Run the crap out of it if you want a good running car. Baby it and it'll be a pooch.
Pretty much this. Here's the theory from Centric (and similar to Stoptech's)
FAQ #1: How can I tell if my brakes are bedded-in?
This is a question without a single definitive answer; however, there are visual indicators on the
rotor itself which can help determine the state of the bed-in.
1. Rotor discoloration. Typically, there will be a bluish tint to a used rotor which is from heat. A
more important color is a grayish tint or film on the face of the rotor where the pads touch. This
color is actually from the pad material building up and is the best indication of how much pad
material is adhered to the rotor. In general, if the rotor face is still shiny there is not enough
pad material built up. Note that different pads will generate different appearances, so take
notice of how the rotor appears before starting the bed-in process so you can recognize any
2. Machining marks. On a new rotor, you can often use machining marks on the rotor face to
assess the state of the bed-in. Typically, there will be either very slight grooves from turning the
rotor (like a vinyl record – ask your parents) or more random marks from grinding the rotor
surface during manufacturing. Prior to starting the bed-in process take a mental picture of the
machining marks. If they are still very prominent following bed-in, you may not be bedding-in
aggressively enough. In general it's alright if there are still slight traces of the machining marks
after a few bed-in cycles, but you should definitely see them starting to go away.
And what I think is happening to most people going easy on their brakes, 5/10k/xx miles later
FAQ #3: What do you mean I “un-bedded” the brakes?
If any brake pad is used below its adherent operating temperature, it will create friction
through primarily abrasive mechanisms, slowly but surely removing the transfer layer on the
rotor. For this reason, most street/performance pads like to be driven just a little bit
aggressively every now and again to maintain a proper transfer layer of pad material on the
If the brakes are used passively for an extended period of time, the transfer layer can be
completely removed, effectively un-bedding the brakes. The brake system will still perform well
under normal driving conditions, but before heading to the autocross or your favorite canyon
back road you will want to perform a bed-in procedure. Failing to do so will only increase the
risk of TV generation.
Sooo, no break in at all since they leave it up to us.. Many get a lot of miles out of them but I forgot with my first FJ 'I bought new' the rears wore out very fast and I had to replace them.
That sounds freakish. You'll most likely change front pads 2-3 times before you change the rears.