Brakes (Maintenance)

How Should New Brake Pads Be "Bedded In"?

[HS – 2000/3/4] The best way to bed pads (if you’re not at a race track, or need to run a
competition event in the next day or so) is to simply drive them as normal for a 100 miles or so. Then, to make sure they have out-gassed the solvents
present in manufacturing, get them good and hot — either with a run up a twisty road, or by doing a stop or two from over 80mph rather quickly. Let
them cool, then do it again. Twice should be enough.
Getting new pads too hot (and glazing them) is the WORST thing you can do to them. If you do glaze them, take them out and rough up the now glass-smooth
finish with some coarse emery cloth or sand paper.

[BZA – 2000/3/4] About 3 weeks ago I had 13″ Brembos installed on my ’91. They came with
street/track pads but I have no idea if they are semi-met but they are made by Galfer (or Galfen) and supplied by Brembo as part of the kit. The guys at
Race Technologies (the company I bought the brakes from) were specific about how to bed the pads:

  1. At 60 MPH apply medium-hard brake pressure, as if you are coming down a freeway exit ramp, and slow the car to 10 MPH. Do *NOT* come to a complete
  2.  stop!
  3. Accelerate to back up to 60 MPH, cruise for 2 minutes to allow some cooling, and repeat step 1.
  5. Repeat the above for 10 stops total.
  7. After this procedure, drive the car home GENTLY and park it. The next time you get in it the brakes are ready to go.

I followed their procedure and I can lock up my fronts and rears now with slightly more than medium pressure on my brake pedal. I’ve been told stories
about both under-heating and over-heating the pads during bedding, the former resulting in scored rotors on subsequent use and the latter resulting
in glazed pads… and on new rotors, warping.

How Long do Brake Pads/Rotors Last?

Brake pad and rotor life depends very much on driving style.  If you spend a lot
of time at the track you will be replacing brake pads very frequently, rotors slightly
less often.  On the other hand, if you do lots of highway driving and don’t brake
hard, your pads can last for years and may keep your rotors until the car is an antique.
Here are the mileage at which various owners report replacing their brake pads and

Ron Baker I have a 1991 bought by me new. I am just doing my first pad replacement at 88,500 miles. I have driven street miles only and ALWAYS shift down when deccellerating. Don’t know what the rotors look like.
Gary Milgrom [GM] Pads, OEM, Front – replaced at 45,000 miles. 3 track weekends. 80% worn.
Pads, OEM, Rear – still on car at 55,000 miles. 75% worn.
Rotors, OEM, Front & Rear – still on car at 55,000 miles.
John Maurice [JM] Stock brake pads replaced on my ’92 at 30000 miles, also stock rotors resurfaced.
Porterfield R4S pads placed at that time look like they’ll last just about 30,000 mi, including some track time.
Rob Hamm Rear pads replaced at about 60k
Original pads on the front at 80k; NSX mechanic said they still have 10k left.
Track time, I think she has only been on the track twice, with about 400 miles.
Don Gallo [DG] Pads, OEM, Front and rear, 22k miles, 2 days track use. Replaced with another set of OEMs before they wore out because they got "toasted" at the track (i.e., plenty of material left, but excessive heat caused a breakdown in binding material, which left the brakes ineffective. Fronts were 1/3 gone, rears 1/2 gone (counterintuitive, but true…). Replaced again at 26,600 miles while virtually still new to try RM Racing’s pads
Rotors, OEM and still original at 27,000 miles. Resurfaced at 26,600 miles because 1) fronts were warped from track use, 2) rears were scored, and 3) all were glazed
Francis Gan [FG] OEM pads at 25,500 miles (about 1,500 track miles). Fronts: under 2mm Rears: under 2mm and squeeling
Al Terpak [AT] 35k miles on original OEM pads and they still have more than a 1/4 of the material left. The rotors are like new front and rear.  I admit I don’t road race with the car, but I’ve autocrossed with it for almost 2 years.
[KS – 99/4/12] I have used several different kinds of brake pads, including the stock pads, the pads RM Racing formerly offered (which I believe were Porterfield R4S), and the pads RM Racing now offers, which I like as much as any of them. I haven’t noticed any significant difference in longevity among the different kinds of pad. Most of my mileage is at the track and to and from the track. I have 5,918 track miles on my car and have used up twelve sets of front brake pads during that period, so I get roughly 500 track miles to a set of front pads. I’ve used up eight sets of rear pads so I average around 750 track miles on the rear. [99/9/20] The 38k miles, over 6K actual track miles. I’ve changed front brake pads thirteen times and rear brake pads eight times.

What Brake Fluid Is Recommended?

Numerous owners have used various aftermarket brake fluids with good results.  For
more information, see the [Brakes] Performance: Brakes
section of the FAQ.  Honda recommends only Honda fluid.
[A/H] Brake fluid is also very important to our systems. I must only recommend Honda
Brake fluid. R&D has done extensive testing and found that other brake fluid (even a
slight amount added at a service) can contaminate our system and cause problems to our
rubber components and could cause pitting to the aluminum.

How Are ’97+ Brake Pads Different?

The brake pads changed in composition starting in ’97 but are the same size for all
model years. The ’97 pads are harder and make the rotors grove faster, I have also had
problems keeping the rears from "singing" with light braking.

What Are The Brake Pad Part Numbers?

The part numbers for the ’97 pads are 45022-SL0-J00 (Front) and 43022-SL0-J00 (Rear).
For previous model years (’91-’96), the part numbers are 45022-SLO-010 (Front) and
43022-SLO-000 (Rear)

When Should Rotors Be Resurfaced (Turned)?

Unless your rotors are warped or glazed there is no reason to turn them.

[KS] Dealers will answer this question, "We resurface every time we change the
pads." Alternatively, they can actually check the runout (measure the amount by which
the rotor is not flat) to see if they need resurfacing.
IMO, on the other hand, if you don’t feel any vibration in the brakes, then the rotors
don’t need resurfacing. If you DO feel any vibration in the brakes and it turns out that
they are out of round, IMO you’re better off replacing them than resurfacing them, since
resurfacing just makes them more prone to warping.
Q: If I put a new brake pad onto a rotor that needs resurfacing, will I damage the pad?
A: No.

Should rotors be turned because they are "scored"?

[HS] Unless the scoring is *very* deep, don’t have the rotors turned. They actually
have more surface area in this condition — of course bedding new pads will take a good
bit longer than with smooth rotors, and must be done more carefully to keep from
accidentally overheating the peaks of the scoring.