Break-In of New Rear Brake Rotors or Shoes


With more and more cars and trucks going to rear disc brakes with the parking brake in the hat of the rotor, the mating or breaking-in of the surfaces is seldom performed when replacing the rotor or the shoes. Failing to do this can result in not being able to stop the vehicle in an emergency or not holding on a hill.

After you have adjusted the parking brake using the recommend procedures, take time on the test drive to engage and drag the emergency/parking brake. You may not be able to find the OE/factory recommend procedure for all vehicles like the one listed below for the Nissan Maxima. But, you can perform your own using common sense in a parking lot or side street. The Nissan procedure could take 30 minutes, but this is a little over kill and is recommended as a fix if the customer complains. But, an abbreviated break-in procedure after a brake job can prevent a comeback.

Break-in of New Rear Brake Rotors or Shoes

Do not carry out the break-in procedure aggressively. Doing so may cause uneven or premature wear of the brake shoe lining and glazing will make the problem even worse.
When new parking brake shoes or brake rotors are installed or when parking brake performance is poor, perform the following break-in procedure.
1. Drive the unloaded vehicle on a safe, level and dry road.
2. Pull the parking brake control lever with a force of 147 N ( 33 lbs) .
3. While pulling the lever, continue to drive the vehicle forward 100 meters (328 ft) or a little longer than a football field at approximately 22 mph.
4. Allow the parking brake to cool down for approximately five minutes.
5. Release the parking brake control lever and drive the vehicle under normal conditions for two minutes to cool down the parking brake.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 three times and repeat just step 5 once more.
7. After performing the break-in procedure, check the stroke of the parking brake control lever. If it is out of specification, adjust again.