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Old 11-19-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
t_bell40
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Default Brakes need turning ??

I have a Saturn SL1 1999 it has 164K on it. My front rotors are in need of
turning. There is a little warp feeling when braking at low speed. Not too bad.
At high speed, braking causes a lot of vibration.
I was told garages don't turn brakes any more. I am hoping i can just go and buy the new rotors and have a garage put them on. I don't want to put new brake pad on either. Does anyone know if that is do able. ??
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Check out rockauto.com
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Changing the rotors while re-using pads is not elegant, but it can be done. Brfaking might be diminished slightly until the pads wear enough to match the flat surface of the new rotors. However, if you are using semi-metallic pads, these can be the source of the vibration. Use only ceramic pads on these cars.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Chances are that your caliper pins are frozen. This generally leads to uneven wear on the pads and rotors, hence the vibration. This is not the place to be cutting corners, and most shops won't participate in substandard brake repair for obvious liability reasons. You will most likely have to replace rotors, pads, pins and clips. Better to bite the bullet and do it right the first time.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

In my area, almost all O'Reilly Auto Parts stores (about 15 in a 20 mile radius) will turn rotors for $15 each, and any GM dealership would be able to do it for you too. As a former worker at O'reilly I remember in training that majority of the stores offer Brake Rotor/Drum/Flywheel turning/resurfacing
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Turning the rotors for $15. Or buy new at $12. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...286&cc=1317283


May not fix the original problem with the brakes.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Turning modern rotors is a total waste of time and $$$. There isn't enough metal on/in them to turn them effectively. Make sure the calipers are working correctly, get rid of all corrosion on the hub, inside the rotor, and wheel mating surfaces, give all bare metal a thin coat of high temp grease, use proper torque when reinstalling the wheels. Rotors will last until brake pads wear out. When they do replace rotors and pads again. They are too cheap to buy to reuse
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

I've turned my rotors with no problem. I know rotors are cheap but its because they're cheaply made. I had problems with replacement rotors on my Taurus.
BV22, Why should only ceramic pads be used?

If you aren't mechanically inclined, just get new rotors and new pads.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

NAPA also turns them...
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

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Originally Posted by 700+SL2 View Post
BV22, Why should only ceramic pads be used?
First, because that is what Saturn used. Second, for FWD cars in general, the majority of braking is done by the front wheels, generating a lot of heat. Many of the store brand semi-metallic pads do not hold up well to the heat, resulting in pad transfer to the rotor surface when sitting still after a hard, long stop. This transferred pad material leaves "sticky" spots on the rotors, resulting in the pulsation and vibration often associated with warped rotors. I've experienced this first hand, having used semi metallic pads once on new rotors. Within several thousand miles, hitting the brakes at 70 mph was frightening. Since the rotors were relatively new, I changed the pads with ceramics, cleaned and lubed pins, and put it back together with the existing rotors. In a matter of weeks, the new ceramic pads had wiped the rotors clean, and a year later, I can still haul the car down quickly from freeway speeds without any jiggles.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Ceramic pads are not necessary but recommended. I also use them as well. There are benefits from using them such as lower dust levels, less apparent brake fade at higher temperatures and longer pad wear intervals.

Both can be noisy depending on the blend used to make the pads but ceramic pads are usually quieter in my experience. I usually change both pads and rotors at the same time as standard rotors are not expensive. I am using Ate Premium One which are grooved or slotted and have been happy with them using ceramic pads. With the cost of standard rotors so reasonable, I have never turned/machined rotors on my Saturn. Not worth the expense in my opinion for an S-Series.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Thanks all !! I will pick up new rotors and pads. I am having a garage
do it cause it is getting too cold out for this driveway mechanic.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Thank you. Thats some very good information. I never knew any benefits for ceramic pads. Since my Taurus is super sensitive, I'll try them when the vibration returns.
Interesting that you say the ceramic pads will "clean" the rotors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
First, because that is what Saturn used. Second, for FWD cars in general, the majority of braking is done by the front wheels, generating a lot of heat. Many of the store brand semi-metallic pads do not hold up well to the heat, resulting in pad transfer to the rotor surface when sitting still after a hard, long stop. This transferred pad material leaves "sticky" spots on the rotors, resulting in the pulsation and vibration often associated with warped rotors. I've experienced this first hand, having used semi metallic pads once on new rotors. Within several thousand miles, hitting the brakes at 70 mph was frightening. Since the rotors were relatively new, I changed the pads with ceramics, cleaned and lubed pins, and put it back together with the existing rotors. In a matter of weeks, the new ceramic pads had wiped the rotors clean, and a year later, I can still haul the car down quickly from freeway speeds without any jiggles.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

