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    Installing new pads on old rotors: How to break-in or burnish your new pads

    February 28, 2021

    You don’t have to replace rotors every time you replace your worn brake pads. Unless your rotors are damaged, warped, or worn beyond their discard thickness, all you need is a new set of pads with hardware. Don’t skip on basic brake maintenance during installation of new pads and you’re golden!

    Installing new pads on old rotorsWhen installation is complete, you have to burnish (brake-in) your new pads on your old rotors. The burnishing process allows new friction material on the pad to properly wear-in and match the wear profile on rotor/drum surfaces. Eventually new pads get seated into the old rotors, increasing the contact surface and maximizing the braking performance.

    All burnishing methods and procedures are similar and applicable to both metallic and ceramic pads. It is generally recommended to do 20 to 30 stop cycles by following these guidelines:

    1. Accelerate to 50kmh, and then come to a slow stop by applying a low-to-moderate pedal pressure.
    2. Allow your brakes to cool down for at least 30 seconds before the next stopping cycle.
    3. Do NOT make hard high-speed stops, as it may cause the new friction material to overheat /glaze and possibly damage the rotors.

    As a result, new pads will conform to friction surfaces of your old rotors ensuring effective and noise-free braking from the get-go.

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