Break In for Brake Pads & Disc Surfaces - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Break In for Brake Pads & Disc Surfaces

Anyone with more than a few months of time in a Honda knows of a common weakness in brakes...or at least a perceived problem with disc warping and shuddering. If lucky, just lots of horrid grinding noises on occasion.

I came across an old article (that I'm still looking for again somewhere on the net) and found the following supporting info about "proper seating & burnishing" of new brake pads and rotor surfaces.

Quote: "After installing new pads make 6 to 10 stops from approximately 35 mph with moderate pressure. Make an additional two to three hard stops from approximately 40 to 45 mph. Do not allow the vehicle to come to a complete stop.When completed with this process, park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool completely before driving on them again. Do not engage the parking brake until after this cooling process is compete." ENd Quote.

There are other references further bracketing speeds with moderate stops but all adhere to making sure not to come to a complete stop while hot during procedure and then after moderate cooling park it and allow full cool down. Also, recommendations include mentioning you want to fully heat the brakes (you'll even smell them burning in a bit) during this break in operation. Supposedly it's the unburnished pad material clumping and collecting on the rotor surface when new and hot that cause most of the initial grinding sounds and eventually leads to uneven wear, then hot spots, and then warping of the rotor.

Interesting stuff. I'm going to try this next time on a brake job. Anyone else know/follow this line of brake operation?

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post #2 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:38 AM
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I have never ever followed that complex sort of proceedure in my 50 years of driving! It's complete rubbish.. My old "S" type Jag needed new pads so often that I used to change them at the side of the road en route, so I just changed them and drove on. Apart from the excessive pad wear rate, (due to the way the car was driven ) the brakes were fine, and the disks never gave me any problems whatsoever..

If brake disks warp due to the brake being held on when stopped, then the disk is faulty! That simply should NOT happen.. Again, in 50 years of driving I have never had to replace disks or even have any skimmed..

The simple fact is that some of the brakes on the US Hondas are rubbish from new.. Best bet is to replace them with better ones, (non Honda) as soon as possible..
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 09:53 AM
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This is what I heard is the proper way to fully seat the brakes in. Although I can tell you that even the dealers don't do this. I have never done this anytime that I have changed my brakes in our 2 Hondas (haven't yet on the 08) and the Acura. Also I have never had to resurface the rotors, nor had to replace them.

The main reason Honda rotors warp is either because of excess torque on the lug nuts or uneven torque all of the lugs, and don't think that the dealers are going by specs either. This isn't the only reason but the main one.

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post #4 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 10:31 AM
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My prince always drives cars with new pads down the street & back with several pushes on the brake pedal. He does this whether ours at home or at work. It required there. They can't release a newly padded car without a short run.

This is for 2 reasons, one is the "burning in" the other is to double check their work. It's never a bad idea to double check work!

He will not allow me to drive my car without him taking it for a short run after new pads. It's always been that way....with or without newly resurfaced rotors.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 11:49 AM
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From the owners manual...

Break-in Period

Help assure your vehicle’s future
reliability and performance by paying
extra attention to how you drive
during the first 600 miles (1,000 km).
During this period:
.
.
.
Avoid hard braking for the first
200 miles (300 km).
.
.
.
You should also follow these
recommendations with an
overhauled or exchanged engine, or
when the brakes are replaced.

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post #6 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 12:27 PM
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Bowzer,

Was it the Stop Tech article? It has been updated .....

I1
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector1 View Post
Bowzer,

Was it the Stop Tech article? It has been updated .....

I1
That looks a lot lie it...I believe it just may be.

(I just PM'd you on BTW about your Pilot.)

99 Accord EX Sedan 4 cyl, Black, 187K+ miles semi-retired
92 Accord LX Coupe 4 cyl, Charcoal Gray, Sold 187K miles
85 Accord LX HBack 4 cyl, Dark Gray, Sold with 198K miles
84 Accord LX HBack 4 cyl, Dark Gray, Totaled with 18K miles

08 Honda Element EX 4WD, Silver, 104k Miles
01 Isuzu Trooper 4wd V6, Gray, Traded at 125k miles
94 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4wd Ltd, V8, Taupe, Sold 148K miles
75 Jeep CJ5 4x4, Straight 6, White, Sold with ? miles
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peniole View Post
From the owners manual...

Avoid hard braking for the first
200 miles (300 km).

[/B]

I have been told that this is referring to panic stop type of "hard braking"

When braking multiple times to get the pads to seat properly, they dont want you to use the brakes so hard that they are so hot they start to break down or anything like that! The "smell" is usually the brakes getting warm enough that the brake cleaners/whatever may have found its way around that area are getting burned off.
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 02:45 PM
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That's exactly it. You try to avoid the panic braking, and especially coming to a complete stop with hot brakes, this causes irregular deposits. So basically drive normally and brake normally. A normal drive cycle should heat the brakes, create a smooth layer of deposit, and get rid of any resins from the manufacturing process.

For normal daily driver cars, I don't see the need for special treatment as long as you know how to drive, and don't drive aggressively for the first 200 miles you should have a nice smooth transfer layer.

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post #10 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:09 PM
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From personal experience be very careful. My brother did this on his BMW and ended up with warped rotors later on. I usually do not do this, regular driving seems to break them in fine. I don't have any problems with warped rotors or anything of that nature.

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post #11 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 08:12 PM
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I agree with the gentle as possible driving approach. Don't start to aggressively use new brakes for at least 200 miles.

There are a couple of things to consider:

If you replace like-with-like, i.e. Honda pads with Honda pads, and you're lucky enough to have no shudder, you can put the new pads directly on the rotors.

