Speed Freaks USA FAQ

  1. Endless FAQ
  2. Carbotech FAQ
  3. Carbotech Compounds and Applications
    1. Why ceramic?
    2. Does Carbotech have brake pads and/or brake shoes for my application?
    3. Can I have descriptions of the different compounds?
    4. How many miles will I get out of the Carbotech brake pads?
    5. Which compound is best for me?
    6. What is the primary difference between street and track brake pads?
  4. Bedding Procedure
  5. Privacy
    1. Communications
    2. Brochure Mailing List
    3. Communications to Serve You
    4. Fraud Protection and Compliance with Law
    5. Service Providers
    6. Special Events
    7. Business Transfers
    8. Cookies, IP Addresses, Pixel Tags and Tracking Technology
    9. Use of Aggregate Information
    10. Links
    11. Security
    12. Notification of Policy Changes
    13. Updating Personal Information
    14. Contacting Us
  6. Shipping & Returns
    1. When will I receive my order?
    2. What will shipping cost?
    3. Shipping company delays
    4. How do I get FREE GROUND shipping on my order?
    5. Do you ship to Canada or US Territories?
    6. Causes for a shipping delay?
    7. Can you ship to Freight Forwarders?
    8. How fast is my order processed?
    9. When will my order ship?
    10. What shipping options are available?
    11. Do you ship outside of the USA?
    12. How will you ship my order?
    13. Do you ship to Alaska and Hawaii?
    14. Do you ship to APO/FPO addresses?
    15. Do you offer expedited shipping?
    16. Can I send an order to a country other than the United States?
    17. Will there be delays during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays
    18. Item is on backorder
    19. Undeliverable packages (orders returned to us)
    20. Can my order be sent to multiple addresses?
    21. Billing address information match what is on the credit card billing statement
    22. Restocking Fee
    23. Return Shipping Costs
    24. Outgoing Shipping Costs
  7. FAQs
  8. Bedding Procedure and Proper Maintenance
    1. Why should I follow bed-in procedure?
    2. What’s the proper way to bed pads & shoes?
    3. What’s the proper maintenance with a disc brake system?
    4. What is the proper way to bed brake rotors?
    5. Should I clean rotors/drums and/or pads/shoes before installing them?
    6. Do rotors require a bedding process?
    7. Do I have to resurface (turn) the rotors, or get new rotors?
  9. Troubleshooting Brake Procedures
    1. Why do I have to push really hard on my brake pedal?
    2. Why do brake rotors crack?
    3. Why did I lose my brake pedal during the race?
    4. What is brake fade?
    5. What causes rotors to warp?
    6. What causes brakes to make noise (squeal)?
    7. What causes brakes to drag?
    8. What causes a spongy pedal?
    9. My brake pedal slowly sinks to the floor, why?
    10. Why am I getting oscillating feed back?
    11. Pedal is low when I first step on it, if I pump it the brake pedal comes up, why?
  10. Performance Friction FAQ
    1. Bedding New Performance Friction Brake Pads
    2. Bedding New Performance Friction Brake Discs
  11. Terms and Conditions
    1. What are the Terms and Conditions when I buy from your website?
  12. Brake Fluid
    1. Basic brake fluid & fluid maintenance information.
    2. Why do I need to bleed my brakes?
    3. What is a slave cylinder?
    4. What is a brake booster?
    5. Can brake fluid damage brake pads?
    6. A word of caution about brake fluid!
    7. What is a master cylinder?
    8. How do I bleed my brakes?

Carbotech Compounds and Applications

Q: Why ceramic?

Friction materials have evolved significantly over the years. Brake pads were originally made with organic ingredients such as asbestos and carbon, held together by a strong resin. Asbestos brake linings were used because it was heat-resistant to the intense friction and heat produced in braking. They've gone from asbestos to organic to semi-metallic formulations. Each of these materials has proven to have advantages and disadvantages.  Some of those advantages and disadvantages are noise, wear, stopping capability and environmental friendliness.  The use of asbestos was eventually banned by the US government. There are still some non-metallic or organic brake pads sold today.

Asbestos pads caused health issues and organic compounds can't always meet a wide range of braking requirements, such as high performance driving. Unfortunately the steel strands used in semi-metallic pads to provide strength and conduct heat away from rotors also generate noise and tend to cut up rotors as well.  At Carbotech, we felt this kind of friction materials were not the best solution, and we decided to develop something that was better in performance and better for the entire braking system.  That’s when Carbotech decided 14 years ago to take a path not taken by any other brake pad manufacturer.      

Friction materials that contain ceramic formulations have become recognized for their desirable blend of traits. Ceramic compounds use copper fibers (amongst other materials) in place of the semi-metallic pad's steel fibers. This allows the ceramic pads to handle higher brake temperatures with less heat fade, and provide faster recovery after the heavy braking.  

Another characteristic that makes Carbotech-Ceramic™ materials attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. Carbotech-Ceramic™ compound ingredients produce a light colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to the wheels.  On that same note, all Carbotech compounds produce a 100% non-corrosive dust that can usually be rinsed off with a hose.

Ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials, and at the same time they outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin, without compromising in noise control, pad life, and all around braking performance.

Most brake pads sold today are considered semi-metallic, semi-metallic brake pads use brass, copper, and steel wool shavings held together by a resin. Unfortunately the main drawback about the use of steel strands, iron, graphite, and small amounts of filer and friction modifiers (used to provide strength and conduct heat away from the rotors) is that the metal shavings and iron must rub against steel rotors every time the brakes are applied. This can also generates a lot more noise and are a lot more abrasive on the rotors.  It also creates corrosive dust that can damage your braking system as well as the paint on your wheels and car.

Q: Does Carbotech have brake pads and/or brake shoes for my application?

YES, ABSOLUTELY. There isn’t anything Carbotech can’t make when it comes to your brake pads or your brake shoes. If we don’t have your pads/shoes or if we can’t get your pads/shoes (which isn’t often) just send us your cores and we can clean them up and reline them with any of our brake compounds.  It’s that easy.  The only thing you can’t send us is old pads and shoes that are lined with asbestos.  You need to clean off the asbestos yourself and then send us the backing plates or shoe frames.  If you can’t get the asbestos off then just give us a call and we will help you arrange something.    

