How to Break in Brake Pads

Bedding In New Brakes

Having new brake pads and rotors installed happens on a regular basis. Once those brake pads and rotors are mounted, it is essential to properly break them in. Bedding in, commonly known as breaking in, new brake pads and rotors is necessary for new brakes to work properly. The process works to put a layer of material onto the friction surface of the rotor from the brake pad. The transfer layer, as it is known, improves the brakes' performance and extends their lifespan by enhancement of the friction generation of the brakes and rotors.

The Process of Bedding in New Brakes

Once the new brakes or rotors are installed by a licensed mechanic, the next step is to bed in the brakes. This is done by rapid acceleration and then quick deceleration.

It's important to remember safety when attempting to bed in the new brakes. To maintain the safety of anyone on the road, it is best if bedding in is done in an area with little to no traffic. Most people travel a little ways out of their city to bed in new brakes.

Bedding in the brakes is usually done in two rounds. During the first round, the vehicle is driven at a speed of 45 mph, with a medium-to-easy slow to stop, repeated three or four times. The brakes should be allowed to cool for a few minutes, and then the car should be subjected to an aggressive slow-down from 60 mph to 15 mph eight to ten times. The vehicle should be allowed to sit, or driven at a low speed on the empty road, for a few minutes to allow the brakes to cool before using the brakes again.

After doing this, the brake pads should show a distinctive color change from when they were first applied. This change is the transfer layer. Once bedding in has been completed, the brakes should provide the driver with smooth braking.

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