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I have a 2005 Mazda 3i and I think I am going to need some new rotors (probably front and back). Is there a big difference between the rotors from the Mazda dealership and those from non-dealership auto part stores? It will be cheaper to have the rotors replaced at a local shop who will probably buy the rotors at Advanced Auto, Auto Zone, etc and install them. My car has 92,000 miles. What has been your experience?
 

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Rotors are not hard to replace at all. If you just want OEM replacement get them at Autozone or advance, do it yourself, save the labor charges.

Or ask members here to see who has some they could sell you, maybe someone local, might land a better deal.

There are plenty of members here that can help you out including myself.

All you have to do is ask us.
 

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To answer your question, yes. There are differences from rotor to rotor. It comes down to the quality of the iron, the quality control in the foundary, and the quality/tolerances of the machining site. Problem is, you can get OEM rotors from the dealer, and they could be from a crappy foundary.

For aftermarket brakes, I tend to go with the high end of what can be found at an autoparts shop. These will probably have castings from the same foundary as the base rotors. But they will probably receive more control over balancing, have more and/or better corrosion protection on non-braking surfaces, etc. And they will still be cheaper than the dealer.

If you are the least bit mechanically inclined, doing your own brakes is probably the best bang-for-the-buck as far as do-it-yourself auto work. $100 per axle just to change your pads is a total ripoff....and that's usually with a coupon! They will probably charge you triple for turning rotors compared to what a parts store will do it for. And whenever a shop buys rotors at another shop (OEM or aftermarket) they will mark them up.

You can easily do a Mazda3 with 4 new rotors ($120-$200) and 4 sets of pads ($80-$100) on a Saturday afternoon. If you can have the rotors turned ($12-$15 per rotor), you'll save even more. And the satisfaction of pocketing that labor cost is invaluable.
 
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