If you've changed your pads and rotors you should "bed" the brakes in by following the instructions below.  Proper bedding will improve pedal feel, reduce or eliminate brake squeal, and extend the life of your pads and rotors.  Because bedding increases the emissivity of the rotors, it even allows them to shed more heat via radiation, making them run slightly cooler.

Caution: When you've just installed new pads/rotors, 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 mph.

When following these instructions, please avoid doing it in the presence of other vehicles.  Nippon Auto Parts does not endorse speeding on public roads and takes no responsibility for any injuries or tickets you may receive while following these instructions.

        From a speed of about 60mph, gently apply the brakes to slow the car down to about 45mph, then accelerate back up to 60mph and repeat.  Do this couple of times to bring the brakes up to operating temperature.  This prevents you from thermally shocking the rotors and pads in the next steps.

        Make a series of four near-stops from 60 to about 10 mph. Do it HARD by pressing on the brakes firmly, just shy of locking the wheels or engaging ABS.  At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate back to 60mph.  DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP!  If you stop completely and sit for any length of time with your foot on the brake pedal, you will imprint pad material onto the hot rotors, which can lead to vibration, uneven braking, and could even ruin the rotors.  (Note: With some more aggressive competition pads, you may need to do more than four near-stops.  If your pedal gets soft or you feel the brakes going away, then you've done enough.  Proceed to the next step.)

        The brakes may begin to fade slightly after the 3rd or 4th 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 4th near-stop, accelerate back up to speed and cruise for a while, using the brakes as little as possible.  The brakes need 5 to 10 minutes to cool down.  Try not to become trapped in traffic or come to a complete stop while the brakes are still hot.

         After the break-in cycle, there should be a slight blue tint and a light grey film on the disc rotor face. The blue tint tells you the rotor has reached break-in temperature and the grey film is pad material starting to transfer onto the disc rotor face. This is what you are looking for.  The best braking occurs when there is an even layer of  pad material deposited across the face the disc rotors.  This minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and disc rotor life.

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 disc rotors. 

Home Page