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What’s the Best Way to Break in My New Pads and Rotors?

Installed Rotors

What’s the Best Way to Break in My New Pads and Rotors?   

Once you’ve installed your new brake pads and rotors, you’ll want to properly break them in to guarantee they’ll function at peak efficiency. Essentially, this process involves heating them up and cooling them back down – in a heavily controlled environment. Doing so will “prime” them for your normal driving habits.

Breaking in your new brake pads and rotors isn’t difficult – though it will require a few key things.

Brake Rotors and Brake Pads

Breaking in Your New Pads and Rotors: Your Guide

The most important thing to understand is that most brake manufacturers will already have their own unique break in process – meaning that you should consult their original instructions and follow the recommended steps to the letter.

Blue Parked Car

Find a Safe Place to Drive Your Car

If those instructions are unavailable to you for whatever reason, there is still a more general process you can try. Begin by finding a safe place to drive your car – either a clear stretch of road, a large, empty parking lot or a similar environment where there are no other cars around.

Typically, you’re looking for a place where it will be safe to speed up and slow down a number of times in quick succession.

Then, get your car to a relatively fast speed – think 40 MPH or so – and use moderate pressure to slow things back down to about 5 MPH.

Don’t let your car come to a complete stop, but do go through this process at least three or four times.

Then, get your car to a faster speed – something around 50 MPH or so will do just fine. Now, you’ll want to use strong pressure to slow the car back down to that same 5 MPH. Again, don’t come to a complete stop and do this a few different times.

Yellow Slow Down Sign

Give Your Pads and Rotors a Chance to Cool Down

At that point, you can drive your car around as normal for 10 to 15 minutes or so to give your brake pads and rotors a chance to slowly cool down. If you need to use the brakes at all, do so lightly during this period and still try to refrain from coming to a complete stop.

Once you’re finished with this, you can park your car and give your brakes a chance to completely cool down for around an hour or so. Your new pads and rotors will be properly “broken in” and you’ll be ready to get them out on the open road to see what they can do.

Note that if you have performance brakes, they have a higher temperature tolerance – meaning you’ll likely need to speed up and slow down more often to fully break them in.


If you’d like to find out more information about the best ways to break in your new pads and rotors, or if you just have any other questions that you’d like to go over with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Drilled Rotors today.

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