Short Answer: On average, the process of resurfacing rotors takes about an hour, though it can take more or less time depending on how busy the shop is when you bring your vehicle in. Below, we have more information about how long it takes to resurface rotors and why.
How Long Does It Take to Resurface Rotors?
Rotor resurfacing, also called rotor turning, usually takes about one hour. We contacted multiple commercial garages and independent mechanics to gather this information. The actual process of resurfacing rotors only takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how damaged the rotors are. However, the mechanic must remove the tires and disassemble the brakes to get the rotors off the vehicle for resurfacing. Then, they must put everything back when the rotors are finished.
What Is Rotor Resurfacing?
Rotor resurfacing is the process of restoring a smooth, even surface to brake rotors by machine grinding them. Most vehicle brakes operate by pressing brake pads against the rotors to slow and stop the rotation of the wheels. Brake pads have a thick, gritty surface that gradually grinds away with use, and the pads can score the smooth metal disc of the rotors, leaving them warped or grooved. This damage, in turn, causes the pads to erode faster.
Having your rotors resurfaced can help your brake pads last longer. However, rotors can only be resurfaced if there is enough metal left to meet the minimum thickness guidelines of the vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. You can check your owner’s manual or get an inspection for the exact specifications for your car. In some cases, damaged rotors may need to be replaced instead of turned.
Wait Times for Rotor Resurfacing
While the average wait time to have your rotors turned is about an hour, the total time you’re at the shop can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or longer, depending on where you go and how busy the shop is when you get there.
Most commercial and independent garages offer rotor resurfacing, and a few auto parts stores also provide rotor turning services. For example, most O’Reilly locations can resurface rotors in about 30 minutes if the store is not busy at the time (as previously reported). Commercial garages like Monro, Goodyear, and Meineke usually require about an hour, but can take longer during busy times. You can check out our related article for the list of places where you can get your rotors resurfaced. Keep in mind, the best way to ensure the shortest wait time for rotor resurfacing is to make an appointment for this service.