How to Repair a Brake Rotor


Are you versed with what you will need to do to repair a brake rotor? Brake rotors, depending on their condition, should be worked on or replaced when the brakes are realigned. They absorb much of the heat created by the friction of the brake pads against them during braking. Things like stress cracks, deeply pitted areas from rust, getting out of round (run out), deep grooves in the surface or being worn down to minimum specifications or the discard thickness are signs that it is time to replace the brake rotors. Before replacing the rotors, you can repair them by filing them down. This is done to reduce the un-even spots or taking them to a mechanic to ‘true up’ or re-shape accordingly. Here is what you need to do to repair the brake rotors, in an effort to save some money on a new one.

Check Manufacturer Specifications

Read through all of the manufacturer’s specifications and suggestions. After reading through this information, if you are not comfortable with what is required for the repair, then you are best to take your car to a qualified repair mechanic.

Test Drive Your Car

Before you start to repair your brake rotor, take your vehicle for a light drive on a highway or freeway. Once you are on a good speed, and making sure there are no other cars around you, apply a light constant pressure to your brakes pedals. You need to see whether or not you are getting any vibration when you apply the brakes. If you are having strong vibrations, you will require a professional to re-machine the rotors. If you have very mild vibrations, then you can file down your rotors to repair them yourself by following the directions below.

Jack your Car Up

Start by lifting the car up in the air. Using a set of car ramps or a jack, put the car up so that you can easily walk around the car and get to the wheels.

Remove the Wheel

Take off the lug nuts and remove the wheel of the car

Pull off the Brake Pads

Remove the brake pads carefully to show the rotor.

Pull off the Rotor

Using the right amount of torque, remove the lug nuts that hold the rotor in place.You will need the right socket to take the rotors off properly

File the Rotor

Using a small file, meant to file down a brake rotor, gently file the surface until you have an even and smooth surface. Do not try to over file.


Reassemble the braking system for that wheel. Put the rotor back on first, tighten into place. Add a little lubricant. Put your brake pads back on second and then add the wheel back on. Ensure everything is tight. move to each wheel, as needed.

Test Drive

Take your car out for a test drive on local roads first. Then venture onto highway or freeways.