Tips for Avoiding Brake Problems

The following are some tips and instructions taken from various brake engineers, manufacturers, and installers over the years to help avoid any issues with brakes. For a free guide to prevent and diagnose brake problems just ask a counterman.

The 5 Easiest Ways to Avoid Brake Pulsation:

  1. Clean the hub and rotor mating surfaces until spotless
  2. Use torque wrench by hand to vehicle spec
  3. ALWAYS lube brake pad backing plates, ears, slides, and springs with Plastilube (never use metallic anti-seize on abs cars)
  4. Always “bed” the pads according to pad specs during your test drive
  5. Instruct the daily driver to avoid excessive braking for first 500 miles.

How should I “treat” the pads before installing?

To prevent squealing always lubricate the brake pads backing plate, piston crown, tabs, ears, slides, springs and any metal to metal surface (except friction surfaces) with Plastilube. Do not use anti-seize on cars with abs.

Why should I “Bed or Break in” every brake job?

“Brake pad transfer” is the exchange of glue/binding agents in the friction material which can, when heated and left in contact with the rotor, leave enough deposit to feel like warped rotors. Truly warped rotors are extremely rare. The transfer of binding agents will leave a thick spot on the rotor which feels like warped rotors.

“Bedding” pads by performing specific braking maneuvers is just as important as cleaning the rotor to hub mating surfaces to prevent pulsating rotors and squealing pads.

What is the proper bedding procedure?

If you don’t have factory info from the vehicle manufacturer, we recommend following the procedure from Ate as a generally accepted policy. See below—

  1. Apply light pressure to brakes at approximately 60 mph while slowing to 30 mph ten times. Then allow to cool for 2 minutes driving constant speeds.
  2. Next, apply light pressure to slow from 60 mph to 10 mph five more times. Let cool for 2 minutes.
  3. Repeat Step 1. Then allow to cool before coming to complete stop (Try not to come to complete stop if possible or material transfer may occur which is the main cause for pulsating brakes).

Ate recommends brake pad bedding procedure while safely following all traffic laws.

The proper 10-minute test drive can save you from doing the brakes twice.

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