Subject: Brake Pad Burnishing - Passenger Car/Light Truck
Vehicles Involved: All Normal “Street” vehicles
Condition: After replacing brake pads
Repair Procedure: When replacing brake pads, a “break-in” or “burnishing” procedure is recommended to properly condition both the brake pads and brake rotors for best service and long life.
The burnish process, if done correctly, does at least three things to the pads and/or the rotor:
- Physically and thermally converts the composition of the pad and/or rotor surfaces.
- Smooths the asperities (roughness, unevenness) of the mating surfaces.
- Heat cycles the entire pad structure.
For “normal” street service minimum 8 to 10 moderate applications from 65-15 kph is sufficient allowing minimum 15 to 30 seconds for cooling in between brake applications.
Allow the brakes to cool for at least 15 minutes either by parking the vehicle or continuing to drive at moderate speeds with minimal brake applications. If the application has a fully coated brake rotor verify after test drive that the coating has been removed from the braking surface by looking through the wheel at the brake rotor surface. If coating is present on the brake surface where the pad contact do an additional 2-4 brake stops. Do not remove the coating manually with sanding discs. During installation remember to wash uncoated brake rotors with soap and water to remove oils and/or metal particles.