On older cars, manufacturers designed them so that they would last at least two pad changes and the same applies to most of the current generation of vehicles, but the reality is that some choose to thin them down in order to save weight and money.
So, if you experience a vibration in your steering wheel or brake pedal when braking, regardless of how many miles your car has, you need to pay your local garage or dealership a visit because it's very probable that your brake rotors have an issue.
The mechanic will validate that and one of the most critical things he should do is measure the thickness of the rotors, which will help determine if they can be reshaped or if they should be replaced.
If they are too thin, they obviously cannot be salvaged and need to be replaced. But if they still are thick enough, the mechanic might suggest resurfacing them.
This effectively removes metal, which makes the rotors thinner and reduces their remaining service life, so keep that in mind and compare the cost of resurfacing with that of a new set.
Aftermarket discs are not that expensive and tend to be cheaper for older vehicles. There is also a wide range of manufacturers you can choose from, like Brembo, EBC, ATE, Bosch, Textar, Bendix, or DuraGo.
You can also choose to buy your car manufacturer’s OE rotors, but they are usually very expensive and, depending on the brand, might even be of mediocre quality.
If you decide to replace your rotors and your budget is flexible, we recommend buying premium extra ventilated aftermarket rotors lie the ATE Powerdiscs or the Brembo Max.
You should also consider replacing your brake pads, as worn ones might prematurely wear the resurfaced of brand-new discs. Ceramic brake pads are a wise choice even though they are more expensive but last longer and you will save money in the long run.
So, resurfacing the rotors might be an option if you are on a tight budget, but if you frequently drive for long distances, it will be safer to get a new set.
Finally, remember to ask your mechanic to check the brake fluid level, pads, and rotor thickness every time you visit him. Brake maintenance is not expensive or difficult and more importantly, it keeps you and your loved ones safe.