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Q: Can I have descriptions of the different compounds?

Carbotech™ Bobcat 1521™
The Carbotech Bobcat 1521™ is our high performance street compound that is our most successful compound. The Bobcat compound is known for its awesome release and modulation, along with unmatched rotor friendliness. Like our AX™ & XP™ line of compounds, Bobcat 1521™ is a Ceramic based friction material offering minimal rotor damage and non corrosive dust. Bobcat 1521™ offers outstanding performance, even when cold, low dusting and low noise with an excellent initial bite. This compound’s virtually perfect linear torque production provides incredible braking force without ABS intervention. Bobcat 1521™ operating range starts out at ambient and goes up to 900°F. Bobcat 1521™ is suitable for ALL street cars, perfect for your tow vehicle, police cruiser, and has won multiple SCCA Solo 2 and Prosolo National Championships. The Bobcat 1521™ compound has been found to last two-three times longer than OE pads you can purchase at a dealership or national retailer. Bobcat 1521™ compound has also been found to extend the life of your rotors 2-3 times. That’s one of the beauties of Carbotech Ceramic brake compounds. Bobcat 1521™ is NOT recommended for any track use.

Carbotech™ AX6™ (1106™)
The AX6™ takes the place of the Panther Plus™ compound that was so successful. AX6™ was specifically engineered for Autocross applications. A high torque brake compound delivering reliable and consistent performance over a very wide operating temperature range (150°F to 1250°F +). Advanced compound matrix provides an excellent initial “bite”, high coefficient of friction, and very progressive brake modulation and release characteristics. AX6™ offers high fade resistance, rotor friendliness at all temperatures, excellent cold stopping power, and non corrosive dust. As a result, AX6™ is an excellent choice for Autocross & novice track day drivers and beginner high performance driver education (HPDE) drivers on street driven cars using street tires eliminating the need to change brake pads at the track. AX6™ has gained tremendous popularity with SCCA Prosolo/Solo2 competitors for its fantastic bite, release & modulation. Many drivers use the AX6™ for street driving as well, even though Carbotech doesn’t recommend street driving with AX6™ due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise. AX6™ is NOT a race compound, and should not be used as such. AX6™ shouldn’t be used by any intermediate or advanced track day drivers, and should not be used with “R” compound tires (racing tires). Cars in excess of 300hp and/or 3,000lbs should not use AX6™ for any track use.

Carbotech XP8™ (1108™)
A high torque brake compound with a wide operating temperature range (200°F-1350°F+). Carbotech XP8™ is the first of our racing compounds. Outstanding initial bite at race temperatures, high coefficient of friction, excellent modulation and release characteristics. Extremely high fade resistance, very rotor friendly with 100% non-corrosive dust. Excellent as a front brake pad for lighter ITA, ITB, ITC, SRF, H4, H5, and other cars that weigh less than 2,400lbs. Perfect for novice, intermediate and advanced track day (HPDE) use with any tire, and can still be driven safely to and from the track. There are several vehicles that use XP8™ on the street, autocross, and at track day (HPDE) events. Carbotech does NOT recommended XP8™ as a daily driven street pad due to elevated levels of dust and noise. XP8™ is also a great rear brake pad for almost any race car (Spec Miata-T1/T2/CMC). XP8™ is a great compound on the front & rear of most open wheel and sports racers.

Carbotech™ XP10™ (1110™)
When Carbotech unleashed the XP10™ to the general public, and it was an instant success, gathering multiple regional, divisional, and national championships. The XP10™ is a very high initial bite friction material, with a coefficient of friction and rotor friendliness unmatched in the industry. Fade resistance is in excess of 1650°F. Due to the high level of friction and bite, this material is recommended for cars weighing around 2,000lbs or more, not including formula cars and cars with brake bias bars weighing less than 2,000lbs. This is the preferred compound for the front of Spec Miata racers, SSC,SSB, T3, SRF, ITS, ITE, H1,H2, H3, H4, 944 Cup, ST, GS, Factory Five Cobra’s and many more Grand-Am/ALMS/SCCA/NASA classes. XP10™ is also ideal for advanced/instructor level HPDE drivers. XP10™ still maintains the highly praised release and excellent modulation, rotor friendliness, and 100% non-corrosive dust that have made all Carbotech compounds so successful. XP10™ is not recommended as a daily-driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.

Carbotech™ XP12™ (1112™)
The latest iteration of the highly successful XP™ series of compounds with an extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP10™. XP12™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. The XP12™ still has that excellent Carbotech release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP12™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech offers, but compared to the competition the XP12™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP12™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP12™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 2,400lbs or more using R-Compound tires; or street cars weighing 3,200lbs or more for track use only. Ideal for LMP1, LMP2, DP, T1, T2, T3, H1, H2, GT1, GT2, GT3, TC, GT, ST, GS, MX-5 Cup, etc… XP12™ is NOT recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.

Carbotech™ XP16™ (1601™)
The second compound to be released this year from Carbotech. It is a step up from the highly successful XP12 compound. The XP16™ leads the highly touted XP™ series line of compounds from Carbotech. With an extremely, and we mean extremely high initial bite, torque and fade resistance than compound XP12™. XP16™ is a world leading friction compound that is unmatched as a Ceramic racing compound, with a temperature range of 250°F to 2000°F+. Carbotech XP16™ still has outstanding release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech compounds so successful. The XP16™ is the most rotor aggressive compound Carbotech makes, but compared to it's competition the XP16™ is still very rotor friendly and contains 100% non-corrosive dust. XP16™ is recommended only for expert/very advanced drivers. XP16™ is found to be most affective on race cars weighing 3,000lbs or more using R-Compound tires only. Ideal for sprint use only in classes such as T1, T2, H1, GT1, GT2, GT3, GT, GS, DP, P1, P2, etc… Not recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.

Carbotech™ 912 Kelated Metallic™
An advance organic-metallic compound specially formulated for drum shoe applications in lighter weight race cars and/or high performance street vehicles.  High friction coefficient of 0.46 to 0.48, providing excellent braking without any risk of lock-up.  Very good brake modulation throughout the entire brake pedal travel range, with excellent wear characteristics, providing an outstanding value.  With a price-point significantly below other compounds offering similar performance, 912 ™ is an excellent choice for the budget-minded racer or high-performance driver. Optimal recommended operating temperature range is from ambient to 650°F. 

