I got my brake pads replaced today and they told me that my brake discs need skimming. I couldn't afford it today, but told them I would go back in two weeks when I get paid. They were ok with that, but stressed that it had to be done.
I've since been told that skimming brake discs is a more of a money-making scam than beneficial to the car. I was told that doing could cause even more damage!
I don't want to get ripped off!
What is the viewpoint on skimming brakes discs?
True confession time - I never skim my disks (we call it "turning the rotors" here). If they are bad I replace them, if not I leave them alone. My view is that skimming them increases the likelihood they will begin pulsating, which is my experience but that view is not shared by all (see the first source.) Leaving them alone is not the professional standard but it is quite satisfactory. The complication for you is that if anything is unsatisfactory about the brake job and you go back they will say "you never came back to let us complete the job."
Brake Disc Skimming
It is a need for brake discs skimming what is the use of putting new brake pads on and
the discs haven't been done by doing bought at the same time will save you money and
time and longer life on your brake pads.Discs can be skimmed if it is in the required
measurements of skimming them why go buy new ones when they can be done.
ever come to a smoking stop for a set of traffic lights and left your foot clamped to the brake? brakes stop a car by friction between the pad and the disc, when you cause friction you create heat. when you come to a smoking stop most of the disc can cool off except for the bit of disc that is sitting under the pad, this uneaven cooling causes it to warp, then when you start braking the steering wheel shakes like mad. when you machine the discs you are making them smooth and flat again taking off the high patches and also the deep grooves that are sometimes caused by worn pads.
if they wanted to scam you they would have just replaced the discs saying they where stuffed. they only take off the smallest amount they can to make them last for as long as they can.
if you keep putting up with the shaking you are causing a great deal of wear to the front end.
It can be a necessary action as mentioned by everyone else, (warped, over heated, scratches, etc.) However, depending on the model car you have, it may be more economical and a better investment to simply replace your rotors entirely.
If done properly, "Skimming" your discs can be effective, but buying new ones isn't a bad choice either. Do some price checking before making a choice.
no one is trying to rip you off, disc brakes get very hot, and over time they can warp a bit from heat. what happens is as time goes on, it can get worse and worse, so that when you are coming down a steep hill and your brake starts to get really hot the front end may start to shake badly. When you replace the pads, its a good idea to have the discs resurfaced, or its also called turned, because it goes on a special machine that takes off a small amount of material on both sides, this will make sure hen you have to use Your brakes repeatedly and they get hot they do not shake the front end apart.
Brake discs need skimming when they get badly scored or are warped. Have a look both on the outside and inside. If they're badly scored, get them skimmed, if they only have a few scores in them, don't bother. If they're warped you'll feel the uneven braking especially when applied when travelling slowly and under light braking load.
No rip-off. That's about right. Keep in mind that cylinders and calipers are not the usual wear items and therefore going forward should not need to be replaced as often as shoes and pads. Your next brake jobs may only include shoes and pads. Drums and rotors may need to be machined a few times before they are replaced.
Turning rotors is important if they are warped or rough. It will greatly increase brake life and breaking ability. However, generally it is about te same price as replacing the rotors. Depending o your car it is often cheaper and safer, When rotors wear, they get thinner. When a rotor gets thinner, two problems occur, the caliper has to push the pads in farther and the rotors get weaker and can warp, crack ,and even shatter. Save your self the worry and hassle, replace them instead.