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Breaking in new brakes...


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Hey Everyone,

Quick question...just put new pads/rotors/calipers on my 02. I took it out for a spin to break everything in, and I think I did it incorrectly. I took the wheel off when I got home, and the new rotor is blue/purple... The pads have tiny little chip looking marks on the contact surface.

I'm not sure if it was the way I tried to break them in, or the fact that at speed, it sounds like the pads/rotors are making contact and making a "shhhhhhh" sound. When breaking them in, I got up to 40mph and applied the brakes, to quickly slow down to 10mph. I did not try to lock them up...at first....I did this about 10 times, then I really slammed on the brakes to lock them.....

So, is this fixable? A neighbor suggested scrubbing down the pads and rotor with a green scrub pad to remove the glazing....Thoughts? If this is fixable, how should I be breaking these in?



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well = = you've pretty well fuched-up all your nice work

overheating the pads & rotors right out of the box!

YES - you BROILED when you should've simmered.

In the future, drive 'nOrmAl' - light easy stopping,

light 'noRMaL' pedal pressure, no heroics, no braking

at the 100 marker, no cheerping the fronts. For "nORMal"street use,

and long life, the brakes should take 100 - 200 miles of 'NormAl'

driving for 100% contact and grip.

Unless your qualifing for the Dutch TT ?

p.s. - you didn't do your brake fluid or wheel bearing greas

any favors either.

Sorry - just one mann's opinion

Try cleaning the pads and rotors with emory cloth,

MED grit - regrease the sliding edges (metal edge where

it slides in the caliper) of the pads,

and retaining pins/clips where they all contact one

another with fresh BMW Brake Paste. (BMW part no.


'86 R65 650cc #6128390 22,000m
'64 R27 250cc #383851 18,000m
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I dunno but I've heard lots others, including an old mechanic, say doing hard stops IS the way to break them in. Maybe not the locking up part though. I'd just leave them alone and keep driving and keep an eye out. I don't think they'll fail. What's the next worse thing? Probably warping and that you'll have to fix. If the glazing is affecting braking distances, then break it up with emery cloth. But then again, you may be just fine. Just my opinion, FWIW.


BMWCCA #4844 (#297 of The 308)

1974 2002 Sahara, MM 2400 Rally engine, MM 5 speed and conversion

1976 2002A Anthracite parts car

1991 525i AlpinweiB II

2002 330ci AlpinweiB III

2007 530xiT Titanium Silver

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I always break in new pads by doing a series of hard applications, say from 60 to 10 mph to get the temperature up. Then I drive around for about 20 minutes to cool them down. A freeway run is perfect. Sounds like you got the temp up and then parked it and the heat soak blued the rotors.

I first owned a 2002 in 1975.

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Guest Anonymous

You can bed your brakes like CD states with street pads. They have a fairly low operating temperature and will be fully bedded after a couple of hundred miles or so. Or you can do it quicker...

The idea of bedding brakes is to get an even deposit of pad material on the brake rotors' surface. This can be accomplished by doing a series of stops in succession from approximately 40-50mph to about 5-10mph, NEVER COME TO A COMPLETE STOP OR LOCK YOUR BRAKES. The amount of stops depends on the pads; generally about 6 or 7. You are likely to see smoke and get lots of weird smells during this procedure, you are burning of the mold release. What your looking for is the first sign of brake fade. The second your pads start to fade, stop using the brakes and drive the car for about 10 minutes to cool everything off. You have now successfully bedded the brakes and can drive normally.

If you continue to do stops you will overheat the pads and glaze the rotors. If you come to a complete stop or lock your brakes you will unevenly deposit pad material on the rotor in one spot causing major vibration. Also, when overheated the chemical composition of the brake pad material changes to something extremely hard (the name escapes me) and you will need to resurface the rotors, which is generally a no-no on BMW's.

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Well, you got them hot...

Crass assumption- street pads meant for street cars.

If they're race pads, take them out and wait for a track day.

Honestly, for street pads, a few good 'slows' from 60 to 30 or

sommat like that works fine.

If you don't have pedal pulsation, then drive 'em normally.

Be a little cautious at first to make sure they do stop the car.

When you're sure of that, then brake harder than normal- but for less time.

Then let them cool, as in, keep driving normally.

Locking up doesn't hurt the pads, just the tires.

I don't worry about them very much- street pads bed themselves pretty well

these days.

Now, it's also possible you have a sticking piston that's holding a bit of brake on,

and THAT will cause all sorts of problems. Just a little drag equates

to more heat than the solid discs can dissipate...


"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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