Can You Resurface Drilled Rotors – A Comprehensive Guide

No, you cannot resurface drilled rotors. Drilling creates a pattern that cannot be removed through resurfacing.

Drilled rotors must be replaced if they become worn or damaged. Brakes are an essential component of any vehicle and ensuring that they are in good condition is crucial for the safety of drivers and passengers. One popular braking option is drilled rotors. Drilled rotors are designed to expel heat more efficiently, decreasing the likelihood of brake fade and providing better braking performance. However, over time, drilled rotors can become worn or damaged, and drivers may wonder if they can be resurfaced. In this article, we will explore if drilled rotors can be resurfaced and what options are available when they need to be replaced.

Can You Resurface Drilled Rotors - A Comprehensive Guide


What Are Drilled Rotors?

Drilled rotors are a type of brake rotors that have holes drilled into them. They are a popular choice for performance vehicles due to their ability to dissipate heat quickly and improve braking performance. The definition of drilled rotors is that they are rotors made with holes drilled into the metal.

This increases the surface area of the rotor, which in turn allows for better heat dissipation. How they work is that the holes allow hot air to escape, which prevents the rotors from overheating. Reasons why they are popular vary, but include improved performance, increased safety, and enhanced aesthetics.

Drilled rotors are a great option for those looking to upgrade their vehicle’s brakes.

Why Resurface Drilled Rotors?

Resurfacing drilled rotors can prolong their lifespan and increase their overall performance. Signs that your drilled rotors need resurfacing include brake pedal pulsation, uneven wear, and excessive noise. Moreover, resurfacing can also provide advantages such as better stopping power, increased safety, and reduced vibration.

By resurfacing drilled rotors, you can save money in the long run by avoiding the need for costly replacements. In addition, resurfacing can easily be done during a routine brake pad replacement service. Overall, investing in rotors resurfacing is a proactive measure to ensure the safety and optimal performance of your vehicle’s braking system.

Polished brake rotors 👌

Tools For Resurfacing Drilled Rotors

To resurface drilled rotors, you’ll need a variety of tools. A brake lathe, rotor micrometer and safety glasses are essential. The brake lathe cuts the rotor, while the micrometer measures its thickness. Safety glasses protect your eyes from flying metal.

A break cleaner will also help remove any dirt or debris. Finally, a torque wrench ensures the rotors are tightened correctly. Knowing the function of each tool can make resurfacing drilled rotors a breeze. So, make sure you have all of these tools on hand if you plan to resurface your own rotors.

Step-By-Step Guide To Resurface Drilled Rotors

Drilled rotors are favored by many car enthusiasts. However, they can be tricky to resurface without damaging them further. First, clean the rotors using brake cleaner. Second, check for any damage that cannot be corrected by resurfacing. Third, use a lathe to resurface the rotor.

Fourth, clean the rotor again. Fifth, check the surface for any damage that was missed the first time. Remember to avoid going above the minimum thickness for your rotors. Additionally, always use protective gear. Common mistakes to avoid include using too much pressure when resurfacing and not cleaning the surface enough.

These steps will help you to achieve a properly resurfaced drilled rotor.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Can You Resurface Drilled Rotors

Is Resurfacing Drilled Rotors Possible, Or Do They Need To Be Replaced?

Yes, resurfacing drilled rotors is possible. However, it should only be done if the rotors meet certain minimum thickness requirements. If the rotors are too thin, they will need to be replaced instead of resurfaced. Additionally, resurfacing may not be effective in addressing certain types of damage, such as cracks or severe warping.

What Are The Benefits Of Resurfacing Drilled Rotors Over Replacing Them?

Resurfacing drilled rotors can be beneficial as it can save money and prolong the lifespan of the rotors. It is also a quicker process compared to replacing the rotors altogether. Additionally, resurfacing can help remove any minor imperfections or warping that may have occurred on the rotor’s surface, resulting in a smoother and more efficient braking system.

Can All Types Of Drilled Rotors Be Resurfaced, Or Are There Certain Limitations?

Not all types of drilled rotors can be resurfaced. There are certain limitations depending on the type of drilling pattern and the amount of material that needs to be removed to achieve a smooth surface. Rotors with fewer and smaller holes are typically easier to resurface compared to those with a larger number and larger holes.

Additionally, excessive resurfacing can compromise the structural integrity of the rotor, so it is important to follow manufacturer recommendations and seek the advice of a qualified mechanic before attempting to resurface drilled rotors.

How Often Should Drilled Rotors Be Resurfaced To Ensure Optimal Performance?

Drilled rotors should be resurfaced whenever they become warped or uneven, typically after 15,000-20,000 miles of use. However, it also depends on the driving conditions and usage patterns. Regular inspection and maintenance can help identify the need for resurfacing.

Should I Attempt To Resurface Drilled Rotors On My Own, Or Is It Better To Have A Professional Do It?

It is better to have a professional resurface drilled rotors as they have the necessary tools and expertise to perform the task accurately. Attempting to resurface drilled rotors on your own can lead to improper resurfacing, which may result in decreased brake performance and potential safety hazards.


Resurfacing drilled rotors is a practice that can save you time and money. However, it’s important to evaluate the severity of your rotor’s damage and to consider other factors such as cost, manufacturer recommendations, and safety. Diy resurfacing is possible but has its risks, so consider consulting a professional if you’re unsure.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that regular maintenance can prevent the need for resurfacing altogether. Keeping your brakes clean and minimizing hard braking can extend the life of your rotors. Ultimately, the decision to resurface your drilled rotors lies in your hands.

By weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision, you’ll keep your car and your passengers safe and extend the life of your brakes.

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