OldNuc recommends Centric brand rotors, part #12062038, available from rockauto or amazon.com. I installed a set and have been very pleased with them so far. They're worth the extra $10 per rotor versus the white-box Chinese rotors.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
Turning modern rotors is a total waste of time and $$$. There isn't enough metal on/in them to turn them effectively. Make sure the calipers are working correctly, get rid of all corrosion on the hub, inside the rotor, and wheel mating surfaces, give all bare metal a thin coat of high temp grease, use proper torque when reinstalling the wheels. Rotors will last until brake pads wear out. When they do replace rotors and pads again. They are too cheap to buy to reuse
turning roters is very easy an worth while...all roters come with about 3mm of turnable meat..i never cut more than a 2-3 thousanths at a pass.. a new rotershould be able to be cut 2 times....most shops and techs don't measure roters and the up and comming bread can't read a micromiter.. also it is faster and more profitablke to the shop to sell you new roters due to the made in china cost to replace.. but they are shoddy in thickness and prone to warping evan if the hardwear is good...and they charge the same labor weather they turn or replace.. i would not go to a place that won't turn unless they don't have a brake lath..and if they didn't i wouldn;t do my work there anyway..(although i admit im a gm dealer tec in a caddy/gmc/buick store so i do my own work anyway)
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

Quote:
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turning roters is very easy an worth while...all roters come with about 3mm of turnable meat..i never cut more than a 2-3 thousanths at a pass.. a new rotershould be able to be cut 2 times....most shops and techs don't measure roters and the up and comming bread can't read a micromiter.. also it is faster and more profitablke to the shop to sell you new roters due to the made in china cost to replace.. but they are shoddy in thickness and prone to warping evan if the hardwear is good...and they charge the same labor weather they turn or replace.. i would not go to a place that won't turn unless they don't have a brake lath..and if they didn't i wouldn;t do my work there anyway..(although i admit im a gm dealer tec in a caddy/gmc/buick store so i do my own work anyway)
Rotors (at least what I see) have worn so badly by the time the pads come due that they are down tot he porous cast iron and there is nothing left to "cut away". I stand by not turning rotors, the machine shop I used for years actually quit turning them because they had too many issues. It is a waste of time and money. Especially so on small cars like our Saturns. Perhaps on large RWD vehicles or AWD trucks/SUVs and the like there is more there. But turning rotors is like pi$$ing in the wind to get a shower
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

mostly due to previous poorly trained techs who can't read a mic and that more is better and faster on a lathe...i have got 3 brake job cut on mmy sl2's roters..needed every 2yrs as i live on a 55%grade hill thats about 2 miles long and the old blister is hard on the pads with jack rabbit starts and stops...
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

^ I would agree with you except for the relatively low cost rotors and drums, wherever they're made, that compete with brake shops that still use brake lathes. As you know, there was a time when it was cost effective to turn rotors and drums before imported brake parts flooded the market with low cost replacements. As a first time user of white box rotors, I have absolutely no problems with braking and can justify replacement instead of machining rotors. The difference in cost is about $10-$15 so anyone that lives from pay check to pay check can reuse worn rotors/drums as long as they still have meat on them and not result in less minimum thickness/larger diameter (drums) after machining. The trend away from people that can operate a brake lathe may be due to the 'joystick' generation of men and women that see computers as a clean way of living. Without any ability to satisfy a growing curiosity in things mechanical, 'joystick' generations never touching a screwdriver around the house learn later what's required for car maintenance.

I'm amused that anyone knows what a micrometer is and how its used.............
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

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and the up and comming bread can't read a micromiter
I beg to differ. we were taught how to read mikes in both brakes and engine repair class...
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Brakes need turning ??

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I beg to differ. we were taught how to read mikes in both brakes and engine repair class...
As was I. In fact when I came "up" in the business as techs we were taught and had to know how to do it all. We rebuilt, re-machined, everything. Rocker arm shafts, brake drums, rotors, generators, starters, carbs. We were tested on knowing every passage in the turbo 400, had to know where every check ball and tiny little spring went in a valve body or a carb WITHOUT The manual.
But that was in the day when brake rotors had materiel enough to true them up and so on. Today that is not the case. The actual thickness of the materiel that can be machined is so thin that once brakes have gone 40, 50 or more K you're getting in to the porous portions or will so soon it is not economically worth it to machine them. There are exceptions. I recently bought a Camry. It still has the OEM rotors at 175K. And they are very heavy and thick. There is a lot of material there to machine if I should have to. But the tiny little thin rotors on so many other cars? Forget it. Especially Saturns
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