Bedding allows your
brakes to reach their full potential. Until they are bedded, your
brakes simply do not work as well as they can. If you've installed a
big brake kit, changed your pads and rotors, or even if you've
purchased a brand new car, you should set aside some time to bed the
brakes in by following the suggestions below. Proper bedding will
improve pedal feel, reduce or eliminate brake squeal, and extend the
life of your pads and rotors.
After installing new pads/rotors or a big brake kit, the first few
applications of the brake pedal will result in almost no braking power.
Gently apply the brakes a few times at low speed in order to build up
some grip before blasting down the road at high speed. Otherwise, you
may be in for a nasty surprise the first time you hit the brakes at 60
If you have just installed rotors with
zinc or cadmium plating, or if the rotors have an anti-corrosion
phosphate coating, you should postpone the bedding process until normal
driving has allowed your brake pads to polish the rotors clean and
removed all traces of the plating or coating.
Read and understand our suggestions
completely before starting. Do not substitute higher speeds for the
60mph called for in these suggestions. The heat in your brakes goes up
exponentially as you increase the speed from which you brake. If you
make repeated stops from 80 or 90mph with street pads, you will
overheat the brakes and may end up having to replace pads and/or rotors.
When following these suggestions, avoid
other vehicles. Bedding is often best done early in the morning, when
traffic is light, since other drivers will have no idea what you are up
to and will respond in a variety of ways ranging from fear to curiosity
to aggression. A police officer will probably
not understand when you try to explain why you were driving
erratically! Xcceleration does not
endorse speeding on public roads and takes no responsibility for any
injuries or tickets you may receive while using these suggestions.
From a speed of 60mph, gently apply the
brakes a couple of times to bring them up to operating temperature.
This prevents you from thermally shocking the rotors and pads in the
Make a series of eight near-stops from
60 to about 10 mph. Do it HARD by
pressing the brakes firmly, but do not lock the wheels or engage ABS.
At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate back to 60mph and
then apply the brakes again. DO NOT COME TO A
COMPLETE STOP! If you stop completely and sit there with your
foot on the brake pedal, you will imprint pad material onto the hot
rotors, which could lead to vibration, uneven braking, and even ruin
The brakes may begin to fade after the
7th or 8th near-stop. This fade will stabilize, but not completely go
away until the brakes have fully cooled. A strong smell from the
brakes, and even smoke, is normal.
After the 8th near-stop, accelerate back
up to speed and cruise for a while, using the brakes as little as
possible. The brakes need about 5 minutes to cool down. Try not to
become trapped in traffic or come to a complete stop while the brakes
are still very hot.
If race pads are being used, add four
near-stops from 80 to 10mph.
After the break-in cycle, there should
be a slight blue tint and a light gray film on the rotor face. The blue
tint tells you the rotor has reached break-in temperature and the gray
film is pad material starting to transfer onto the rotor face. This is
what you are looking for. The best braking occurs when there is an even
layer of of pad material deposited across the face of the rotors. This
minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and
After the first
break in cycle shown above, the brakes may still not be fully broken in.
A second bed-in cycle, AFTER the brakes
have cooled down fully from the first cycle, may be necessary before
the brakes really start to perform well. This is especially true if you
have installed new pads on old rotors. If you've just installed a big
brake kit, the pedal travel may not feel as firm as you expected. After
the second cycle, the pedal will become noticeably firmer. If necessary, bleed the brakes to improve pedal