Carbotech™ 913 Kelated Metallic™
A D.O.T.-approved high-performance compound for brake shoes on high performance street vehicles and race cars. Carbotech Kelated Metallic (CKM) achieves a very high coefficient of friction (approx. 0.48 to 0.50) by taking advantage of a chemical reaction within the friction mass, which creates a tri-alloy metallic film at the liner/drum interface when subjected to heat and pressure.  Designed to overcome the shortcomings of other liner materials, CKM is a very versatile and provides excellent braking performance in a wide variety of applications.  Excellent wear characteristics and a very high resistance to lock-up under hard braking.  Optimal recommended operating temperature range is from ambient to 750°F.   

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Q: How many miles will I get out of the Carbotech brake pads?

There is no specific mileage interval at which the brakes need to be relined because brake wear varies depending on how the vehicle is driven, the braking habits of the driver, the weight of the vehicle, the design of the brake system and a dozen other variables.

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Q: Which compound is best for me?

There is no one answer for every person and/or every car.  One drivers driving style and their vehicle might find the performance of our XP10 the best.  Another driver with the exact same car might find the XP12 to suit them the best.  A third driver with the same car, but different tires might find the XP8 compound to work best for their car, driving style, and tires.  So, we can help you narrow it down to one or two compounds based on what you tell us; then we can give you the different characteristics of the two and let you decide (we will give our opinion on which compound we think will suit your needs the best).   You might know just based off what you read on our site. Read the entire compound description section first, then if you still don’t know or have any questions at all please give us a call or send us an email. At Carbotech all of our customer service specialists are also racers and track day enthusiasts that have the technical knowledge and on-track experience to assist you in every way.      

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Q: What is the primary difference between street and track brake pads?

High performance street/track brake pads are a special breed of brake pad. Each brake pad has to be engineered to withstand the rigors of frequent and extremely hard braking. High performance brake pads have be able to withstand the extreme heat that can build up on the street and track.

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Privacy

Q: Communications

If you select during the order process or at other times when you submit personally identifiable information, the information you provide may be used by Speed Freaks USA to create and deliver to you our newsletters, surveys or other communications containing product information. If you prefer not to receive such Communications, please do not select the ‘Please inform me option’. If you do select this option and later decide that you would no longer like to receive these communications, please use the features made available to you.

Q: Brochure Mailing List

If you have requested a Speed Freaks USA brochure, all information is kept completely confidential and is not shared with any third parties. We may, on occasion, send you an updated catalog or brochure. If you do not wish to receive any mail from Speed Freaks USA, please contact us via email at . Include your name and mailing address and email address. You will be removed from any future mailings.

Q: Communications to Serve You

If you have elected to provide us with your contact information, e.g., by registering at the Site, emailing our Customer Service department or placing an order, we may provide you with service related announcements concerning the Site or contact you regarding your customer service requests or your order. For example, all registered users will receive an email to confirm their order. These types of communications are necessary to serve you, respond to your concerns and to provide the high level of customer service that Speed Freaks USA offers its customers.

Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information

We will never provide your personally identifiable information to third parties for their use in marketing their products or services to you without your consent. Speed Freaks USA takes great pride in having you as a customer and we will ensure your privacy as a customer. Speed Freaks USA does not sell or exchange names or any other information about our customers with third parties.

Q: Fraud Protection and Compliance with Law

We may disclose any information, including personally identifiable information, we deem necessary, in our sole discretion, to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request. We may also exchange information, including personally identifiable information, with other companies and organizations for credit fraud protection and risk reduction.

Q: Service Providers

We may retain other companies and individuals to perform functions consistent with our Privacy Policy on our behalf. Examples include customer support specialists, web hosting companies, fulfillment companies (e.g., companies that fill product orders or coordinate mailings), data analysis firms and email service providers. Such third parties may be provided with access to personally identifiable information needed to perform their functions, but may not use such information for any other purpose.

Q: Special Events

If you elect to participate in any promotions, sweepstakes, surveys, questionnaires or other events during your visit to our Site, the rules or terms and conditions for those events may indicate that your personally identifiable information will be shared with third parties. By choosing to participate and submitting your personally identifiable information with respect to such events, you consent to disclosure of your personally identifiable information to such third parties.

Q: Business Transfers

As we continue to develop our business, we might sell certain of our assets. In such transactions, user information, including personally identifiable information, generally is one of the transferred business assets, and by submitting your personal information on the Site you agree that your data may be transferred to such parties in these circumstances.

Q: Cookies, IP Addresses, Pixel Tags and Tracking Technology

We may place a "cookie" on your computer's hard drive so we can recognize you as a return user and personalize your experience. A cookie is a piece of data that enables us to track and target your preferences. The cookie will be stored on your computer's hard drive until you remove it. We may also use temporary or "session" cookies to help you shop. These cookies will expire when you place an order. You can have your browser notify you of, or automatically reject, cookies. If you reject our cookies, you may still use the Site, but you may be limited in the use of some of the features. In addition, we may use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the Site, track traffic patterns, and gather demographic information for aggregate use, as well as in combination with your personally identifiable information for credit fraud protection and risk reduction.

Similarly, when you visit this Site or view one of our emails, we may use pixel tags (also called "clear" gifs), tracking links and/or similar technology to note some of the pages you visit on our Site and personalize your experience. We may also use pixel tags to determine what types of email your browser supports. We may use the information collected through pixel tags, tracking links and similar technology in combination with your personally identifiable information.

Speed Freaks USA does recognize your ISP (internet service provider), however, we cannot identify you as an individual. If you make an on-line purchase we do collect information (such as sales statistics and traffic patterns) to help improve your shopping experience. We keep all information confidential.

Q: Use of Aggregate Information

We may use the information you provide in aggregate (non-personally identifiable) form for internal business purposes, such as generating statistics and developing marketing plans. We may collect, store or accumulate certain non-personally identifiable information concerning your use of the Site, such as information regarding which of our pages are most popular. We may share or transfer non-personally identifiable information with or to our affiliates, licensees and partners.

