It’s not a stretch to say that brake rotors are fundamental to your brake’s operation.
These metal discs are inside the wheel hub, and they spin with moving wheels. They also work in tandem with brake pads and calipers. If you step on the brake pedal, the calipers press the pads against the rotor. This action is what creates the friction needed to stop your vehicle.
However, the friction and repeated pad-rotor grinding will cause the rotor to decrease in thickness over time. If the brake pads aren’t replaced regularly, they’ll continue to wear down the rotor and cause significant damage.
To address the rotor’s grooves and uneven thickness from incessant braking, you may go for a replacement or opt for a brake rotor cutting. And a tool used for brake cutting (also referred to as brake turning, resurfacing, or machining) is the brake lathe.
When is Brake Rotor Cutting More Sensible Than a Replacement?
In some cases, the brake rotor and hub assembly are one unit, and rotors of this type are pretty expensive. Even if the rotors are reasonably priced, replacing them doesn’t make sense when our mechanics can resurface them with a brake lathe.
A brake lathe is used to correct a rotor’s uneven thickness. Doing so can also prolong the rotor’s lifespan and snuff out noise and vibration problems.
At Independent Auto and Diesel Repair, we use the Pro Cut X15 brake lathe. This equipment can turn or resurface the rotors while attached to the wheels. This will not only saves time but also saves you money from additional tasks (like disassembling several parts to service the rotor).
How Does the Pro Cut X15 Brake Lathe Work?
The lathe is on wheels, so our mechanic will just roll it up to a vehicle. Once the wheels, brake pads, and calipers are removed, the lathe can be attached to the rotor. The lather zeros itself out to ensure the rotor gets an accurate cut.
The Pro Cut X15 significantly reduces the risk of cutting the rotor too thin. It also ensures the rotor receives an even cut. Once set up, the Pro Cut brake machine is ready to turn your vehicle’s rotors to make them look new again.
The Pro Cut brake machine has adapters for wheels of various vehicles. When we’re done turning the rotors with the Pro Cut X15, they have a smooth finish akin to a brand-new rotor.
Do I Need to Change the Rotors Every Time I Need a Brake Repair?
No, but your auto technician should turn them if they are thick enough. In most cases, rotors can be cut or turned once, sometimes twice, depending on their condition.
Every time you change the brake pads, you should turn (or, in other cases, replace) the rotors. If you don’t do so, the grooves in the rotors will not produce enough friction when pressed by the brake pads.
How Can I Tell If a Brake Rotor Needs Servicing?
Since the rotor works with the brake pads, the symptoms for their servicing are nearly the same. If you hear grinding or squealing, the warning tab on the brake pad’s backing plate is most likely scrubbing against the rotor.
This is one effective way to tell you that the pads are low. However, in this situation, the brake pad already caused grooves in the rotor. If you ignore it, the grooves become so deep that a mechanic can no longer turn the rotors as they’ll be too thin.
Sometimes (though rarely), rotors could warp. If you feel a pulsing in the brake pedal that is not the normal sensation you feel when the ABS brakes are working, have a mechanic check the rotors immediately.
Contact Independent Auto and Diesel Repair for Brake Rotor Services in Jamestown, TN
Brake rotors will wear over time due to repeated braking. And you wouldn’t want to come to a point where your breaking power is already compromised. So, if you need servicing for your brake rotors—whether it’s brake rotor cutting or replacement—reach out to Independent Auto and Diesel Repair, and we’re here to help.