Can I take it to any independent mechanic or should I go to a chain like Meineke?
Last time I did mine, was at a Pep Boys store. I brought in the rotors, and they turned them for me, for a cost of $8.00 each…this was back in 2001.
You may be better off just getting new ones. They’re likely so thin (and will then be thinner after machining) that they won’t hold up. Have you measured them to see if they are thick enough as is? The minimum thickness is probably stamped into the side.
Not all mechanics turn their own rotors so you should call around. The prices won’t vary a whole lot and I would opt for an independent shop. You can also check with auto parts stores - the last time I had rotors turned it was at a Fisher’s auto parts store. I wouldn’t count on the big corporates for this (e.g. Autozone) even if they do them. But smaller, independently owned parts stores are often decent machine shops.
I vote for replacement. You could get them resurfaced but thinner rotors tend to warp easily from heat.
For me I want a machinist to surface the rotors, you would not believe the low training level that some people have in regards to rotor turning and the complete lack of concern of management at some places.
I replace mine rather than have them turned. I don’t want to lose use of the car while the rotors are turned. Rotors aren’t all that expensive anyway. The rotors for your van are $45 each at Advance Auto Parts on line.
Hey thanks everyone for the input: I usually just replace my rotors also, but this time while my innner pads are worn down to 3/16 (so it is time to do the pads), the rotors are really in great shape. There seems to be virtually no thickness lost. That’s why I thought I’d try getting them resurfaced, & then next year go ahead and swap them out when its time to do pads again. But then again maybe it is best just to put new rotors on there. I’ll have to decide this week. I’ll let you all know what I do. Thanks!
You can try one of the local car parts shops, see how the cost to turn them compares to new ones (not the cheapest, not the most expensive). I tried to get mine turned, the parts guy ruined it (said the metal was ‘soft’…suuuure). The gave me one new one free as a replacement, I bought the other, came out about even.
I only have one problem with inexpensive rotor cutting and I’m not indicting every place that cuts them cheaply.
Many places want to whip them out quickly so they set the cut to the fastest position and take off a lot of metal on each pass.
No more metal should be removed than necessary and this means .004 (roughly) at a time and with the chatterband in place on the rotor.
The final cut should be light with the lathe set on the slowest speed and with the chatterband in place. This will produce a smooth, proper finish. Some places skip the slow cut, skip the chatterband, and unless the customer knows better they may assume that finish is what it ought to be when it’s really not.
If you go with new rotors you should always, always clean them with carburetor or brake cleaner before installing them. Many rotors have a rust preventative film on them and this should be removed. Sometimes this film is very noticeable (may resemble Cosomoline) and others may not be visible at all. Hope some of that helps.
the rotors are really in great shape.
Then why not leave them be? Even if the resurfacing is done flawlessly, it’s not clear that you would be any better off after resurfacing than you are now. If it ain’t broke …
On my Subaru’s machined rotors = warped rotors.
However on a 1992 American Van with likely 70’s tech it may be a great choice. Maybe an old school independent. Most shops can likely make more money anyway on hourly book rate machining vs selling an inexpensive rotor.
Well, those few times when I have just hung pads on the calipers and left good looking rotors on there without replacing, two to three weeks later I’d feel brake pulsation and had to go back in there and replace the rotors. But if there is a significant risk of experiencing pulsation even if I do get the rotors turned, maybe the thing to do is buy new rotors. Hate to spend the $130.00 for new rotors, but, ahem, them’s the brakes, I guess.
One thing about putting new pads on old rotors - if the rotors were not giving any pulsing at all and are above the minimum thickness - is that you do need to “bed” the pads to the old rotors or it will cause problems.
Lol. I had my rotors turned for my 2009 cadi cts and they were just fine never had a problem. If your rotor warped you’re either too hard on brakes or there isn’t enough metal left lol.
Over the past 8 years . . . I do my own brakes and have never had them turned down. I do one wheel at a time instead of having half the car in the air, so taking one off and running to the machine shop and then doing the other makes little since compared to just putting new ones on. Then if you do turn them down and they warp, it’s back doing the same job again to replace them.
As a DIYer the past few years I have used a 2" sanding disc in a die grinder to de-glaze rotors that showed little wear. A year of so ago I took a pair of rotors to the nearby O’Reilly’s and had them turned but had to leave them overnight as only 1 employee was qualified to use the machine. At $65 each I would make an effort to clean up the old rotors. They may be considerably better quality than new parts store replacements…
My vote is for replacing them.
“Turning” them makes them thinner and thus more prone to warping.
I just go over mine by hand with sandpaper. I’ve never noticed problems with them. My current rotors are getting a lip at the edge so I’ll replace them next time.
I don’t recall ever running across a vented 1"+ thick hub/rotor that was warped like composition slip on rotors @the_same_mountainbike. Of course they did sometimes wear into what would be considered warped due to what everyone seemed to call hot spots. But there was a great deal of metal available to turn down if the pads hadn’t worn down to the back plates and destroyed them.
I don’t understand why so many of you are quick to replace a good part…resurfacing your rotors is fine as long as they don’t get too thin. Shops normally will not turn rotors if they are at minimum thickness. I think you waste money getting rid of parts that are still useful. With that being said, someone stated why get them turned if they are still in great shape…it’s good practice to resurface rotors whenever you replace pads. They may look fine, but braking will groove the rotors and sometimes they aren’t noticeable to the naked eye. Resurfacing rotors also gives the new pads a greasy surface for better stopping ability. Resurfacing rotors might cost you $10, whereas, new rotors will run you $45-$60 dependingnon your vehicle. You should always replace both side of pads, so if you resurface rotors over replacing with new ones you are saving yourself $70-$100. Be smart people…stop giving shade tree advice.