Brake Bedding for Best Performance
Brake bedding is a “real conditions” heat cycle and the final step in preparing the pads for service. All pads, even OE stock replacement parts, will benefit from a proper bedding cycle. Bedding can be done either in the vehicle, or on a special bedding dyno that can realistically duplicate the torque loads, pressure, and temperature that will be realized in the vehicle.
The brake bedding process is the final “heat cure” for the pads. This final brake bedding cure differs from an oven heat cure in such that the oven heat cure does not include the pressure, torque, and elevated surface temperatures that are necessary to properly condition the pad for service. New pads must be gradually brought up to temperature and then slowly cooled. If the pads are put into hard service right from the start, damage from fractures or accelerated deterioration due to extreme temperature variations between the surface and the body of the pad can occur. Once the brake system has been tested and determined safe to operate the vehicle, follow these steps for bedding of all pad materials.
1. Begin with a series of 8-10 light stops from approx. 30 MPH down to 15 MPH allowing 20-30 seconds for cooling between each stop.
2. Progress to series of 8-10 moderate stops from around 45 MPH down to 30 MPH allowing a 20-30 second cool down period between each stop.
3. Proceed with a series of 8-10 hard stops from 55-65 MPH down to 25 MPH allowing 20-30 seconds of cool down time between each stop.
4. Drive at a moderate cruising speed, with the least amount of brake contact possible, until most of the heat has dissipated from the brakes. Avoid sitting stopped with the brake pedal depressed to hold the car in place during this time. Park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool to ambient air temperature.
During the brake bedding process, a more positive feel from the brakes should develop. This is an indication that the bed in process is working. If any level of brake fade is observed during the hard stops, it may be an indication that the brakes have been more than adequately heated. Begin cooling the brakes with light driving and without brake contact immediately.