- Why should I follow a bedding procedure on new brake pads?
- What is better, slotted or drilled rotors?
- What is better, painted rotors or zinc plated rotors?
- What is a pre-bedded brake pad?
- What can I do during installation to prevent brake noise?
Correct brake pad bedding (also known as break-in) is important to assure superior braking performance. This beneficial procedure allows the rough friction surface of the brake pad to be brought to temperature, causing a layer of friction material to be applied to the rotor surface. This allows the brake pad material to rub against itself rather than the bare rotor thus increasing the stopping performance of the brake pad to reduce pad and rotor wear.
At The Brake Guys, we carry a variety of rotor types, and we carry both cross-drilled and slotted rotors. Your vehicle’s stock brake rotors can exceed 1,000 degrees F and as a result of the high temperature, many friction compounds start to break down. Due to the breakdown of compounds and the high temperature, brake noise and a shaking steering wheel are the result.
Drilled rotors are engineered to keep your brakes cool, so your brake pad has enhanced bite with reduced fade in comparison to stock brakes. The benefit of slotted rotors is the protection against the dust generated by the friction pad and the removal of gas and water away from the surface, however, the downside is that slotted rotors do not cool your brakes.
In a nutshell, for every day street and highway driving, drilled rotors are typically preferred. For track, towing or other heavy duty applications, slotted rotors are recommended.
The idea behind painting or plating a brake rotor is to resist corrosion, which can affect the structural integrity of your rotors. Rotors can get hot, more than 1000 degrees F and at those temperatures, paint will peel or burn off. Zinc-dichromate plating is a bit more expensive, however, the benefit is that it lasts much longer and keeps your rotors looking new for a much longer time.
Some brake pad manufactures offer a brake pad that is pre-bedded. How do you pre-bed a brake pad? Pre-bedding of brake pads is performed by placing a new pad in a caliper and a machine driven rotor. The rotor and pads are then slowly brought up to temperature and allowed to cool down over several cycles. This process simulates on-track situations and while this can be very expensive, it greatly reduces the break-in time. In most cases, the rotor and the pad are sold as a matched set.
First, search our products to find the correct brake pads for your specific vehicle and choose an upgrade over other aftermarket brake suppliers. The next steps you should follow to avoid noisy brakes are:
- Maintenance: Turn/machine the rotors (machining off a small layer of the rotor to make it smooth again) as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Clean: Wash and dry rotors to remove any debris.
- Installation: Install pads securely and properly bed the pads according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Lubricate: Apply a thin layer of a silicone compound called anti-squeal brake lube on the back of the brake pads during installation.