Q: Links

This Privacy Policy applies only to the information collected on this Site. Our Site may contain links to or from other websites and you should be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of other websites linked to the Site.

Q: Security

Speed Freaks USA seeks to protect the security of your personal information both online and offline. All credit card transactions are secure. Every on-line order is encrypted and sent through a secure server, using SSL technology to prevent information from being intercepted.

Confidential information such as your credit card number will be used only to fulfill your order. To protect your privacy, we will ask you to enter your credit card number and expiration date each time you place an order with us. This way, even if someone else accesses the account information stored on your computer, they won't be able to use your credit card.

E-mail is not encrypted and is not a secure means to transmit credit card numbers. We will only display the last 4 digits of your credit card number on your account.

Q: Notification of Policy Changes

Speed Freaks USA reserves the right to revise this Privacy Policy in the future by posting changes at this location and we may make changes at any time without notification.

Q: Updating Personal Information

If you are a registered member at Speed Freaks USA, you can change your personal information at any time by updating your information at check-out.

Q: Contacting Us

We welcome your comments and questions about privacy. Please send email to customerservice@speedfreaksusa.com.

We are confident that your visit to Speed Freaks USA is secure and safe. However, you may choose to call us directly to place your order over the telephone. Please call Customer Service toll free at 888-263-1842.


Shipping & Returns

Q: When will I receive my order?

While many orders will ship directly from our warehouse in Sparks, Nevada, we do drop-ship from other suppliers. We do our best to only work with suppliers that can fulfill our orders efficiently, so most orders will leave within 1-3 business days after processing. Standard ground shipments will take 1-5 business days to arrive, depending on which continental state you ship to (a business day is a non-holiday weekday, weekends are not counted). Expedited shipments will arrive in the amount of business days you select, plus the processing time, prior to shipping. Please allow extra time when shipping to remote rural areas and during peak holidays. When your order ships, we will send you a Shipping Confirmation email with a tracking number and direct link you can use to track your order. If you placed your order via the telephone and did not provide us with an e-mail address, please contact customer service if you do not received your order within 10 business days.

Q: What will shipping cost?

Shipping is determined the carrier's calculations bases on the weight and or dimensions of the shipment. Note that non continental rates may require additional cost and you may need to contact us prior to ordering. Shipments to large or heavy for ground by be shipped via truck freight and will require a quote prior to processing.

Q: Shipping company delays

Shipping companies sometimes cause delays. You can contact use if a delay is unreasonable to discuss a replacement order.

Q: How do I get FREE GROUND shipping on my order?

2 Sets of brake pads (front and rear, for example), where free shipping is noted (ie. Berk Products, AP Racing Rotors) or orders over $300 ship via Ground free! (This does not apply to large items or items where shipping quotes are required (ie: bumpers, seats, GT Wings, and so on). Individual items with Free Shipping will be shipped by the carrier of our choice to a single address within the continental United States. Free Shipping excludes orders requiring truck freight or orders shipping to Alaska or Hawaii.

Q: Do you ship to Canada or US Territories?

Yes, please submit a product inquiry ticket so we can have a shipping estimate provided along with a PayPal invoice. In the latter part of 2013 we will try and open up the site to Canadian shipments to be automated after testing is concluded.

Q: Causes for a shipping delay?

Wrong address or zip code used for the shipping address or it is determined undeliverable by the carrier. Occasionally weather may cause a delay in delivery. Contact us is your package does not arrive as expected.

Q: Can you ship to Freight Forwarders?

Contact us via the contact form if you have a specific inquiry.

Q: How fast is my order processed?

Under normal circumstances, orders are processed the same or following day, Monday through Friday during typical business hours. All orders placed Saturday or Sunday will be processed on Monday, with the exception of holidays.

Q: When will my order ship?

All shipments leave Monday through Friday. Since some orders are drop-shipped from other suppliers, we cannot guarantee same or next-day shipments. However, most shipments will leave within 1-3 days. If there are any known delays, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Q: What shipping options are available?

All shipments are sent by the ground service of our choice, unless otherwise requested. All orders must ship to physical addresses. WE WILL NOT SHIP TO PO BOXES. While we do offer express service, you may need to contact us before ordering to get a shipping quote.

Q: Do you ship outside of the USA?

Yes, on a case by case basis we do ship to Canada, non-Continental US Territories, and Internationally. Please use the contact form for your need, payment to be secured by PayPal: We will send an invoice with the items keyed in for payment.

Q: How will you ship my order?

We ship primarily through USPS and FedEx, however, some shipments may be shipped by UPS. We reserves the option to choose the best carrier available at the time of shipment.

Q: Do you ship to Alaska and Hawaii?

Yes. However, shipments to Alaska & Hawaii are excluded from our free shipping offers. The carrier rate quoted during checkout is only an estimate and is subject to additional shipping charges that will be charged to your credit card. If you would prefer your Alaska or Hawaii order sent via Priority Mail please contact our Customer Service department at 888-263-1842. Our team is available Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm Central Time or us our online contact form.

Q: Do you ship to APO/FPO addresses?

Yes, we are able to ship to APO/FPO, although the process may not function through our website at this time. If you would like to place an order and ship it to an APO/FPO address, we would forward you a PayPal invoice based on your needs and our shipping estimates. Please use the contact form to send a specific inquiry!

Q: Do you offer expedited shipping?

Yes. You can choose 3-Day, 2-Day or Next Day service for an additional charge. The expedited shipping duration does not include the time to process your order. Please refer to the Shipping Estimate feature in your cart screen, after adding your items, to estimate the amount of your shipping cost. If actual shipping rates are higher than the what the cart quoted, we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss any additional charges.

Q: Can I send an order to a country other than the United States?

Currently, we only ship to the 50 United States if ordered from a billing address in the United States. Please use the contact form if you have a special case.

Q: Will there be delays during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

Please allow extra time for deliveries during the holiday season. If expedited shipping is required, please contact us.

Q: Item is on backorder

We will contact customers via phone and/or email in case the product you ordered is on backorder and will be delayed. If you have other items on your order that are not on backorder we may ship items separately, backordering the unavailable items.

