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An effective burnish cycle to seat the friction materials into the opposing rotor and drum surfaces requires approximately 200 stops. The 200 stops are consistent with the burnish procedure outlined in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards FMVSS 105 and FMVSS 135. 200 stops may not be practical for many repair shops. Therefore, we recommend the following burnish procedure:

  • Make approximately 20 “Complete Stops” from 30-mph

- OR –

  • 20 “Slow-Downs” from 50-mph to 20-mph with light to moderate pedal pressure
  • Allow at least 30 seconds between brake applications for the brake pads or shoes to cool down
  • It is critical to follow cool down procedures to avoid damaging NAO, Ceramic and Semi-Met friction material as well as the rotor/drum
  • No high speed stops and/or braking under heavy loads that could result in glazed or otherwise damaged linings

Using these guidelines, the friction materials will have conformed to the surface of the rotors and drums for improved stopping performance. In addition, the thermal conditioning of the friction materials during this process will increase the stability of braking effectiveness over a greater range of temperatures compared to when they were first installed. It’s a good practice for the repair shops to communicate with their customers that their technicians have conditioned the friction and rotors and that the customers should continue this process by avoiding aggressive braking for the next couple of days. Good communication of this information will be helpful and prevent comebacks.

Brake Pad Pre Burnish

Brake Pad Post Burnish

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The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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