Do my Brakes Need Skimming?

August 18, 2022 by James Lawley

Are you experiencing poor braking performance? Spongy brakes, or a judder or vibration under breaking? Then you could be looking at an expensive bill for new brake discs.

Or are you?

There is a cost effective alternative to disc replacement – brake disc skimming.

It could cost you thousands of pounds for a new set of discs for a Ferrari for example. Brake disc skimming, however, starts at £199 per axle here at The Supercar Rooms.

What is Brake Disc Skimming?

Brake disc skimming, also known as brake lathe cutting, is a process that involves machining the surface of a brake disc to restore it to its original condition. This can be necessary if the brake disc has become worn or damaged, or if it has become uneven due to brake pads that have worn unevenly. Skimming the brake disc helps to improve the performance of the brakes, as it can reduce braking distances and increase the overall braking efficiency.

The process uses a specialist Pro Cut lathe to skim your brake discs. It uses a cutting tool to remove a thin layer of material from the surface of the brake disc. The lathe is attached directly to the vehicle and measures any run-out in the hub when it is rotating.

Run-out is when a tool or shaft does not rotate exactly in line with the main axis. Simply put, it doesn’t rotate in a perfectly true way. This is where you get vibrations and inefficiencies under breaking.

Using an electronically-controlled, gyroscope system the process can measure any run-out in the wheel hub to an accuracy of 0.025mm.

The disc surface is then machined by the lathe to correct the run-off so the brake disc is matched to the hub, solving any braking issues.

It takes around 30 minutes to skim each brake disc.

All steel disc brakes can be skimmed at least once, however when brakes reach their minimum thickness then it is time to replace them.

It is generally not recommended to machine carbon brakes. Carbon brakes are made of a composite material that is typically more brittle and prone to cracking or chipping than steel or iron brake discs. The machining process can generate a lot of heat and cause stress on the brake disc, which can weaken the material and increase the risk of failure. In addition, carbon brake discs often have a very thin surface layer that is applied to the disc as part of the manufacturing process. Removing material from this surface layer can damage the disc and reduce its performance.

If you have carbon brakes that need to be serviced, it is generally best to replace the brake pads and leave the brake discs as they are. If the brake discs are severely worn or damaged, they may need to be replaced.

At The Supercar Rooms Service Department, our technicians always make sure that your brake discs are suitable for skimming before any work is started.

Many of the world’s leading luxury car brands have approved the Pro-Cut process of brake disc skimming on their vehicles including, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Jaguar.

Benefits of Brake Disc Skimming on Supercars

Other than the obvious financial benefits there are many other benefits to skimming, these include:

    • Prolonging the lifespan of the brake discs
    • Removing corrosion
    • Enhancing braking efficiency and safety
    • Stopping brakes from squealing
    • Preventing brake vibration

    When having brake pads replaced it can be beneficial to also have the discs skimmed. This makes sure that the new pads will be perfectly aligned with the discs improving the longevity of both pads and disc.

    If you are experiencing braking issues with your supercar, and would like to speak to us about your options regarding brake disc skimming then get in touch with The Supercar Rooms today.