Following on from our post on how to replace brake pads on any vehicle, we wanted to share more information about the post-replacement process and the additional steps we encourage our clients to take after replacing brake pads.
As a brake pads manufacturer, we supply distributors, repair shops, body shops, and others across the world, we have a few tips on how a basic breaking in (also known as bedding in or burnishing) process can be carried out. See the steps as well as frequently asked questions below:
How do you break in brand new brake pads?
Breaking in (bedding in or burnishing) newly replaced brake pads is a controlled way to use heat to effectively optimise brake pads and rotors (brake discs) prior to doing more extensive driving. Bedding in brake pads involves speeding up and slowing down (but not coming to a complete stop) in order to ensure a better fit between the brake pads and rotors, as well as helping to remove any excess particles from the manufacturing or fitting process.
We encourage clients to use the following steps to break in their brake pads:
Step 1: In an area where it’s safe to do so, speed up to around 30 mph and then use the brakes to slow down to around 5-10 mph. This will warm up the brake pads to their ideal operating temperature. Repeat this step 2-3 times within a 20-min period (release the brake pedal to cool down the brakes if you hear squealing).
Step 2: In an area where it’s safe to do so and the speed limits allow for it, increase your speed to around 55-60pm and then brake firmly to reduce your speed back down to around 10-15 mph. Repeat this step 4-5 times within a 30-min period. (This can be done by making turns along a country road or a similar quiet environment.)
Step 3: Drive normally for another 20-30 minutes, trying to avoid harsh usage of the brakes where possible. This will allow them to cool down.
Step 4: Head to a parking lot and park for around an hour to give the brakes (and yourself!) a break. For most brake pads, the above process will be sufficient in helping the brake pads mould to the brake disc (rotor). From here on, drive as usual – the next 200-400 miles of driving will naturally complete the rest of the process and you shouldn’t hear squealing or any other noise with our Frontech brake pads.
What happens if you don’t break in brake pads?
If you skip the process of breaking in / bedding in brake pads, you may experience uneven brake pad wear as well as notice more noise when braking. Your brake pads will still work, but as they were not calibrated to the rotors, they may wear more quickly.
If you regularly drive cross-country or at high speed, you may also notice more dust appearing on your rotors and uneven brake pad material deposits along the rotors, indicating irregular wear.
Do all brake pads need to be bedded in?
Yes, we strongly recommend all brake pads and rotors (brake discs) are bedded in prior to normal use to ensure better performance long-term. This applies to all types of brake pads including semi metallic brake pads, low metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads.
How long do brake pads take to break in?
The initial process of breaking in / bedding in which we’ve outlined above usually takes a couple of hours, however, the additional 200-400 miles of recommended driving in normal conditions will depend entirely on how often you use your vehicle and how far you travel. On average in the UK, motorists travel around 600 miles per month.
Does MOT check brake pad wear?
Yes! In fact, one of the most common reasons cars fail their MOT is their brakes. During your MOT, your car’s braking system will be inspected visually to ensure there is no damage to the brake discs (rotors), brake pads, or other components. Your brake pads will also be measured to ensure they are not worn below the legal minimum of 1.5mm. Additionally, your brake system will be checked for efficiency to make sure it works correctly.
Looking for a new brake parts supplier? Contact our team today!
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