Q: Undeliverable packages (orders returned to us)

Packages that are returned to us by the U.S. Postal Service or UPS and marked as "Unclaimed", "Return to Sender", "Attempted Unknown", "Refused", or "Invalid Street Address", will be credited back to the customer's credit card on file, less the shipping and handling fees and a 25% restocking fee.

Q: Can my order be sent to multiple addresses?

Orders can only be sent to one address. Place separate orders for each shipping address.

Q: Billing address information match what is on the credit card billing statement

It is important that your address match the address used on your CC billing statement. We will call, email or use other ways to verify that the credit card holder authorized the purchase.

Q: Restocking Fee

Returns are subject to a 20% Restocking Fee.

Q: Return Shipping Costs

Return shipping is the customer's responsibility.

Q: Outgoing Shipping Costs

If an item was sold with "Free Shipping", the original, actual outgoing shipping charges cannot be refunded and will be deducted from your refund.


Bedding Procedure and Proper Maintenance

Q: Why should I follow bed-in procedure?

Proper bedding of pads & rotors will result in greater performance and longer pad life & less rotor wear. Failure to properly bed in your pads could lead to friction materials chunking and breaking up.  This could also lead to overheating your pads and causing them to glaze over resulting in the car not being able to stop or slow fast enough. 

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Q: What’s the proper way to bed pads & shoes?

Proper bedding instructions for the Bobcat 1521 Compound :

  1. Brake from 60mph down to 30mph about 4-6 times.
  2. Then let your brakes cool for about 2-3 minutes while driving.
  3. Repeat step # 1.
  4. Allow the brake pads and discs to cool down to ambient temperature (about 30 minutes or more).

NOTE: Proper bedding of pads & rotors will result in greater performance and longer pad & rotor wear.


Proper bedding instructions for AX-Series & XP-Series Compounds :

  1. All new brake pads require a bedding process, start this process by pumping your brakes a few times to assure proper installation. Once on track perform several moderate (medium) near stops (to a very slow rolling speed) to thoroughly warm up the pads and rotors. This should take 1-2 laps. This allows a thin layer of the pad material to be transferred into the micro-grooves of the rotor.
  2. After the pads/rotors are warm, perform a series of hard near stops (to a slow rolling speed) until some brake fade is felt. This process should take about 2-4 laps (depending on the track). Once this occurs, then stay off the brakes (as much as possible) and bring your car into the pits/paddock to completely cool. Do not lock the tires during this operation.
  3. Allow brake pads and/or rotors cool down to ambient temperatures; no less than 30 minutes. The total bedding procedure should not take more than 5-6 laps or about 10-15 minutes.

NOTE: The proper way to bed your brake pads and brake discs (rotors) is to bed them on the racetrack, NOT on the street (excluding the Bobcat 1521 compound).

Warning: Failure to properly bed in your pads could lead to friction material to chunk and break up resulting in poor pad performance and pad life. Improper bedding can also lead to overheating your pads and causing them to glaze over resulting in the car not being able to stop or slow properly.

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Q: What’s the proper maintenance with a disc brake system?

  1. Flush all old brake fluid out of your vehicles system. 
     
  2. Refill your brake system with new (fresh) better performing brake fluid
     
  3. Check for leaks by closely examining the entire brake system.
     
  4. Check fluid level and for fluid leaks on a regular basis.
     
  5. Bleed each caliper on a regular basis.
     
  6. Check pad thickness on a regular basis.
     
  7. Replace any pads that are worn down below recommended thickness.
     
  8. Check for debris or buildup of any kind in the caliper that could prevent the pads from extending and/or retracting properly. 
     
  9. Also check for any burrs or dings on the exposed area of piston to prevent damage of any internal seals during piston retraction.
     
  10. Make sure all brake hoses are connected properly to the caliper and are tight enough to prevent separation from the caliper.
     
  11. Check to make sure all bolts and screws are torqued (tight) properly.
     
  12. Regularly check condition of rotor (cracks, deep scoring, odd markings, etc…).
     
  13. Make sure rotor is securely attached to the hub, and that the hub is securely attached to the vehicle.
     
  14. Make sure all wheels rotate freely.
     
  15. Blow away the brake dust with an air hose from time to time.

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Q: What is the proper way to bed brake rotors?

New discs (rotors) just like pads need to be bedded in. Proper bedding will increase the rotor life and make it more resistant to thermal cracking. Before installing the new brake discs (rotors), be sure to thoroughly clean discs with clean wipes and brake cleaner. By cleaning the disc surface you want to make sure you have completely removed any and all grease, surface residue, and debris that might contaminate or damage the brake pads. Once the discs (rotors) are installed on the vehicle perform the following procedure. Please note that you can bed new pads & discs (rotors) at the same time.

  1. Start out with several near stops for the first 1-2 laps, while gradually increasing your speed and brake force with every stop.
  2. Next, do another 1-2 laps at normal speed followed by a cool down lap. The gray coloration is the pad material depositing a transfer layer of material into the micro-grooves of the disc. This process is pinnacle in achieving the best performance and life out of the rotor.
  3. Then allow rotor(s) to completely cool down to ambient temperature.

Proper USED brake rotor bed in procedures:

  1. If rotors have been previously bedded with Carbotech brake pads, then bedding the rotors again is not necessary.
  2. If rotors were previously bedded using a different manufacturer’s brake pads; then it is strongly recommended that the used discs (rotors) be reconditioned/turned and meet minimum specification requirements.
  3. Start out with several near stops for the first 1-2 laps, while gradually increasing your speed and brake force with every stop.
  4. Next, do another 1-2 laps at normal speed followed by a cool down lap. The gray coloration is the pad material depositing a transfer layer of material into the micro-grooves of the rotor. This process is pinnacle in achieving the best performance and life out of the rotor.
  5. Then allow rotor(s) to completely cool down to ambient temperature.

NOTE: Brake pads should be checked regularly. If pads are wearing evenly, then the pads can be used almost down to the backing plate.

NOTE: Do not drag your brakes; meaning, do not continually drive around the track with applied pressure to your brake pedal. This does not bed brake pads and/or rotors properly. This can severely hurt the performance and life of your brake pads & rotors.

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Q: Should I clean rotors/drums and/or pads/shoes before installing them?

