If you've owned your car for some time, then you may expect certain components to wear out and require additional attention. After all, many parts are designed to wear out slowly in order to provide the correct level of performance. Most modern cars these days are fitted with a disc brake system and people understand that the friction pads will wear out with everyday use. However, did you know that the brake discs themselves can degrade and may need to be 'skimmed' in order to bring them back to their original condition? What should you do if you suspect an issue here?
You may have noticed a lot of vibration when applying the brakes, or you may have noticed a burning smell during heavy deceleration. Both of these symptoms point towards warped brake discs, and you will need to take action before the situation becomes even more serious.
Sometimes, the brake disc does not sit correctly on its hub, and while you may not have noticed any issue when the car was relatively new, wear and tear can highlight any imperfection. Occasionally, the brake pads themselves may be 'aggressive' and can wear down the surface of the disc during operation. This is far from ideal as, of course, the pads themselves are made from friction material designed to degrade instead.
If your discs are warped, then you can take them into a repair facility to get them skimmed. This will return them to their original condition and will help ensure that they rotate correctly when replaced on the hub. Skimming will also get rid of that judder or vibration and will help to deliver a firm pedal once again.
Measurement and Resurfacing
Typically, a special lathe will be attached directly to the hub. A gyroscope system will be deployed to measure the position of the disc on the hub to an accuracy that is smaller than the thickness of a human hair.
The machine will then automatically resurface the disc so that it is smooth once again. However, bear in mind that discs can only be skimmed once or twice, and if you have already had this done before, then the disc may be nearing its minimum required thickness. Manufacturers recommend that you replace a disc when it reaches that level.
Take your vehicle into a brake repair specialist so that you can get your discs skimmed and return to normal.