Front Disc Skimming – How One Solution Can Save You Thousands In The Long Run
Over extended periods of time, brake discs or rotors can easily suffer from defects. These defects might include cracks, corrosion (caused by rust etc.), or something as simple as driving through a puddle of cooler water whilst your brakes are hot (this causes them to warp).
Damage of this type can have a severe impact on the performance of your vehicle. However bad the condition a brake disc may be in, it’s almost always guaranteed to be repairable – usually by means of skimming.
What is skimming, you ask? Skimming is the act of using a sophisticated brake lathe, to perform a precise technique used to resurface damaged brake discs. This process can be used no matter whether the brake discs are drilled, grooved or solid, but caution must be taken if the brake discs or rotors are worn too thin.
Benefits of Skimming Brake Discs or Rotors
As a rule, most original equipment rotors were designed with enough thickness to last through two or more pad replacements. But on some modern cars, the rotors are thinner to save weight and cost. Consequently, the rotors may be worn down to minimum thickness specifications (which is usually marked on the casting itself) by the time the first set of brake pads need to be replaced — or even sooner in some cases.
The minimum thickness specification is an important dimension because it is the minimum thickness that provides safe braking. As a rotor wears and becomes thinner, it has less mass. This reduces the rotor’s ability to absorb and dissipate heat. It also reduces the strength of the rotor, increasing the risk of cracking or even breaking (rotor failure).
That’s why the thickness of the rotors should always be measured every time the brakes are serviced. If a rotor is worn down to the minimum thickness specification, or cannot be resurfaced without exceeding the dimension, it must be replaced.
That being said, if your rotors or discs do still meet the minimum thickness requirement, the advantages of skimming your discs when necessary are quite wide:
- Your brakes will feel brand new
The main advantage of brake disc skimming is that it is able to improve partially worn discs to the extent that they can perform as if they were completely brand new. This essentially restores them to their original factory performance. It also extends the life span of your existing brake pads and discs. If you really want to get the most out of the brake discs you own, skimming is the way to go.
- Far less time consuming
By restoring the original brake discs already present in the vehicle, disc skimming also has the benefit of minimising any necessary downtime while new brake discs and pads are obtained. It also reduces the amount of time wasted as the brake disc beds-in.
- Saves you money – now and in the long-run
What disc skimming can save you in time it can also save you in terms of money. By getting the best out of the brake disc that you own, skimming means there is no need to replace your new pad and disc with a brand new model, offering you huge savings on the cost of new pads and discs which can be expensive.
- Far less billable hours and time without your vehicle
You might worry that disassembling your brake system and using a lathe to skim your brake disc might accidentally damage other parts of your vehicle’s hub. Disc skimming requires minimal disassembly, thereby drastically reducing the chance of accidental damage. The process is safe and easy, which will no doubt be a relief both to you and to your brakes.
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