Before installing new brake rotors (always install rotors in axle sets), be sure to thoroughly clean the rotors with clean wipes and brake cleaner.  Make sure you completely remove any grease, surface residue, and debris that might contaminate or damage the brake pads. 

Reconditioning (turning) rotors/drums can leave a lot of metallic debris on the surface which can embed itself into the new brake pads or brake shoes and cause noise and many other problems. Even if the rotors or drums have not been resurfaced, cleaning is strongly recommended to remove dirt and grease.  Dirt and grease can contaminate brake pad & brake shoe compounds and cause uneven braking or grabbing.

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Q: Do rotors require a bedding process?

New rotors just like new pads need to be bedded in. Brake rotors don’t require as much bedding as brake pads require. If you follow the brake pad bed-in procedure your rotors will be completely bedded. Proper bedding will increase the rotor life and make it more resistant to thermal cracking. By cleaning the disc surface you want to make sure you have completely removed any and all grease, surface residue, and debris that might contaminate or damage the brake pads.

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Q: Do I have to resurface (turn) the rotors, or get new rotors?

If you have had another manufacturers brake pads on those same rotors; then you will ABSOLUTELY have to replace or resurface (turn) those rotors before installing the Carbotech brake pads.

If the rotors and drums are in relatively good condition, meaning they are smooth, flat,  with no visible cracks, deep scoring, distorted, and with no other visible damage; and you have ONLY had Carbotech brake pads on them, then they do not have to be resurfaced or replaced.

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Troubleshooting Brake Procedures

Q: Why do I have to push really hard on my brake pedal?

The brake pads and/or rotors were not properly bed.  Glazed brake pads and/or glazed rotors.  You may have chosen the wrong brake pad compound for your application.  The master cylinder could be too large, or an insufficient pedal ratio

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Q: Why do brake rotors crack?

Cracking is limited mostly to drilled discs, which get small cracks around outside edges of the drilled holes near the edge of the disc due to the rotor's uneven rate of expansion in severe duty environments. Manufacturers that use drilled rotors as OEM are doing so for two reasons: looks, if they determine that the average owner of the vehicle model will not overly stress them; or as a function of reducing the unsprung weight of the brake assembly, with the engineering assumed that enough brake rotor mass remains to absorb racing temperatures and stresses. A brake disc is a heat sink, so removing mass increases the heat stress it will have to contend with. Generally an OEM application that is not drilled will crack and could fail catastrophically if used over and above the original equipment design. Once cracked, these discs cannot be repaired.  Carbotech does not recommend cross drilled rotors for any kind of track use. 

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Q: Why did I lose my brake pedal during the race?

In most cases this is a result of the brake fluid boiling.  Another of the usual suspects are faulty master cylinder or a leak in either the caliper or brake lines.   Sometimes this could be the result of an undersized brake system.

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Q: What is brake fade?

Fade, or brake fade is the reduction in stopping power caused by a buildup of heat in the braking surfaces (and in the case of drum brakes the arc of the brake shoe don’t match the arc of the drum in response to heat).  Brake fade can also be caused by the brake fluid boiling.  Compounds are held together by resins, these resins can revert to gas when high temperatures are reached.  When this happens the brake pads can “aquaplane” on a film of gas created by the over heated resins.  Many low quality pads suffer continuous fade at very low temperatures.

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Q: What causes rotors to warp?

Warping can be caused by not properly torquing the lug nut(s). Over-torqued or unevenly torqued lug nut(s) with an impact wrench is a common cause and not recommended. A vehicle manual will indicate the proper torque rating and pattern for tightening lug nuts. Lug nuts should never be tightened in a circle, most use the diagonal method, but again check your manual. Vehicles are sensitive to the amount of torque the bolts apply and tightening should be done with a torque wrench.  A plain impact wrench should never be used for the tightening of the lug nuts because most provide no control whatsoever over the amount of torque applied to the nuts. . There are also special torque-limiting extension sockets called "Torque Sticks" that can be safely used with an impact wrench to accurately tighten lug nuts.

Another primary cause of warping is caused by excessive heat, which can soften the metal and allow it to be reshaped. Warping can also be caused by the disc being slightly overheated and the vehicle is stopped and keeping the brakes applied.  When you keep the brakes applied the very hot pads contact the slightly overheated disc will cause uneven cooling and eventually lead to warping.

Riding the brakes lightly will generate a great amount of heat and is not the proper way to brake with a vehicle.  The proper way is to apply the brakes strongly for a shorter distance and then completely release the brakes.  This will allow the brakes to cool before the next application, and by riding them lightly for a greater distance constatly builds heat and over the pads and rotors.  Racing brake pads have the ability to handle this because they are engineered to properly handle extremely high temperatures.  High performance brake pads for the race track can take very high heat, but most do when hot and won’t brake as well when cold.  One of the beautiful things about Carbotech-Ceramic pads is their effectiveness when cold.

Warping will often lead to a thickness variation of the disc. If it has runout, a thin spot will develop by the repetitive contact of the pad against the high spot as the disc turns. When the thin section of the disc passes under the pads, the pads move together and the brake pedal will drop slightly. When the thicker section of the disc passes between the pads, the pads will move apart and the brake pedal will raise slightly, this is pedal pulsation. The thickness variation can be felt by the driver when it is approximately 0.007 inch (0.017 cm) or greater.

Not all pedal pulsation is due to warped discs. Brake pad material operating outside of its designed temperature range can leave a thicker than normal deposit in one area of the disc surface, creating a "sticky" spot that will grab with every revolution of the disc. Grease or other foreign materials can create a slippery spot on the disc, also creating pulsation.

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Q: What causes brakes to make noise (squeal)?

Lack of friction material on the backing plate is the most common result of brake noise.   Another reason for brake noise is that the pads are loosely fitted into the caliper.  Debris caught between the brake pad and rotor is another of the common reason’s for brake noise. Loose lug nuts or caliper hardware.  Cracked or worn rotors.  Uneven finish on reconditioned (turned) rotors. 

Loose or missing brake hardware (anit-rattle clips, shims) can be responsible for brake noise. There are steel springs and pins which allow the pads mounted in the brake calipers to move freely without rattling and vibrating excessively. However, due to the nature of your brake system, these pins and springs wear and loosen their tension over time. Worn pins can result in binding, squealing, brake fade, uneven braking and reduced pad life.  

