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How to Break in Ceramic Brake Pads

by Christine Bryant

Breaking in new ceramic brake pads is an important procedure that is needed to maximize their performance, according to experts. Known by some as the "bedding-in process," breaking in the pads should be done any time new ceramic brake pads are installed or when purchasing a new car. The process involves being behind the wheel and spending some time out on the road soon after receiving the brake pads.

For the first few hundred miles of using the ceramic brake pads, try to avoid stopping quickly, which can cause heavy braking. This helps break in the brake pads at an even pace and prevents overexerting the brake pads.

In a safe area, take the car up to a speed of around 35 miles per hour and apply the brakes, only using moderate pressure. Bring the car down close to 0 mph, but do not stop the car entirely. Do this at least six times, but generally no more than 10 are needed.

Increase the car's speed up to about 40 or 45 miles per hour. Once again, brake the car, but do not stop completely. Repeat two to three times. Some manufacturers recommend taking the car up to 60 or 65 miles per hour and repeating this process, so check your ceramic brake pad manufacturer's instructions.

Stop the vehicle and allow the ceramic brakes to cool. If you are in a space where stopping and turning off the car is not possible, cruise at around 60 miles per hour for a few minutes without touching the brakes. Do not drive the vehicle or use the brakes until they have cooled, if possible.

Tip

  • Check the ceramic brake pads' manufacturer instructions to double check what the procedure is for breaking in the pads. Some types of pads may require different procedures.

Warnings

  • Do not break in the brake pads quickly or without care. Doing so may cause excessive heat build-up on the brake pads, causing their efficiency and performance to suffer.
  • Be prepared at first for the brakes to be touchy.
  • Do not tow anything of substantial weight until you have broken in the ceramic brake pads.

Items you will need

About the Author

Christine Bryant has been a writer for more than 10 years, working in the newspaper and magazine industries in the Richmond, Va., Chicago and Columbus, Ohio areas. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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