When performing a brake job or service, turning brake rotors (also known as rotor resurfacing) is a common practice in automotive maintenance. However, when it comes to European cars, there are specific reasons why turning the rotors may not always be the best choice, and is not standard practice.
European cars tend to have rotors that are relatively thin compared to those in some other vehicles. The main reason is for less weight, specifically “unsprung weight”. The less unsprung weight, the better performing a vehicle is (wheels/brakes/suspension). Usually, there is enough rotor material for one brake pad’s life time (with a small amount of safety margin built in)
Many European cars come equipped with high-performance brake systems, including cross-drilled or slotted rotors. These specialized rotors are designed for improved braking performance and may not be suitable for turning.
Some European car manufacturers recommend replacing the rotors rather than turning them. This is often to ensure that the entire brake system, including rotors, meets their stringent quality and safety standards. The equipment and the technician performing the job are critical to a quality job outcome. Notice this rotor looks to have some type of abrasive disc applied to it after the surface has been re-cut. The issue with this is two-fold. Did the equipment not create a quality surface, or did the technician perform this additional procedure thinking it would make the re-surfacing “better”?
European cars often emphasize efficient heat dissipation in their brake designs. Turning the rotors can alter the way heat is managed, potentially reducing their performance. This could be a decent conversation on theory- The material of the rotor acts as a heat sink. If you resurface the rotor, (reducing the thickness and mass) does it effect the ability of the rotor to no warp or become hot too quickly?
Replacing the rotors along with the brake pads guarantees that you’ll receive a “new car” brake job, versus resurfacing a rotor. This also assumes that quality brake components are used in the first place, which is a whole different story (and blog post) in itself!
In summary, while turning rotors is a common practice for brake maintenance, it may not be the best option for European cars due to their specific designs and quality standards. Replacing the rotors, especially if they are nearing their wear limits, is often the safer and more effective choice for maintaining brake performance and safety.
Our 9th annual Toys for Tots brake promotion is going on for the month of November- Bring us toys and we give you free brake pads. Let’s help the children of Houston together! abrhouston.com/Toy-For-Tots or 832-797-9114
CEO – ABR Houston
Welcome to ABR Houston, the leading European auto repair shop in The Woodlands. With over a decade of experience and a proven history of serving over 10,000 satisfied customers, we have recently relocated our shop to The Woodlands to better serve our valued clients. Our commitment to exceptional service and expertise remains our priority. From routine maintenance to intricate repairs, our dedicated team is determined to keep you confidently on the road. Trust in the experience and reliability of ABR Houston, where customer satisfaction drives our passion for excellence. Your Local Experts for Audi, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.