Sometimes brake noise on certain vehicles is completely normal and no maintenance is required.  Brake noise can be caused by the everyday vibrations of daily driving on the brake pads, rotors, and calipers; whick is also known as Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) a common term in the automotive industry.

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Q: What causes brakes to drag?

  1. Warped rotors.
     
  2. Bad master cylinder.
     
  3. Residual pressure valve in system.
     
  4. Calipers are not square to rotors.
     
  5. Tapered brake pads.
     
  6. Debris in the caliper that’s not allowing the brake pads to retract properly.

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Q: What causes a spongy pedal?

A spongy pedal almost always is a result of air in the brake system.  Other reasons could be, wrong size master cylinder (too small), calipers not mounted square to the rotor or are mounted equal to or higher than the master cylinder.  Another reason could be a result of the pedal ratio being too great. 

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Q: My brake pedal slowly sinks to the floor, why?

You most likely have a fluid leak in your brake system.  This can be checked by looking at your fluid level in your reservoir. If one of your two chambers are low (one chamber for each brake circuit, usually one for front and one for rear) then you definetly have a leak somewhere.  The other option (if you don’t have a leak) is that you have a bad master cylinder.

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Q: Why am I getting oscillating feed back?

Cracked rotors, rotor faces not parallel, or there is pad material build-up on the rotor surface.  Excessive rotor run out is another reason for oscillating feed back.  

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Q: Pedal is low when I first step on it, if I pump it the brake pedal comes up, why?

A low brake pedal that has to be pumped repeatedly to bring a vehicle to a stop may be due to a low fluid level, drum brakes that need adjustment or air in the lines.

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Performance Friction FAQ

Q: Bedding New Performance Friction Brake Pads

Motorsport

If the discs were previously being used with Performance Friction pads, then the bedding procedure will be achieved quickly with new PFC pads. If the discs were previously bedded using a different manufacturer's pads then the process will take slightly longer. Again, with brake cooling ducts open and fully functional, perform the following procedures.

  1. On the first lap, perform several "deceleration events" with progressively higher pedal pressure and braking force and from higher speeds. You will feel the effectiveness of the brakes increase with each successive brake application. This should take 6 to 10 "deceleration events" per lap and is usually completed in one or two laps. If non-PFC friction materials were previously run on the discs then this procedure could take as many as three to five laps. This is because the non-PFC friction material transfer layer must first be cleaned from the disc and then a fresh layer must be imparted to the disc.
  2. Running additional laps is the best way to accomplish the new transfer layer and, due to the higher surface temperatures, will assure a complete removal of the old friction materials from the disc. Braking effectiveness should be excellent at this point and the car can be driven normally.

NOTE: Sanding/machine grinding the discs will not decrease the bedding time. Whenever new Performance Friction pads are installed, the pads require very little cool down time. Usually the time spent taking tire temperatures and a debriefing with the driver is sufficient.

Still having trouble after bedding in your brakes? see below common problems and solutions below;

  • Vibration
    • Check for a warped disc
    • Un-even transfer layer
  • Not Stopping Effectivly
    • Pad could be glazed
    • Not an even or enough of a transfer layer yet - continue bedding

Q: Bedding New Performance Friction Brake Discs

Ensure that the brake discs are clean and free of grease or other contaminants.

Once the discs and pads are installed, perform the following procedure with brake cooling ducts fully open and functional - no tape!  Best results are achieved using new Performance Friction brake pads.  It is not necessary to bed in new PFC discs with used PFC pads.

  1. On the first lap, perform several snubs with progressively higher pedal pressure and braking force and from higher speeds.  You will feel the effectiveness of the brakes increase with each successive snub.  This should take six to ten brake snubs per lap and is typically completed in one or two laps.  As soon as the brakes become firm and responsive the car can be driven normally and at increased speeds.
  2. Running the car at speed for one or two more laps with allow the disc to achieve the desired core temperature.  If three-colour rotor paints are used, the green paint should be fully oxidized and the orange paint beginning to oxidize to white.  A transfer layer of pad material will deposit on the disc; this is the slate gray colouration on the disc friction surface.  This is a good indication that the disc and pads have been bedded properly.

NOTE:  When using discs from manufacturers other than Performance Friction it will be necessary to allow the discs to cool to ambient temperature to achieve satisfactory disc life and performance.  Performance Friction discs do not need this cool down period, due to extensive heat-treating processes at the time of manufacture.


Terms and Conditions

Q: What are the Terms and Conditions when I buy from your website?

By placing an order with Speed Freaks, LLC you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions.

Many of the parts and products we sell are for off-road, track use only. As with any racing activity, there are risks involved with using performance parts and making performance modifications. All installation and use of performance parts and products are at the customer's own risk. Speed Freaks, LLC, www.SpeedFreaksUSA.com (“Speed Freaks”) hold no responsibility for mechanical, electrical or other failure when using after market performance products; nor are we responsible for any repair costs, missed work costs, rental car costs, or any other cost associated with the products that we sell or relating to their install.

Speed Freaks does not offer any warranties and is not responsible for product failures or failures due to improper or faulty installation. Most products come with a manufacturer warranty. Certain products are intended for race use only, as suggested by the manufacturer, and should only be installed and set up by professional service centers.


Brake Fluid

Q: Basic brake fluid & fluid maintenance information.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water. When new from the bottle, it can be considered "dry" with a higher boiling point. Over time, brake fluid absorbs water lowering its boiling point to the "wet" level. Changing brake fluid removes water from the brake system and is extremely important. Change your brake fluid at least every two years … much more often for cars that see track use.For street cars, wet boiling point numbers are more important than dry because the fluid stays in your car for a long time (change it at least every two years). After months of exposure to humid air and changing climate conditions, brake fluid performance is closer to the wet boiling point than the dry boiling point. When brake fluid boils, it turns into vapor and forms air bubbles. This creates a “soft pedal” and requires excessive pedal travel to apply the brakes properly. Do not confuse this with "brake fade".  Brake fade occurs when the brake compound gets too hot from prolonged braking or improper bedding. Brake fade requires greater and greater pedal effort to stop the vehicle; boiling fluid increases pedal travel and makes the pedal feel soft.Due to the extreme temperatures that high performance brake systems operate at, standard brake fluids are not recommended for track use.Carbotech™ Performance Brakes does not sell and does not recommend silicone based brake fluid with any of its products. For more information, please scroll down to “A Word of Caution”.

