Brake Rotors Resurfacing and Replacement in Berkeley
Welcome to Oceanworks, Berkeley’s premier auto repair shop. We offer comprehensive auto repair services in Berkeley, including brake rotor replacement. Rotors are a vital part of the braking system. When the brake pedal gets pressed, brake pads press against the rotors, and since the rotors are attached to the wheels, the resulting friction slows down the wheels and the vehicle.
Brake system components wear out, and not just the brake pads. Rotors also wear down, though much more slowly, and the repeated heating (due to friction) and cooling of the worn rotors can cause warping. If you feel vibration or shaking when applying brakes (especially going downhill), there is a good chance that the rotors are warped.
In the past, most rotors could be resurfaced. Resurfacing involved taking off a layer of metal to make the rotors smooth again. Rotors were made of thick metal, and taking off a layer had no negative impact on structural integrity of the rotors.
But those days are mostly gone. Government fuel efficiency mandates forced car manufacturers to save every ounce of weight, since it translated into better mileage. As a result, rotors made today are considerably thinner than they used to be, and resurfacing is not a good option. Another reason that rotor resurfacing is no longer popular is the high cost of labor. Bay Area in particular sees very high wages, so the cost of technician’s time becomes an important factor. That’s why in most cases, we advise brake rotor replacement – you get brand new, factory made quality rotors that will serve your car well.
There are a couple of signs that will alert you that brake rotors need to be resurfaced or replaced:
While driving, if you feel vibration or pulsation when applying brakes, it’s time bring your car to a mechanic shop.
If you notice blue discoloration of the rotor surface, or grooves or hot spots, it’s time to get a brake inspection, it’s time to get the rotors checked out by a competent mechanic.
What happens during brake rotor replacement:
Rotors are typically replaced in pairs, and we typically do so at the same time as we replace brake pads, so you only make one visit to the shop. Naturally we will inspect the rotors and let you know if they need to be replaced.
While we are replacing the rotors, we will also check the rest of the braking system – lines, hoses, calipers, and top-off brake fluid, if necessary.
After rotors are replaced, and everything else checks out, we will put the wheels back on, and test the braking system, including a test drive, so we can verify how brakes behave under real world conditions.
Brakes are vital to your safety, so if you are at all concerned about your vehicle’s brakes, do not hesitate to contact Oceanworks Berkeley. We are happy to answer your questions, and if needed, we can make an appointment at the same time. But if you prefer to make an appointment online, we also offer this option.