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Bedding in Brake Pads

For any car owners who have elected to change out the brake pads in their vehicle, it’s crucial that they immediately follow up the process by bedding in the new brake pads. The process of bedding in brake pads is an essential one in that it removes any impurities from the brake pads’ surface, laying down a slight coating of brake pad residue onto the brake rotor’s surface. This is done through a repetition of heating and cooling while braking. Think of those cycles like Goldilocks and the three bears in that the temperature must be just right, only in this case it’s to prevent uneven brake pad transfer or scarring on the rotor and pad surfaces.

To ensure your brakes last a long time and do their job quietly and smoothly, car owners performing DIY maintenance should adhere to the following easy guidelines for bedding in their brake pads. While all car manufacturers have different methods for bedding in brake pads, regardless of the brand, the basics don’t change very much. After you have installed new brake pads, follow the steps below. The process should not take more than one and a half hours.

  1. First, look for a fairly open piece of roadway that will safely allow for a vehicle to slow down multiple times. Ensure that you adhere to traffic laws and that the traffic around you is minimal.
  2. Accelerate the vehicle to 35 mph before applying moderate pressure to the brakes to reduce the speed to between five and ten mph.
  3. Repeat the process three or four times. The objective here is to warm the brake pads up.
  4. Now, increase your speeds to 45 mph before braking evenly down to ten mph.
  5. Repeat this step three or four times. Note: It’s crucial that you avoid completely stopping during this part of the process because doing so could possibly melt the brake pads against the hot rotors. However, if a pedestrian, a deer, or the neighbor’s dog runs into your car’s path, you should, obviously, hit the brakes.
  6. Now, this go-and-stop session is finished. Park the vehicle and let the brakes cool fully for about an hour. To get the best results, try to avoid pressing on the brakes when parking.

Admittedly, bedding in brake pads sounds like a delicate procedure, but don’t worry about one poor stop ruining your efforts. Just continue to drive carefully and, if possible, avoid having to make emergency stops.

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