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Replacing brake pads without rotor resurfacing


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can I replace the brake pads without resurfacing the rotor?

I understood from Toyota dealer that they will not replace the front brake pads without resurfacing regardless of the rotors conditions. 



8 Answers

that depends on the condition of your rotors, but not always

if you wore down the previous pads to the backing plates, then yeah they'll need resurfacing

.... or replacing. The cost is often very close.


Resurfacing makes the rotor thinner and more prone to warping and pulsating the pedal or shaking the steering wheel.  If your car is not shuddering then the rotors are not warped. Just replace the pads. Use only akebono pads. Rotors are cheap. When they need replacement I just buy napa rotors locally or centric or stoptech. Centric makes rotors for Lexus. I stopped Resurfacing rotors years ago. They put them on a lathe and cut metal off. Then they heat up when braking and warp again because less metal gets hotter faster.  Just replace if needed. Rotors are cheap and are your lifeline. 


Baloney!  Install new pads and drive carefully to allow the new pads to seat into the rotors properly.


You can go through a couple rounds of pads without touching your rotors if you're not prone to slamming on the brakes or driving your pads down to the metal backing. Rotors wear down, but it depends on how you drive as to whether or not you need to service them. A sales person at an AutoZone hub store near me tried to force sell rotors to older woman, saying she needed to change her rotors every time she changed her brakes. She wouldn't just sell the pads until I told her she doesn't want them. The lady's car had 60,000 miles on it and she still had her original pads down to the squealer. Her rotors were fine. 


There's no point in turning modern rotors. They're so cheaply made they won't hold up. The service costs a much as new ones. If they warped once, they will again. It's just a metal disc held on the hub by the wheels. Back in the day, rotors could be turned, because they were quite hefty pieces of hardware, and were more integral to the car. On my 1979 Pontiac Catalina, the rotors and hubs are one large piece with wheel bearings inside that ride on the spindle. They were meant to be turned. It had the original rotors and bearings after 42 years.


If the rotors are in good shape you could get away with it. 


Yes, over the years I've done that before having replaced the pads twice on the same rotors. 

I encountered no issues, the rotors were still within spec and were not warped.



I agree with the other responses. I never resurface rotors. If they are in good shape I slap on new pads. If they aren’t I get new ones.

Maybe I worded my response incorrectly, when I replaced the pads twice on the same rotors, I did not waste money on resurfacing them. The pads bedded in on their own without resurfacing, and I had no noticeable loss in braking power.


My wifes 2010 CRV STILL has the factory rotors with 170k on the car. Always used OEM pads and changed before any excessive pad wear. Car brakes smooth as silk!!! Once rotors get an "edge" on the outer diameter then its probably time to change to QUALITY rotors, not crappy aftermarkets. Did that on my Mazda years ago and rotors started pulsating after 5k miles.


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