORS. Once again, take this advise from experience. Once you turn a rotor, you have made it thinner. Thus, once they heat up they can warp and causing dragging / rubbing of other brake parts.

Other folks may tell you different. But as stated, PERSONALLY above advise is what I would do.

The options are yours to decide. Just consider, how much do you value your butt and those near and dear to you.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 06:16 AM
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If there's nothing wrong with the rotors (not warped, no cracks, not too thin) there's absolutely no reason to replace them.
Rotor turning isnt as popular as it once was but it works great. I'd much rather have an oem rotor turned than replaced with cheap AutoZone crap. I've been a professional mechanic for 30(ish) years and I've seen far more aftermarket rotors warp than oem ones. As long as the rotor is still within thickness spec there is no issue with having them resurfaced.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granpooba View Post
I would replace PADS and ROTORS.



On our cars I do this also.
The parts are dirt cheap (in the USA) on eBay, especially if the vehicle is/was a popular model.

If I bother doing a 4 wheel brake job, the effort easily justifies the expense of a new set of rotors.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 06:00 PM
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You can still get rotors turned? I haven't heard that phrase since the 80's (probably because that was the last time I had rotors turned - I was in school, it was a Chevette, trust me when I say the brakes were the least of the problems with that car.

Anyway, 55K miles is not that much for a set of rotors, assuming you haven't previously run your pads down to nothing. Unless they're warped or gouged from metal on metal, just seat the new pads well, and drive on.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 06:55 PM
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You can still get rotors turned? I haven't heard that phrase since the 80's (probably because that was the last time I had rotors turned - I was in school, it was a Chevette, trust me when I say the brakes were the least of the problems with that car.

Anyway, 55K miles is not that much for a set of rotors, assuming you haven't previously run your pads down to nothing. Unless they're warped or gouged from metal on metal, just seat the new pads well, and drive on.
I once had a Chevrolet Trailblazer that was going thru brakes pads and rotors every 20 to 25,000 miles. Problem was that the ABS sensor was built into the rotors, thus you can only imagine how expensive the rotors were.


When I voiced my disappoint and concern to the Service Dept., their reply was that they only fix them. WE DON'T BUILD THEM ! Well, needless to say, I DON'T BUY THEM ANYMORE !

Also needed brake job on Hyundai Tuscon and service suggested turning the rotors. Well, after a short period of time, the front brakes started making strange noises. Took it back to Hyundai and they said, turning rotors have thinned them. They are heating up and causing parts to rub. I paid for new rotors and Hyundai ate the labor charge. This is why I say if you are getting a brake job done, then go all the way for pads and rotors. To this individual, extra cost is worth the peace of mind.

P.S. And if ROGUE has not heard the phrase " Turned Rotors " since the 80's. Then she just told us when she started smoking " Whacky Tobacco ".

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 12:45 PM
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Great advice guys.. wow I'm impressed how much knowledge we have floating around here. I'm sure you have it handled Topaz. Cheers.
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