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Q: Why do I need to bleed my brakes?

To remove moisture that entered the system. Brake fluid needs to be replaced periodically, because brake fluid will absorb moisture over time. This occurs whether a vehicle has been driven 60,000 miles, or has been sitting in a garage for a year. Fluid contamination is a function of time and humidity, and has nothing to do with the mileage driven. Moisture enters the brake system through seals and through microscopic pores in the hoses. Moisture enters the system every time the fluid reservoir is opened, which is a good reason not to open it unnecessarily.

To remove air bubbles that have entered the system because of a leak or because the fluid level got too low. The air must be removed because it is compressible and will result in a soft, “spongy” brake pedal.

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Q: What is a slave cylinder?

Slave cylinders (also known as wheel cylinders), are cylinders where movable pistons convert hydraulic brake fluid pressure into mechanical force. Hydraulic pressure against the pistons within the wheel cylinder forces the brake pads against the surface of the rotor. There is one cylinder (usually) for each individual wheel, which is built into the calipers.

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Q: What is a brake booster?

The modern brake booster is a brilliant device that operates using engine vacuum, engine vacuum is generated whenever the engines running. The brake booster takes engine vacuum via a rubber hose that runs from the intake manifold.  The brake booster uses that vacuum to amplify the pressure you put on the pedal ensuring that your car stops more rapidly.  What happens to the brake booster if your car stalls and loses it’s vacuum?  Engineers realized early on that gas engines were not foolproof, so they engineered a  check valve within the brake booster circuit. The brake booster stores enough vacuum to provide full boost for two or three pedal applications after the engine stalls. The check valve on the brake booster is what keeps that vacuum from leaking out. If the brake booster can’t hold vacuum its time is up and you’ll need a new or remanufactured brake booster.

Q: Can brake fluid damage brake pads?

ABSOLUTELY, that’s why it is so vital that the hydraulic system is in good working order with no leaks. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw away your brake pads.  Clean them compounds off and take them to a grinder (if needed) to grind off the contaminated compound material.  Please consult a professional before using a grinder, and to make sure the pads are safe to use again. 

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Q: A word of caution about brake fluid!

A Word of Caution …

Neither Carbotech Performance Brakes nor AP Racing markets silicone brake fluids nor recommends their use with any braking system.

Virtually all of the problems with silicone brake fluids reflect certain properties of silicone fluids identified by us over many years and recently ratified in SAE publications, specifically: high ambient viscosity; high air absorption; high compressibility; low lubricity; and immiscibility with water. Research has shown that these properties of silicone fluid result three performance problems:

Long Pedal Travel or “Spongy” Pedal caused by:

  1. High compressibility, up to three times that of glycol based fluids;
     
  2. High viscosity, twice that of glycol based fluids, leading to slow rates of fill and retention of free air entrapped during filling, and hence bleeding difficulties.

A Sudden Loss of Braking resulting from:

  1. Air absorption - gasification of absorbed air at relatively low temperature produces vapor lock effect;
     
  2. Immiscibility (failure to mix) with water - whilst the presence of dissolved water will reduce the boiling point of glycol based fluids, any free water in silicone-filled systems will boil and produce vapor lock at much lower temperatures (100°C or thereabouts)

“Hanging On” of brakes due to:

  1. Low lubricity - in disc brake systems the sole mechanism for normalization of system pressure upon release of pedal pressure is a designed-in tendency of seals to recover to their ‘at rest’ attitude. Low lubricity works against this tendency.
     
  2. High viscosity exacerbates the effects of low lubricity.

The high price of silicone fluids does not produce higher performance in hard driving or even normal road use.

AP Racing glycol based fluids do not exhibit the adverse properties of silicone fluids. The recently introduced Formula DOT 5.1, which exceeds the performance criteria of DOT 5 (Silicone), is suitable for all conditions likely to be encountered in modern driving conditions.

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Q: What is a master cylinder?

The master cylinder is a control device that converts physical pressure typically from a driver's foot applying pressure on the brake pedal, into hydraulic pressure to operate other devices in the hydraulic system. In brake systems, the operated devices are brake calipers.The master cylinder displaces hydraulic pressure to the rest of the brake system.

There are two separate systems that may be supplied by separate fluid reservoirs, or they may be supplied by the same reservoir. Most brake subsystems are divided front to rear. Some can be diagonally separated.

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Q: How do I bleed my brakes?

Bleeding Process: It takes two people

  1. First, always start at the corner furthest from the driver and work your way towards the driver/master cylinder (Right rear, left rear, right front, left front.), just remember farthest to closest.
     
  2. Then, find the bleeder screw (bleeder valve) on the rear caliper.  Attach a piece of clear tubing to the nipple of the bleeder screw.
     
  3. Place the other end of the hose into the disposable bottle.
     
  4. Then take a wrench and place it on the bleeder screw.
     
  5. Place the bottle for waste fluid on top of the caliper. Hold the bottle with one hand and grasp the wrench with the other hand.
     
  6. Next, have your assistant apply the brake pedal and hold down firmly.  Then open the bleed screw ¼ turn to release the fluid into the waste line.  NEVER have the driver release the brake pedal while the screw is open, make sure to CLOSE the screw first and then have the driver release the brake pedal.     
     
  7. Inspect the fluid within the waste line for air bubbles.
     
  8. Continue the bleeding process (steps 1 through 7) until air bubbles are no longer present. Be sure to check the brake fluid level in the reservoir after bleeding each wheel, make sure to keep the fluid level at the MAX line.
     
  9. Then, go on to the next corner and repeat all steps (1-8).
     
  10. Next, take brake clean and spray and whipe down the entire area until dry.  DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE CLEANER ON ANY RUBBER OR PLASTIC PARTS.  Leaving the area clean and dry will make it much easier to spot leaks. 
     
  11. Test the brake pedal for a firm feel, and if all the steps were followed then your done bleeding your brakes.
     
  12. Please discard of any and all used brake fluid properly and responsibly.

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