Brakes seem to be the number one repair for any vehicle. The heavier the vehicle the harder we are on brakes. At All-Pro Fleet Services are committed to providing our customers with correct accurate photos of brake material with our Preventive Maintenance Service. If we can visualize without removing the wheels it is a complimentary service as well.
This allows vehicle owners to plan ahead for brake services. Medium duty vehicles as well as cars can refinish the rotors each time new brake pads are installed as long there is enough material left on the rotor to resurface.
Resurfacing a rotor is the process of removing some of the metal until the surface is smooth and even again. Many times rotors will be uneven or warped from heat and other wear. The rotor can also be damaged by a worn out brake pad.
Heavy duty trucks can have another braking system with drums and shoes. A drum brake is just what it sounds like – A small round drum that has a set of shoes inside of it. The drum brake will rotate and when the brake pedal is applied, the shoes are forced along the side of the drum slowing the vehicle.
So the question is….. When do you replace and when do you turn. Many auto shop owners only replace rotors every time on light duty vehicles. The thought process is that rotors are inexpensive and can be replaced at a lower expense then resurfacing or turning the brake rotor.
However this is not always the case. A shop should be able to provide a current measurement of the rotor thickness to ensure that it is necessary to replace the rotor. For example a 2013 GMC Terrain has a discard thickness of 18.4mm or .72 inches on the rear rotors. A common and inexpensive brake micrometer or Digital Caliper (About $25 at Harbor Freight) can determine if there is enough thickness to allow the rotor to be resurfaced.
The real lesson here is that you must do one of the above. Never, never, never replace brake pads without turning or replacing the brake rotors on a vehicle. Sometimes the uneven wear and grooves may not be visible to the naked eye and a technician with the best of intentions will inadvertently cause you to replace your brake pads a second time prematurely. An uneven rotor will certainly chew up a brand new set of brake pads.
All-Pro Fleet Services is a locally owned fleet maintenance and repair company who specializes in providing mobile service to commercial fleets in Southern Oregon. All-Pro Fleet Services is located at 174 Trout Way in White City. Their full service shop is equipped to handle all brake repairs including determining if a brake rotor should be turned or replaced. All-Pro Fleet Services also provides overflow service and emergency roadside repair as well as major and minor repairs.