Bed in Procedure
The bed-in (bedding) procedure for new brake components is an integral step towards ensuring optimal braking performance, ensuring longevity, and minimizing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). The following steps should be completed immediately following the installation of new brake discs and/or brake pads - ideally in a safe setting away from the hazards of other vehicles
The function and importance of properly bedding new brake components is not only important for achieving optimal braking performance but will also greatly improve safety. This is accomplished by ensuring the proper level of friction between the new braking surfaces by removing any plating from new discs, burning off any oils or residue from manufacturing, assembly, or installation processes, and allowing the brake pads to impregnate and evenly distribute friction material across the discs' braking surface. This procedure will also greatly reduce the chance of developing brake “judder” which can be an annoyance and present itself as a symptom very similar to the feeling of “warped rotors”.
The following steps will take less than :20 minutes and can be repeated at any time to further ensure adequate transfer.
To begin, drive to a safe setting where you can perform a series of braking cycles from varying speeds without the hazards of other vehicles or road hazards which may force you to come to a complete stop When transiting to a safe stretch of road, use only light application of the brake pedal. If you are forced to come to a complete stop, try to do so for the last few mph by using your vehicle's hand brake, and not your foot/brake pedal.
Step ONE: Once you have a safe stretch of road in front of you, gradually accelerate to between 20-30 mph and start your first braking cycle with light-to-medium pedal pressure down to 10 mph. (NOTE: Do not come to a complete stop. Gradually accelerate back to 20-30 mph and repeat this braking cycle 10 - 15 times, leaving approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile between stops.)
TIP 1: “Light-to-medium” pedal pressure should be enough to gradually slow the vehicle with just weight transfer as to imagine NOT tipping over a glass of water resting on the dashboard. Your goal with this first series of 10 - 15 braking cycles is to slowly introduce heat into the system, and seamlessly transfer the first layer of brake pad material onto the new discs.
Step TWO: After completing the first series of 10-15 stops, you will repeat the same process as above, increasing your driving speed to 40-50 mph and slowing the vehicle with medium pedal pressure down to 20 mph, ensuring that you do not come to a complete stop. Again, it is to leave at least 1/2 mile between stops in order to allow the system to gradually cool between braking the next 10 - 15 braking cycles.
TIP 2: Medium pedal pressure should be enough to initiate greater weight transfer, as if you are intentionally trying to gently tip over that same imaginary glass of water. This series of stops will introduce a higher degree of heat into the brake system - but not soo much as to shock the system or prevent the system from adequately dissipating this new amount of heat over the next 1/2 mile of driving.
Step THREE: (OPTIONAL … and ONLY recommended in a safe *off-road / track-like environment* for obvious safety reasons).
It should be obvious at this point that the theme of this process is to gradually introduce and deliberately increase the brake temperatures in a way that allows the brake pads to evenly transfer friction material to the brake disc in the most even way possible.
For competition use, and only within a safe environment with ample space and open road in front of you - these next series of 10 - 15 braking cycles can be performed - gradually increase speeds and driving distances between stops.
Cycle THREE: 60-70 mph driving speed, slowing with medium pedal pressure to 30mph, with 3/4 of a mile between stops.
Cycle FOUR: 80-100 mph driving speeds, slowing with medium pedal pressure to 50 mph, with a minimum of 1 mile between stops.
TIP 3: Use medium pedal pressure ONLY at all times (as described in Tip 2) in order to not shock the brake rotors or increase temperatures too quickly. Be sure to NOT come to a complete stop at any time until you are certain that the system has fully cooled. If you are forced to slow to below 10 mph before the system has fully cooled, use your handbrake to complete your stop so that your foot is not resting on the brake pedal, and your brake pads are not resting against your brake discs. If possible, allow the vehicle to roll forward very slowly until it is once again safe to accelerate back to normal driving speeds and resume proper cooling.