How to Bed in Brake Pads
Brake-pad bedding is an important process that removes impurities from the surface of the brake pad and lays down a thin layer of pad residue on the rotor surface. This is accomplished through repeated heated and cooling during braking. These cycles are like Goldilocks and the three bears: temperatures need to be just right to prevent scarring of the brake pad and rotor surfaces, or uneven pad transfer. Follow these easy guidelines and enjoy quiet, smooth and long-lasting braking. While every manufacturer has a different method for bedding in their brake pads, the basics remain the same—regardless of brand.
After installing your new set of brake pads, follow these simple steps:
- Find an open stretch of road that will allow you to safely stop your vehicle multiple times
- Accelerate to 35 mph and apply moderate brake pressure to reduce your speed to 5-10 MPH
- Repeat this process 3-4 times, the goal is to warm up your brake pads
- Now turn up the heat even more by increasing your speed to 45 mph and braking down to 10 mph
- Repeat this process 3-4 times
- Pro Tip: It’s important to avoid coming to a complete stop during this stage as it’s possible to melt brake pads against hot rotors. Of course, should a deer, pedestrian or Sasquatch run onto the road, feel free to mash the brake pedal. Safety first!
- Your stop-and-go session is now complete. Park the car and allow the brakes to fully cool for an hour. For best results, avoid pressing down on the brake pedal when parked
While bedding in your brakes can sound like a sensitive procedure, one funky stop isn’t going to ruin your efforts. There’s no need to stress out, just drive safely and avoid emergency stops if at all possible.