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Rotor Resurfacing

How many miles do resurfaced rotors tend to last? I do a lot of city driving and spend time in rush hour.

These days, some people would say not to turn them at all & just have them replaced. Rotors have gotten thinner over the years and the average quality of steel is not what it used to be. Take those 2 together than a turned rotor won’t last very long - especially with a lot of city driving. They don’t have much tolerance.

I don’t know about the quality of the steel, but rotors are definitely thinner now. Years ago they were meant to be resurfaced, now they’re just designed to be replaced.

I don’t recommend resurfacing rotors anymore. It makes them too thin and prone to warping. If the rotors are worn they should be replaced.

Evaluate the need to perform any type of work reguarding the rotors,it is not a safety hazard to just put new pads in. Shops usually require some type of rotor work but it sometimes is a CYA situation.

A good resurface job is about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a new rotor. I would spring for a new rotor.

I had the brake pads replaced on my 1978 Oldsmobile some years back at an independent brake shop. I was talking to the proprietor that maybe I should bring in my 1988 Taurus that I owned at the time and was only a couple of years old and have the pads checked. He thought that that might be a good idea because he said that the Ford Tauruses at that time had really thin rotors and shouldn’t be resurfaced. I brought the 1988 Taurus in and he changed tha pads. The rotors were fine. Less than a month later, I got a recall notice from Ford to bring the car in for new rotors. Apparently, the original equipment rotors were too thin.

A properly resurfaced rotor that does not exceed the minimum thickness spec should last as long as a new rotor. Note I said “properly refinished” rotor. Some places I’ve seen charge 10 bucks a pop to surface them and they blow right through them as fast as possible with no consideration given as to whether the rotor is chucked into the lathe straight or any care given to the most important cut; the final one which should be done on the agonizingly slow speed.

This is usually more of an economics issue than anything as sometimes the machining cost may be near the cost of a new rotor. In a case like that just replace the rotors.

Most rotors are thick enough to allow about .030 of an inch metal removal at most.
Some cars have beefier rotors (my Lincoln is one) and one can peel off about .050 before getting near the min. thickness spec. Unless horribly deformed, most rotors will not require this much cutting to get them straight.
The main thing is that you must make sure that whoever cuts the rotors does not go under the minimum thickness. Going under not only makes rotors more prone to problems, it’s also a safety factor as a rotor that is too thin could break apart under a hard panic stop.

Just my opinion and hope it helps.