How many miles before bedding brakes?
Just changed rotors and pads all the way around and was curious about bedding the pads. Some suggest bedding immediately and others say to drive around 100-200 miles to allow the anti-corrosion plating on the rotors to wear off. Any feedback/suggestions/experiences?
I suggest 100-200 miles. Since some rotors are zinc coated and will need to be worn down first before beddin.
Depending on which rotor coating you are talking about (zinc chromate, cadmium, Geomet, etc.), the burnishing process may be done quickly or may require a little more time.
Zinc and Geomet (the dull, light gray stuff) are burned through pretty quickly. Most pad manufacturers provide bedding instructions that have 5-6 easier slowdown cycles before actual pad bedding. This first cycles burnish the two mating surfaces together and removes the coating on the firepath.
Cadmium should not be used for brake rotors, but sometimes is anyway. Cad requires a longer burnishing and can contaminate pads. Sometimes it balls up on the surface and must be physically removed (a screwdriver and a quick hammer tap usually work great). It often takes more of an effort in the burnishing process to remove cadmium, and the pads might have to be removed and touched on a belt sander to clean them up.
Short answer: If you have chosen good quality pads and rotors, bed them right away.
I just put some OE replacement (Textar pads and Balo rotors) gear on my 325i and it took about 100-150 miles before the bite was back. I have read many posts on this and if you are keeping OEM (or close to it), the gains from bedding seem negligible. I also confirm that my brakes bite like hell and I can't imagine needing more braking power as this car is never tracked. I think that the significant gains come from performance pads/rotors.
In short, I'm glad I waited 100-200 miles to make bedding decision and I'm happy with not doing it.
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