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Resurface Rotors Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Brake Rotor Reface
The average cost for a brake pad replacement, resurface rotors is between $235 and $329. Labor costs are estimated between $158 and $200 while parts are priced between $77 and $129. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: The cost of this service or repair can vary by location, your vehicle's make and model, and even your engine type. Related repairs may also be needed. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs might be right for you.

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Brake Rotor Reface

What is a brake rotor?

Most modern cars use disc brakes on all four wheels. Brake rotors are part of this braking system, and use friction created by the brake pads to slow and stop the vehicle. When the brake pads are changed, the rotors must be resurfaced or replaced, depending on how worn they are.

How does a brake rotor work?

As the term “disc brake” implies, the brake rotor is shaped like a disc. This disc rotates with the vehicle's wheel until the brake pads squeeze the rotor from both sides to create braking force. The brake rotor transmits this braking force directly to the wheels, and causes the vehicle to slow down.

What are the symptoms of a brake rotor issue?

Brake rotor problems are rare, but when they happen, customers often say they have lost braking power, or the vehicle's brakes are making noise. There may be no symptoms at all related to replacing or resurfacing the brake rotors, since it is recommended to resurface or change brake rotors when performing a standard disc brake service.

» LEARN MORE: Brake rotor symptoms

Can I drive with a brake rotor problem?

It is not safe to operate a vehicle with any kind of braking problem. Instead, the vehicle should be towed to a service center and repaired. If the rotors are being replaced as part of routine maintenance, with no symptoms noticed, the vehicle can safely be driven to a repair shop.

How often do brake rotors need to be resurfaced or replaced?

Brake rotors are typically replaced or resurfaced as part of a standard brake service, so the average serviceable lifespan depends on your driving style and operating conditions. Check your owner's manual to see how frequently the brakes need to be serviced.

How are brake rotors diagnosed?

The signs technicians look for when disc brakes are suspected of failure are deep grooves, stress fractures and a blue color indicating the brake rotor has gotten too hot. If any of these conditions exist, the technician will recommend replacement, or resurfacing if appropriate.

Brake Pad Replacement, Resurface Rotors Cost Estimates

The average cost for a Brake Pad Replacement, Resurface Rotors is between $235 and $329 but can vary from car to car.

How is a brake rotor resurfaced or replaced?

To replace a brake rotor, the wheel, brake caliper and a retaining screw must first be removed. If the rotors are being replaced, the replacement rotor is installed by sliding it onto the hub and bearing assembly.

If the rotor is eligible for resurfacing, it will be placed on a large piece of industrial equipment known as a brake lathe. The brake lathe resurfaces the rotor by spinning it while a stationary metal cutting head is applied to the surface and scraped across.

After the rotor is placed back on the vehicle, the brake caliper and pads will be installed, and the brake system will be bled to eliminate air. 

RepairPal recommendations for brake rotor issues

When replacing a brake rotor, it's important to replace the corresponding rotor on the other side of the vehicle. This will ensure the braking power is even and predictable. 

What to look out for when dealing with brake rotor issues

Some brake rotors are made of different materials. Only metallic brake rotors are eligible for resurfacing, and all others must be replaced. Semi-metallic brake rotors may be an exception to this rule, depending on manufacturer specification. Rotors that cannot be machined are typically more expensive, and offer much higher braking performance. 

Can I replace or resurface the brake rotors myself?

Specialized heavy equipment is needed to resurface a brake rotor, and should be left to a professional mechanic. If you're familiar with the brake system, you may be able to replace a rotor at home, but be sure to do them in pairs and bleed the system of air after you're done.

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