How To Resurface The Brake Rotors On A Front Wheel Drive Car While Using A Wheel As A Lathe

When brake pads wear down the metal rivets in the pad can dig into the surface of your brake rotors. This damage can cause your brake pedal to feel like it's fluttering when you press down on it to slow your car down – especially when you are traveling at high speeds. To correct the problem, the brake rotor needs to be resurfaced to make it smooth again. Usually, rotors are resurfaced using a brake lathe. If you don't have a brake lathe available to use, here is how you can use your car as lathe to resurface the rotor on a front wheel drive vehicle.

Remove Damaged Rotor

The rotor will have to be removed from your car before you can resurface it. Here is how to remove the rotor:

  • Loosen the lug nuts holding the tire onto your car
  • Jack up the front end of the car
  • Put jack stands under the front end to hold it up so you can safely work on the rotor
  • Remove the lug nuts and the tire
  • Remove the brake caliber from the rotor by removing the caliber bolts and lifting it off the rotor.
  • Tie the brake caliber to the frame so it doesn't hang down (the weight of the caliber hanging down can damage the brake lines).
  • Pull the rotor off of the wheel. You may have to tap it with a rubber mallet if it's stuck.

Resurfacing the Rotor

You need to place the rotor on the other wheel so you can work on it while it spins around when you turn the car on.

Take the tire off of the other side of the car. Put nuts on the end of three of the wheel studs on the wheel and screw them about half way down onto the studs. Space the nuts an equal distance apart on the wheel.

Secure the rotor to the wheel by sliding bolts through the wheel stud holes on the rotor. Screw the bolts into the nuts on the wheels studs and tighten them so the rotor doesn't wobble around.

Turn on car and put it into drive. This will make the front wheels spin on a front wheel drive vehicle similar to how a brake lathe spins.

Take a power drill and put a medium-grade sandpaper pad on the drill.

As the rotor spins, turn on the drill and carefully sand down the surface of the rotor. Make sure you are not wearing loose clothing or jewelry as this can get caught on the spinning rotor and wheel and could result in you getting severely injured.

Sand until the scratches are gone from the rotor and the surface is shiny and smooth.

Remove the rotor when you are done and put it back on the other wheel once the scratches are gone.

For more information, talk to a professional like Langley Central Auto Service Ltd.