However, if you change pad types, say to a more aggressive compound, you should either lightly machine the rotors, or sand/steel wool the old deposits off the existing rotors as best as possible.

When I put my EBC Yellowstuff pads on in place of Hawks, the car was ok for about 500 miles, then the shuddering started. I figured it was braking smoothly so I left the rotors alone, a mistake) When I went to Hawks from stock I had to machine all 4 rotors prior to installing the pads as it shook horribly.

I have already swapped out the front rotors for my spare machined set (I took off .003" total to freshen the surface), and now have to do the rears. It took about another 500 for the rears to vibrate.

EBC states exactly: machine or steel wool off the rotors and to be gentle and not heat them until at least 200 miles have past. Then they state to do the repeated braking from gradually increasing speeds to fully bed the pads to the rotors.

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post #12 of 20 Old 03-28-2008, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredsvt View Post
I agree with the gentle as possible driving approach. Don't start to aggressively use new brakes for at least 200 miles.

There are a couple of things to consider:

If you replace like-with-like, i.e. Honda pads with Honda pads, and you're lucky enough to have no shudder, you can put the new pads directly on the rotors.

However, if you change pad types, say to a more aggressive compound, you should either lightly machine the rotors, or sand/steel wool the old deposits off the existing rotors as best as possible.

When I put my EBC Yellowstuff pads on in place of Hawks, the car was ok for about 500 miles, then the shuddering started. I figured it was braking smoothly so I left the rotors alone, a mistake) When I went to Hawks from stock I had to machine all 4 rotors prior to installing the pads as it shook horribly.

I have already swapped out the front rotors for my spare machined set (I took off .003" total to freshen the surface), and now have to do the rears. It took about another 500 for the rears to vibrate.

EBC states exactly: machine or steel wool off the rotors and to be gentle and not heat them until at least 200 miles have past. Then they state to do the repeated braking from gradually increasing speeds to fully bed the pads to the rotors.
Some good information. Another thing to take in consideration when buying pads is to get correct pads. If you get pads that are meant for heavy abuse i.e racing, you can be in serious risk. This is because racing pads are meant to have performance at high temperatures, most of the time stock vehicles cannot get those pads hot enough, which means the breaking power is poor because they are cold.

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post #13 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 08:11 AM
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Not to rain on anyone's parade again, but steel rotors do NOT warp under any but the most bizarre circumstances, The cause of judder is differential thickness variation, or DTV. DTV is typically caused by hard spotting on the rotors, which in turn is partly due to local variations in the metallurgy of the rotors (some of which can be induced by different heat histories). This hardspotting manifests itself as some combination of uneven rotor wear and uneven buildup of the debris layer formed on the pad by the wear of the pad and rotor. It's that debris layer, BTW, that actually stops the car. Different pads have different wear and deposition characteristics, especially given different driving styles, hence different tendencies toward juddering exist among brakes. Virtually every modern car has floating calipers, so if a rotor warped, the caliper would behave as a car doing 40 mph on a smooth, gently rolling road - not something like "LA Ripple" either. You might sense the rolls, but it wouldn't be harsh. Now take the same road, or a flat one, put speed bumps on it, and drive over it at 40 mph. The sensation will be jarring. If rotors warped, their surface would look like and they would feel more like the first road. A juddering rotor would look and feel more like the speed bump, and the DTV only needs to be 0.001", sometimes less.

BrakeTech has a very good sermonette on this topic.

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post #14 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 09:55 AM
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Somewhere on here is a write up exactly what happens. Technically the rotors lose their parallelism. Not "warp" in the same sense as a plastic plate in a dishwasher.

On mine, when having them resurfaced, it was very obvious that they were no longer parallel. You could see it. It had nothing to do with the other brake parts.

"Burning in" new pads are simply is for the pads themselves.
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-29-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Technically the rotors lose their parallelism.
With all due respect, Princess, I think you have only partial credit here. In my part of the business, the term is "flatness" that describes two effects: 1) the two faces can be out of parallel but "flat" when considering only one side of the rotor, or 2) "potato chipping", in which the face takes on that shape. The latter usually doesn't happen in rotors as thick as auto rotors, and it takes the planar out-of-flatness you've described of at least 0.025" before a sensitive driver notices something strange. DTV variations of 0.001", OTOH, can be felt by just about anyone, and some sensitive types (like your namesake and the pea) can sense DTV as low as 0.0005." It's possible that out-of plane effects could create a sense of being unbalanced, but this would be felt all the time and could be compensated for by on-vehicle wheel balancing. Again, think gently rolling hills vs. a speed bump.

So most cases of "judder" are caused by DTV, at least IMHO, tho flatness issues can also interfere with a smooth braking experience if it's bad enough.

When people complain that their rotors "warp" soon after being resurfaced, they're actually experiencing the rebuilding of a local high spot caused by either a localized hard spot or some other factor that encourages localized buildup of the debris layer. Resurfacing changes the shape of the rotor, but not the metallurgy, which is why many times judder returns quickly.

If I sound sure of myself, it's because I work for a company that develops brake rotor materials. I listen a lot and measured a few in my day..

"Communication isn't what you say. It's what they hear." - Red Auerbach

2015 EX-L V6, Modern Steel/Black
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Also in the family:

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2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Ltd
2015 Crosstour V6, black
2013 Civic EX, gray
2014 Honda HRX217 (2)

Departed:
2004 EX I4 5MT, Desert Mist, 175,552
2001 Accord EX I4 5MT, Satin Silver, oil slick at 86K
1999 EX-LV, Heather Mist, 146,567
1994 Accord LX I4 5 MT ABS, Malachite Green, 285k
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