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post #1 of 23 Old 03-22-2016, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Pad replacement & Rotor resurfacing cost?

I got a quote from my mechanic today of $350 -$400 to replace all four pads with "good pads" and to resurface my rotors. Is this reasonable? I had considered doing it myself BUT I just don't have the time right now and the pads are quite thin. I told my dad about it and he said he only got his rotors resurfaced on his vehicles when they "needed it" NOT as standard practice when changing the pads. If I can save the money and just do the pads I'd love to but if I SHOULD do it then I will. Thoughts? Thanks!

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-22-2016, 08:36 PM
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I'd leave the disks alone unless there's a reason to resurface them. If you do, make sure they use an on-vehicle lathe, otherwise run-out is not taken into consideration. I believe Honda specifies such lathes for dealer brake work.


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post #3 of 23 Old 03-22-2016, 08:53 PM
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How much is the labor? It should be 2 hrs tops.

I didn't know resurfacing rotors was still a thing. Depending on the person handling the machine, it can either go fine or be a total butcher job.


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post #4 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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He charges $80 an hour.

The mechanic referred to it as "turning the rotors" but I think that means resurfacing. The way he described it it sounded like that even if he used different language.

Maybe I'll just get a coupon and take it to Brakes Plus... It would be under $150. granted it would be WITHOUT the resurfacing.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 03:45 AM
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DO NOT resurface the rotors. Just replace them with good aftermarket rotors, either Centric or Brembo. As for the pads, go with Stoptech or Brembo. This is the voice of experience talking.

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post #6 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jt34237 View Post
He charges $80 an hour.

The mechanic referred to it as "turning the rotors" but I think that means resurfacing. The way he described it it sounded like that even if he used different language.
The labor rate sounds normal, maybe a bit high. Most shops around me charge about $72-75/hr.

And yes, by "turning" they mean "resurfacing". I think the term "turning" comes from the fact that they (used to?) put them on a lathe to resurface them. My dad says turning instead of resurfacing. I don't think that's something that's done very often anymore.

If they can't be resurfaced and stay to specifications, just get new ones.


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post #7 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 07:36 AM
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I haven't resurfaced or replaced a rotor since 1998. It's a waste of time and money. Just put on new pads and roll.

It took me 10 minutes per side to replace my rear brake pads. Even if the fronts are double that it's only gonna take your mechanic an hour. he needs to make more than $80 on a brake job so he's trying to sell you a bill of goods.

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Originally Posted by enne View Post
And yes, by "turning" they mean "resurfacing". I think the term "turning" comes from the fact that they (used to?) put them on a lathe to resurface them.
They still resurface by turning them.

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Last edited by namegoeshere; 03-26-2016 at 10:48 AM.
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by chriso View Post
DO NOT resurface the rotors. Just replace them with good aftermarket rotors, either Centric or Brembo. As for the pads, go with Stoptech or Brembo. This is the voice of experience talking.
^^^ this.

You don't have time? Do you have time to replace 1 rotor and 1 set of pads each night? I'm sure you do.

Front centric rotor = $35
Rear centric rotor = $28

Pads vary between $30 to $70 / pair, depending on brand and type. You can do the whole job for under $200 given that you have the tools already. You should NEVER resurface rotors because you only take more material away, less heat dissipating capacity. Rotors are so cheap these days, it doesn't make sense to resurface them.
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chriso View Post
DO NOT resurface the rotors. Just replace them with good aftermarket rotors, either Centric or Brembo. As for the pads, go with Stoptech or Brembo. This is the voice of experience talking.
I see this alot - recommendations along these lines on a bunch of different car forums.

How hard are some of you on brakes?

I autocrossed (and plentiful 1/4 mile runs) a 3rd Gen F-body (400 ft/lbs of torque with a T5) and I replaced the old stuff with good OEM / better quality rotors and good pads. Along with rebuilding calipers, replacing old lines and flushing the system. I never had any warpage or other brake problems.

When you apply the brakes, do you feel a shake or a vibration?

If not your rotors are likely fine. Take an hour or two out of your week and throw on some new pads and flush the fluid (if you've never done it).

Disc brake pads are ridiculously easy to replace.

