Mk7 rotors, resurfaceable or not?

Shakahs

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
San Francisco
TDI
2015 GSW, 2000 Jetta
Okay TDIClub, GSW front pads are low and the quotes I'm getting are $500-$700! 2 shops are telling me I have to replace the rotors on every single brake change, which seems.. ridiculous. Since when are rotors one time use?? But I'm coming from years of Mk4 ownership so maybe things are just different now. I did my research and I'm getting mixed information.
  1. Dealer says rotors are "replaced every time on German cars"
  2. Local indy shop says Mk7 tears up the rotor because of high carbon content, not reusable
  3. Some forum posts say the rotors are very thin to start with, not enough material for resurfacing to work
  4. Other forum posts say resurfacing is fine, just have to watch minimum thickness like any other car
So what's the truth about resurfacing Mk7 rotors? Can I? Should I?
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
If you've used up the pad material, I'd replace the rotors at the same time. If the pads are good, and you are replacing just for a different brand, you may be able to continue using the rotor. Mk7 pads and rotors are more pricey than a MkIV, but as Peter said, still not too costly, and brakes are one of the areas in which it's not worth skimping. As for the price quotes above, just do it yourself for the cost of parts and a few hours of labor. Not a complex job.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
How low are the pads? are they grinding the rotors? if not, then they aren't low ;)

So what about the shop price don't you like? Are you comparing it to prices of 2000? say 15-20 years ago?

I'm guessing about 1/2 of what they quoted is for parts? Is this shop in San Fan? they are prob quoting 1.5-2 hrs at $100-150/hr

If you want to turn your own wrenches, yeah you can just slap new pads on and pocket the savings, it's super easy. I did that for my rears on my 2010 mk5 4 months before VW bought it back, but that was just to pass state inspection.

Our passat had pad deposit on all 4 rotors after a year of ownership back in 2017/8, i just slapped new rotors on and everything's been fine (hardly had any wear on the pads) for the past +60K miles.

No sense in arguing in what a shop will or wont do for you, keep calling around and find a shop that does the work you want to do if you don't want to pay their prices.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
OE brake rotors are about $74 each and the pads are right around $100. So $250 for parts at dealer retail. If they're charging $125/hour (a guess but a reasonable one), 2 hours labor (also a guess) gets you to $500. Easy.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
At least. My mechanic always replaced rotors on my '85 Peugeot. Said turning them wasn't worth the effort, and the always warped after turning anyway. And then he'd end up replacing them.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Europeans were early adopters of sacrificial brake rotors, but pretty much everyone has followed suit now. Some are of course more pronounced than others. MB will still have that giant lip on the edge of the rotor, so deep that putting new pads on them will only let about 25% of the new pads' friction material to actually wear away anyway, before the steel backing starts grinding against the rotor lip.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
I've had pretty good luck pad slapping my VW's on every other set of pads. The key is replacing the pads before they're completely gone. I appreciate the time savings as much as anything. The rear rotors in particular have a triple square bolt that can be a real pita.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
Indigo, yes Peugeot rotors warped as they weren't vented on front and we replaced lots under warranty as well.
 

whizznbyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Location
Waxhaw, NC
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen 6 speed manual. B5 died at 302k miles.
Since we are on the topic of changing rotors, what is the easiest big brake upgrade ?
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
312 is plenty big IMO, if you have 288 rotors, just need caliper carriers, tons of threads about it.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2003; 2016 A3 e-tron
Getting at those two M14 XZN bolts, which hold the rear carrier, with sufficient torque to break them loose is a major PITA - torque spec is 90Nm+90°, so add in ~100K miles worth of corrosion build-up....ugh. Definitely easier if you have a lift and can work from below, but working from the side under the car....not fun.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
No, because the serrated collar on the bolt is a built-in (and very effective) threadlocker. Sure, I clean any rust up and make sure both the holes and threads are clean, but the locking function of the bolt is doing exactly what it is intended to do.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
some sort of preventative coating inside the triple square bolt head might help the next guy, keep it clean or make it easier to clean out. I'd have to wager much of the frustration people have (especially when not on a lift), is not being able to fully seat the triple square bit into the bolt head due to dust debris or rust, and awkwardly trying to unfasten and cam out the bit damaging the bolt head. I think a quality triple square bit is tapered to match the taper of the bolt so once fully seated, there is very very little play or slop between bit and bolt head.

I was able to use the "doubled up box wrench technique" to get another 10" of leverage and wasn't that bad breaking free on stands.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Yeah, the corrosion and gunk build up inside the bolt head adds to the fun. I use a finish nail to clean it out as much as possible, then tap in the XZN bit with a hammer to make sure it fully seats. Probably isn't half as bad up on a lift.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2003; 2016 A3 e-tron
The last ones I did, I was able to get a ½" ball-swivel impact adapter onto the XZN bit, with my Milwaukee M18 ½" impact driver on it. I gave it a couple quick blips in the tightening direction (nothing moved), and then hit the loosening direction with a couple slightly longer blips which got them moving.

Astonishing that 65Nm for carrier bolts was sufficient torque spec on the Mk4 rear, while the Mk5 onward jumped all the way to 90Nm+90°, PLUS the serrated washer.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
And What's the weight difference between mk4 and mk5? the mk5 is a pig.
 
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