Q: What is the proper procedure for braking in new brake pads?
A: Brake pad break-in procedure:
Brake Pad Burnishing/Bedding-In Instructions
- After reaching medium speed engage brake pedal to slow car without coming to a complete stop. Release pedal quickly and do not drag brakes. Repeat four or five times.
- At higher speeds engage brake pedal to slow car without coming to a complete stop. Release pedal quickly and do not drag brakes. Repeat five times.
- At or near race speed engage brake pedal to slow car without coming to a complete stop. Release pedal quickly and do not drag brakes. Repeat three times. Allow a few seconds between brake engagements while car is in motion
- Do not hold brake pedal. Park car for approximately 20 minutes or until brake rotors are completely cool to the touch.
- If during the above steps the brake pedal becomes soft or brake fade is noticed, park the car immediately for approximately 20 minutes. Do not hold brake pedal.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS WHEN BURNISHING/BEDDING BRAKE PADS
• Do not attempt to use badly worn or damaged rotors with new brake pads.
• Do not drag brakes while car is moving during break-in procedure.
• Do not engage pedal while car is stopped at any time following the break-in procedure.
• Upon completing the procedure, allow the brake system to completely cool before racing.
• Applying the pedal a few times before the start of the race will allow the brake pads to heat up before attempting to reach race speeds.
• Clean a used rotor surface with fine sand paper or steel wool, rinse with water, dry and install before bedding new pads.
• Some forms of racing don't allow time for the proper break-in procedure to be performed. However, it is still very important to attempt to perform at least the core of the procedure: Build up heat slowly and allow the system to completely cool down before racing if possible.
Q: What can happen to my brake pads if not bedded properly?
A: Proper break-in will assure that small amounts of heat are introduced to the brake pad. Brake pads that are brought up to temperature too fast and not properly allowed to cool down may quickly become glazed and not perform as originally intended. The pad’s rubbing surface reaches extreme heat levels during racing use. The surface needs slow temperature increases to help prepare the pad. Large amounts of heat all at one time can cause the brake pad rubbing surface to become somewhat liquefied and coat the pad surface with a glaze. This will dramatically reduce stopping performance as certain ingredients in the friction compound break down and cause glazing of the rubbing surface of the brake pad.