What Will Happen If I Just Replace The Brake Pads Without Having The Rotors Resurfaced

Posted in Brake Discs & Pads | Asked on Sep 4, 2010

I had a break inspection and they said my rotors need to be resurfaced. But I don’t have the money to do both resurface and replace the brake pads. So i was just planning to replace the pads myself without having the rotors resurfaced. Is this OK to do?

There are 4 Answers for "What Will Happen If I Just Replace The Brake Pads Without Having The Rotors Resurfaced"

  1. Brandon says:

    Ya you should be fine as long as you dont have deep groves in them. but most shops just tell you to resurface them to make a few more bucks.

  2. Hsiang T says:

    It’s ok, but you run the risk of warping your new brake pads and rotors if they don’t mate with the rotors.
    Then you end up paying more to have to redo both your rotors and yet another set of brake pads.

    If you aren’t resurfacing, you should at least try to use sandpaper or scotchbrite and scuff the rotor so the new pads will bed properly.

    With mass manufacturing you may want to consider just getting new rotors, the price for new rotors is not as expensive as you think,even for quality parts, then you don’t need to pay for machining.

  3. Shaun says:

    Brake rotors have a minimum thickness and as long as it isn’t under that it wont be to bad. You may get the pads wearing out a little sooner or it may be noisy. If they have worn the pads down to the Metal and scratched the rotor it could make for un even braking, which you should replace.

  4. Joe says:

    Been working in cars for over 50 years, and one thing I always tell everyone is, don’t expect to get out of the shop with a bill less than $350.00. I’m surprised they didn’t tell you that you also needed new brake calipers.

    If you haven’t worn your old pads down to the metal, your discs should be okay. HOWEVER, what year is your car and is this the first time the pads have been changed?

    Not only do you need to look for deep groves, but most importantly you need to look at the thickness of the disc. Those discs become thinner after a lot of miles. If they do not meet the standards for thickness, you would want to have them replaced. Otherwise, the discs will heat up faster and it will cause your brakes to fade on you. Not a nice thing to happen when you need them.

    Replacing pads AND putting on new discs is about the easiest job you can find to do on a car. Once you get it jacked up and the wheel off, you have 2 screw pins to take out behind your brake caliper. Once out, remove you caliper from the bracket. Careful not to damage the brake line going into the caliper. Now you can buy a small tool made for pushing the piston of the caliper back so that you will have the room for the new pads to slip over the disc. Push them in very slowly and you probably won’t even have to remove the cover where you put in brake fluid. Once pushed in, slap in the new pads, slip the caliper over the disc and seated in the bracket. Replace the 2 screw pin bolts and your finished.

    If you have a large C-clamp, you can use that to push the caliper piston in. Otherwise, the tool you can purchase for this is very inexpensive.

    Now when you start up your car and hit the brakes, you won’t have any. You need to pump them to push the caliper piston back against the pads.

    Good luck.

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