Now tearing apart drums and adding new hardware kits and springs is NOT fun....but I still wouldn't pay someone else (whose butt isn't in the driver's seat of the the car they are fixing) to do it.

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You should NEVER resurface rotors because you only take more material away, less heat dissipating capacity. Rotors are so cheap these days, it doesn't make sense to resurface them.
I just can't see it - and I've been driving / wrenching for close to 30 years.

Newer rotors usually don't "warp" when you are talking normal, SANE, even spirited daily driving. Many rotors will get pad build up from certain types of pads. Also many people will have pads put on their vehicle which are too hard / not matched to OEM rotor material thickness - this doesn't help either.

Pads are supposed to be softer than the rotors - so the pads wear when used - not so much the rotor.

I've seen a handful of rotors actually warp over the years.

Two set from the same guy - because he loved to ride the brakes on the track and the street. The other had to be the thinnest rotors I've even seen in my life and the driver of that car had two modes - full go and full stop.

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post #10 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 09:57 AM
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That is just too expensive. I've had rotors and pads replaced front and back for less in the past.

I'm using Centric High Carbon rotors and Stoptech pads. Lots of initial bite, pretty good fade resistance, and the dusting isn't terrible. I got the high carbon for the better bite and the black coated rotors.

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post #11 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 12:41 PM
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I have not taken off a rotor, driven using a second car to a shop with it, had someone turn / resurface it, for 6 years now. And for anyone's info, turning a rotor off the wheel hub isn't true to the hub, so the rotor might be turned, but still wobble on the hub when it's put back on. I've had this happen when I was young and dumb. Taking an existing rotor off, driving it to a shop, means more time and gas money to get to the shop to have it turned. So in the end, you end up spending about the same or more as a new rotor. Why wouldn't you go for new rotors anyway especially since it's thicker with better heat dissipation capacity?

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post #12 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jt34237 View Post
I got a quote from my mechanic today of $350 -$400 to replace all four pads with "good pads" and to resurface my rotors. Is this reasonable? I had considered doing it myself BUT I just don't have the time right now and the pads are quite thin. I told my dad about it and he said he only got his rotors resurfaced on his vehicles when they "needed it" NOT as standard practice when changing the pads. If I can save the money and just do the pads I'd love to but if I SHOULD do it then I will. Thoughts? Thanks!
If the car shakes when braking, the rotors need attention. If it brakes smoothly, swap the pads and be done. If you have the tools, you could do this yourself or with a buddy in under an hour. Otherwise, The price is too high for my taste and I suggest using a local brake shop, or asking what they'll charge for pad replacement only.

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post #13 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 12:53 PM
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I had considered doing it myself BUT I just don't have the time right now and the pads are quite thin.
If you have time to drop the car off or worse, wait at the mechanics, you can do the brakes yourself. If your brakes aren't pulsating, then you don't need to mess with the rotors. Even then, you just replace them.

My last brake job took less than a half hour. I had already lubed the slide pins a few months prior, so it was just a matter of throwing the pads on. Most of the time was spent compressing the calipers.

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-25-2016, 10:32 AM
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I'll go one further that all of y'all.

Ever have a family member say "my brakes are making a funny noise can you look at them?" and when you go out and take a look, all the pad is gone and it's steel on steel? When this happens, the rotor surface looks like cake frosting does when you let it sit and stiffen up and then try to spread it again.

I've seen this a handful of times. The first couple times I did like any good soldier and replaced rotors. The final time it was my wife and I thought to myself "what the hell have I got to lose by not replacing the rotors?" so I just slapped on a set of new pads. I checked them every day and about a week or so later the rotor surface was back to shiny smooth with no braking issues whatsoever. This is why I never replace rotors any more. There's no need to.

I win.

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post #15 of 23 Old 03-26-2016, 06:26 AM
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That's a hit and miss, depending how much the rotor has been burned. I encountered a sticky rear caliper piston on the rear driver's side and the rotor was never the same again. One other way to fix it is to put on a pair of temporary racing pads to eat off the top layer of the rotor by braking very hard. Hawk has a procedure on this. Once the top layer is off, then you put back the regular pads. But for what it's worth, at $28 for a rear rotor, I just change the rotor. $28 is less than a dinner meal these days.


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