Should I have rotors resurfaced every time I get new brakes?

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by bonanzoo, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. bonanzoo

    bonanzoo Junior Member

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    After some research, I found that it is common to have rotors resurfaced when you get new brakes. Some say it’s necessary and some say it’s a mechanic up sale. What if I don’t get them resurfaced, what would happen? Lastly, this is for the rear brakes. Not too sure if this makes a difference because rear brakes are used about half the amount than front brakes. Thanks.
     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If they have a shiny glazed surface, you can rub them with some wet 100 grit sandpaper by hand and call it good.

    If they have deep grooves or other such problems, you can have them resurfaced or replace them.

    If there is nothing wrong with them, you can do nothing to them.

    The most important thing with Prius brakes is to inspect them regularly. As long as you do that, you will usually find that they don't need anything at all, or what they do need doesn't require you to buy any parts. Perhaps the $16 fitting kit every mumble years.
     
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  3. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    If grooved or not smooth, resurface can be a good thing and recommended.
    Also look to a wear groove at the outer edge of the rotor.
    Yet many just replace pads anyway.
    But do change your brake fluid either way and lube the caliber pins.

    Harm:
    Pads may wear fasts as they will emulate the uneven rotor surface.
    Braking distance minor increase...no so sure; major distance increase...I'd say no.
    Not smooth rotors maybe will cause a brake "squeal".
    Worn thin rotors will increase brake heat (transferring to and possible boiling the fluid) and thin rotors may warp faster.

    FWIW:
    On cars like a Prius, I usually do not resurface if the rotors condition seems okay.
    But I would replace next time...in other words two sets of pads before a rotor change.
    On performance cars, I always change front rotors and the rears I change nearly every time, again depends on rotor condition.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
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  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    A prius primarily uses the electric motor for braking, which generates electricity, which recharges the battery... Biggest problem with Prius breaks is they rarely get used (only used under 6mph & emergency hard stops) and people confuse that rusty looking lack of use with worn out, which isn't the case. Don't waste much time or money on the mechanical part of your braking system unless you're delivering mail and constantly driving under 6mph.
     
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  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    There is a misconception that does come up from time to time; the way the car strikes a balance between regen and friction braking is much more involved than people assume, and gets rebalanced all the way from when you first apply the brake until you come to a stop.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The idea that the friction brakes are only used below mumble MPH or for emergency stops gets repeated a lot, but it's not so. They are not used as hard as they would be in a car with no regen, but they are used a lot.

    Flash rusting of the rotors can be a common issue, with the brakes not always used hard enough to scrub it off. You can notice brake noise or grabbiness, often when the car has been parked in damp for a while. If light, it does scrub away after some harder uses of friction (shifting to neutral takes regen out of the picture and forces friction to do the whole job, which can scrub off surface rust faster).

    If surface rust is left unscrubbed long enough, it becomes permanent. It gets tough enough that it scrubs the brake pads away instead of the other way 'round.
     
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  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    "Every time you get new brakes...."

    The answer is probably going to depend on how often you get new brake pads installed.
    Most of us go well over 100,000 miles before we wear the pads enough to warrant this service, but if you're delivering pizza for extra money, teaching driver's education, or you think that the Fast-&-Furious movies were documentaries.....OR....if you have more than 0 teenage drivers in your house then I would strongly advise that you get new pads early...AND have the rotors turned or replaced.

    If you live in places where snow comes on cones and all of the salt that you encounter in your car come from the packets that they give out at In-N-Out Burger stands, then you probably ought to consider getting the brake pads replaced AND the rotors resurfaced anyway.....because of the number of idiots per 1,000 drivers where you live.

    You will need all of the stopping power that your vehicle can deliver, and if you're getting brakes replaced more than twice in 100,000 miles other than at a greedy dealership, then......well let's just say that you might juuuuust be........."one in a thousand!" :D

    If you're in doubt, take your iphone and snap a picture of your rotors and post it here.

    Good Luck!!
     
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