Imagine driving your car one day when all of a sudden you hear a squealing or squeaking noise from your car. You may be wondering what causes it but just so you know, your car is already sending you a message. Head straight to a mechanic near you as the squeaking and squealing just means you have brake wear, and your rotors may need turning.
Turning rotors refer to the lathing of the brake rotors to remove excess brake materials from your pads. This can improve your current brake performance and could also result to long life of your brake pads. This also avoids you accidents in the future.
Normally, rotors need turning every other brake change. While this is the recommended practice, you could always deviate, depending on your needs. If you hear a grinding noise from your car or if you see some rough spots on your rotors, there is already a need for them to be turned, or even replaced.
Average Cost of Turning Rotors
The average is usually around $15 to $25. While this is the common price among mechanics, some shops could charge you more.
For example, Pep Boys, an auto supplies store with 900+ locations all over the United States, has prices ranging from $40 to $80. They also have a package that could cost you $99.99. This already includes a brake system evaluation, a lifetime pad or shoe warranty, and a rotor turning or resurfacing service. They also promise you the best quality of service.
On the other hand, the price to turn rotors at Mr. Tire Auto Service Centers in New York is at $49. This would be applicable for your 15,000-mile scheduled maintenance. Another chain of stores, Brakes 4 Less, with locations across the US including Ohio, South Carolina, and Florida, has prices ranging from $139 to $299; the package of which already includes brake job for four wheels, brake pads or shoes, and a Top Off brake fluid.
While the cost to turn rotors may be relatively cheap, some car owners would resort to replacing them instead. Rotor replacement would cost you around $20 to $30 on the average, and could even go up to hundreds, depending on the model of your car.
What is Included
Turning rotors start with the mechanic checking the rotors to make sure it is not warped. The assessment also ensures that the rotor meets the legal minimum thickness specifications. As soon as the rotors are determined to be satisfactory in terms of thickness, it is turned on a lathe and sanded on both sides. This results to the rotor getting a smoother and a non-directional finish.
The downside, though, of turning is that it results to the rotor getting thinner. As such, it may not perform as much as it was when it was new.
When getting your rotor turned, it would also be a good opportunity for you to discuss with your mechanic whether you have a need for additional brake products or not. A bottle of brake fluid could cost you anywhere from $7 to $30; a brake hose has costs that could range from $7 to $20, and brake lubricants are priced at around $4 to $11.
All these could cost you an additional $4 to $61, depending on what kinds of specialty brake tools you need to service the brakes. Your mechanic would normally inspect your vehicle and could decide what else you need.
As previously mentioned, turning rotors may result to it getting thinner. In this case, you may want to consider replacing the rotors themselves; and depending on the model of your car or the brand of the rotor, a replacement could cost you from around $20 to as much as $200.
Shopping for Rotor Turning
If you decide to buy your rotors to replace your existing ones, Super Cheap Auto sells auto parts online (including rotors). They have a wide variety to choose from including rotors from Bosch and a brake rotor plus a disc pad combo from DBA.
Factors Affecting Rotor Turning's Quotes
Most shops would combine rotor turning with other services. One example is a shop in Torrance, CA, Meineke Car Care Center, which published their price to turn rotors to be around $169.95 to $229.95.
While this may be way expensive as compared to the usual cost of $15 to $25, the package already includes new pads or shoes in addition to the rotor turning services. The price also includes labor and a 1-year warranty on the service.
This also rings true to another company, Brakes4Less, which also offers rotor turning services at a starting price of $139. They also have another package with a starting price of $299. This includes a 4-wheel brake job, rotor turning, brake exchange fluid on four wheels, and an endless-miles parts and labor warranty.
Discounts could also help you. The Tire Choice Total Car Care in Florida, for example, offers a $20-discount on any package. This is if you take advantage of their Brakes Forever package which boasts of a lifetime warranty on pads or shoes at a starting price of $129.99. And aside from this specific discount, you can also find coupons that could possibly save you as much as $25.
If you have an old car and this is your first time to change rotors, you may need a rotor puller. This is because, after all these years, the brake rotor may be probably stuck down there. It would be difficult to take it out of the car, hence, the possible need for a rotor puller.
Racing brake rotors are said to be more favorable in terms of performance. As per studies, it greatly helps in dissipating heat and can channel more amounts of water in cases of rain and floor. It is also said that racing brake rotors can brag about a 37% increase in stopping power. Before deciding to purchase one, however, make time to talk to your mechanic just to be sure.