Repair Brake Rotor: How to Resurface a Brake Rotor

Someone working on a car's breaks.
What You'll Need
120 grit sandpaper
Roll lock discs

When it comes time to repair brake rotors, there are a few things you should know. A brake rotor is something that can be resurfaced and repaired several times before it must be replaced, making it an auto repair you should take the time to do. It is important that you know when it's the right time to resurface a brake rotor. If brake rotors are resurfaced too much, it can result in shortening the life of the rotor as each time it's resurfaced, the rotor becomes thinner.

Step 1 - Know When Resurface Is Necessary

One of the main reasons for resurfacing brake rotors is due to parallelism. If you notice that your brake pedal is pulsating, this is one of the first indicators brake rotors need to be resurfaced to restore parallelism. Also, look for rotor scoring. Rotor scoring could be a cause of a bad pad formulation.

Step 2 - Sand


A rotor surface may need to be cleaned with 120 grit sandpaper to remove old material build-up. Use the sandpaper to get the surface clean and free of excess material. This is something you can do without having to resurface the rotors. You can also use roll lock discs to do the cleaning. These two items will get your rotor clean and smooth without having to do the actual job of resurfacing.

Step 3 - Resurface

Whenever rotors need to be resurfaced, it is recommended you use the services of a center specializing in brake repair. A professional center has the equipment and experienced staff to do the job properly. Ask the service technician if it is time to replace the rotors or if resurfacing is recommended. If resurfacing is all that's needed, once completed at the service center, you can reinstall the rotor yourself.

Step 4 - Test

A car on the road.

Test drive your vehicle to determine if the resurfacing process has made a difference in the way the vehicle functions. If there is no change, resurfacing may not be enough to address the problem. In this case, it's time to replace the rotors.