Bedding in new brake pads can ensure ultimate performance and longevity. This guide will show you how to bed in new pads with just a few simple steps. 

There is some debate as to whether bedding in new brake pads is a worthwhile for regular road users. On the one hand, it came seem like overkill for some. However, doing so can be the difference between warping rotors and discs quickly or having countless miles of hassle-free braking. Let us explain.

What are the advantages of bedding in new brake pads?

The process of bedding in brake pads has a number of advantages. The first of which is that it helps optimize the area between pad and the rotor surface. Rotors and pads tend to come with a coating on the surface. Without bedding in, you can overheat the brake pad material alongside the rotor, removing pad material and depositing it onto the rotor. Once left to cool, this residue creates a hard layer on top of the rotor, so each time you hit the brakes in future, you can start to feel a slight vibration. This is known as a warped rotor, or warped disc.

Overheating the brake pads without a bed in procedure can also lead to structural damage across the whole pad. You should avoid performing heavy braking until the pads have been bedded in.

Throughout the first few hundred miles of driving after replacing rotors and pads, the contact surface area between the rotor and pad increases, and thus improves braking longevity.

modified bmw m4 g82 at nurburgring

Best to give your new brake pads a gentle warm up before hitting the track…

How to bed in new brake pads

The good thing is that the process to bed in new brake pads isn’t difficult. It can also be considered a safety test, ensuring that the braking system is working correctly after installing new components. Depending on which brake manufacturer you choose to buy from, the bed in process will change slightly. Always be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you correctly perform the bed in process.

It’s also worth noting that how the vehicle is intended to be driven should be taken into account. If the brake pads you’ve purchased are designed for track use, the bed in process will be different, as they tend to be used in very different scenarios. Again, read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Below, we’ve recommended a universal bedding in process for new brake pads.

Step 1:

Find a quiet piece of road with minimal to no traffic. Make sure you have enough space to safely build up speed to around 40mph and brake moderately to around 5mph. Avoid coming to a complete stop. Repeat this process 3 times.

Step 2:

Increase your speed to 55mph, and again brake to around 5mph, but this time brake harder, avoiding triggering any ABS systems or locking the tires. You want to build up heat, but not overheat, there’s a fine line between the two. Again, avoid coming to a complete stop, and repeat the process 4 times.

Step 3:

Drive a few miles to cool the brakes down before coming to a complete stop. Allow the brakes to cool for around an hour before driving further.

Step 4:

Now this one requires you to be vigilant. The initial bed in process for your new brake pads is complete, but for the first few hundred miles, you should try to avoid heavy braking where possible. In short, brake lighter and more often. This helps create the perfect harmony between rotor/disc and pad to ensure that you’re getting the best braking performance for as long as possible.

Relevant content: