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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any break-in period required for the brakes to reach optimum performance? I'm at around 200 miles at this point but I don't get that "stop on a dime" feel yet. Do I need to do some aggressive stops from time to time to bed-in the pads and rotors? Thanks.
 

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I'm at 2500 and the pads still seem to bind in the calipers. I've done aggressive stops both forward and in reverse. A stop in reverse seems to help, but only for the next stop. Then the brakes go back to being unpredictable. Sometimes they grab when my foot didn't ask for more. Often the brakes don't let off when I lift my foot.
 

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2018 Stelvio Base 20" yellow calipers
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I have looked for and not seen a spec, but can tell you I have noticed a difference in 11 weeks. My break-in method is gentle modulation and use as the friction facings meld. I did notice at first some of the feel depended on engine downshift (engine braking) while coming to a stop. That said, some of the process could be driver training (!) As we get used to each other. Even so, the advantage of brake-by-wire covered in a previous thread is enough to overcome the mutual adjustment period for me- in this case tech that improves life vs superfluous and unhelpful, overcomplicated ego-puffing bells and whistles on other vehicles.
 

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Is there any break-in period required for the brakes to reach optimum performance? I'm at around 200 miles at this point but I don't get that "stop on a dime" feel yet. Do I need to do some aggressive stops from time to time to bed-in the pads and rotors? Thanks.
My experience has been that under normal "low energy" driving, and in particular when the brakes are cold (and especially when cold enough to squeak :mad:) that they come off feeling a little bit on the "lazy" side when stopping, but having needed to do a very sudden stop a couple times in traffic when the car in front of me nearly caused an accident, I can also attest that a hard mash on the pedal and the brakes will seriously engage and do so very hard and with all the authority you expect out of those large red calipers. When I'm stuck in traffic I'm genuinely worried about the fact people behind me won't appreciate how short my stopping distance is if get cut off and have to slam on the brakes hard, even if under normal stopping they don't always feel terribly aggressive.

I think this just adds in another way to the sense of how the Stelvio can be a very comfortable daily driving SUV that is relaxed and easy to drive, yet when asked it will also transform into a grunting and angry sports sedan wagon that just wants to tear up miles of road surface. (According to one interview I heard from the head designer for Alfa, they originally planned a smaller crossover sized SUV until they realized just how much like a sports wagon the Stelvio drove, and decided the smaller crossover wasn't necessary)
 

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Yes, the Stelvio's panic braking is dramatic in its suddenness. But it doesn't have the subtly smooth modulation of brake force I am used to. I often get not enough braking or too much, not what my foot asks for. My last two cars had good brake feel and smooth modulation from the beginning. No driver training or system accommodation was required. According to EBC Brakes, a hundred miles or so is all that needed for pads to bed in. I do not believe the Stelvio's Continental MK C1 servo is responsible for the unpredictable brake feel and action. This Stelvio acts like a couple cars I had ages ago. Those cars had binding in the calipers which was fixed.
 

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Drove my son's 2018 Audi SQ5 again yesterday. The biggest and most apparent difference between the Alfa and the Audi is brake feel, the Audi's is more predicable and firm, and feels like a performance car's brakes should feel. Second biggest difference is the quality of the MMI and the extent of the Audi's technology but that subject has pretty much been beaten to death on other threads.
 

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Yes, German car brake feel is superb. All of my Audi's have had great feel, as well as "Betty" my old 5 speed manual BMW X5, and especially my 944.


Not sure why Alfa chose brake-by-wire. Is there a cost savings for FCA, or hopefully a maintenance savings for us?
 

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Here is a link to an article about Continental's drive by wire module and it appears to be a small weight savings and simpler design (integrated) however the big advantage is fast response for collision avoidance-- with no disadvantages (you can argue all you want about pedal response). Here's a link to a good explanation: https://www.automotiveworld.com/new...1-enables-next-step-highly-automated-driving/


As to the idea of seating the friction faces of the pads to the rotors, I don't remember a specific recommendation in Stella material so for me gentle regular driving as possible would be the default method and I am convinced performance is smoother and better now with about 3600 miles on the clock. Here's an interesting recommendation for aftermarket replacements that would probably apply to new vehicles as well: How to Bed-in Brake Pads - The Best Technique for Bedding in Brake Pads


Good driving (and especially stopping) everybody!
 

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Great information and I hope you guys are testing the system out for yourselves in safe situations. Sometimes that's the best way to learn about what a system like this can do for you rather than all this information which can making connecting the dots a bit harder than assumed at first.
 

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This link is a more detailed description of the Continental unit. Járm?fedélzeti elektronika | Digital Textbook Library It is in Hungarian. I used Google Translate! I see no issue in those details. The Stelvio brake issue is more mundane. The calipers don't move smoothly enough for good feel like the Audis BMWs and Porches mentioned. I had issues similar to the Stelvio's on cars with ATE and Girling brake calipers. The Stevlio's look somewhat like the ATEs.
 

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To be clear, I have no complaint about the brakes. I have no trouble modulating and controlling the pedal and getting the brake response I want, but I do agree it's not quite as simple as get in and drive, it does take a little to get used to as it requires more feeling from the seat of your pants and less about the feedback in your foot from the pedal. Very smooth controlled braking is not a problem, it just took a few days to learn the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got a Giulia service loaner with 9k miles on the odometer. The brake feels very predictable like a German car and stops on a dime. So I'm beginning to wonder if it's really a break-in issue on my Stelvio with only a little over 1k miles so far.
 

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The full energy brake on my stelvio is super useful in the race track but in a standard city drive is a little bit uncomfortable
 

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Brake by wire is tricky to modulates. Pads are broken in very quickly a matter of miles on new smooth rotors esp after a few mellow brakes followed by a few strong events from 60-0 or beyond to cook off the gases. You now have Brembos my friend, the automotive equivalent of a danforth anchor!!
 
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