Brake Pad Features to Consider to Get the Best for Your Car
With aftermarket brake pads, you get more choices. You can go for the budget option (usually ceramic), or you can go for better stopping power (usually semi-metallic). Much of the rest of the description you’ll read, while not incorrect, can sometimes get more attention than it deserves. In the final analysis, your choice largely depends on whether you’re looking for brake pads for the family car (and family driving) or something for the more enthusiastic driver, where the ability to brake hard in varying weather conditions is demanded.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Brake Pad
This is a method used to accelerate the bedding-in process, so your brake pads are near optimum performance straight out of the box. It might not make a great deal of difference to most vehicle owners, but it can be of benefit to stop-and-go drivers like commercial travellers or delivery drivers.
Manufacturers use the letters OE a lot to suggest their products are as good as “original equipment.” It truth, the brake pads probably are, though it’s just the manufacturer saying so, rather than an independent view.
“Multi-layer” shims, slots, and chamfers also sounds impressive. All it really means is that it fits like the original! That’s no bad thing, of course, but it doesn’t do much to differentiate one set from another, except budget brands may not pay so much attention to those details.
The premium brands that you’ll probably recognize almost always produce a better-quality product. These brake pads last longer and give better stopping power. But budget brands do a perfectly adequate job. There’s no suggestion that these brake pads are unsafe. In a panic stop situation, they still get the job done, but you do get what you pay for.
When choosing a brake pad material, experts say that while there isn’t a problem changing from ceramic to semi-metallic, they generally recommend sticking with the type that were originally fitted to your vehicle.
- Vehicle model
Obviously, you need to find brake pads that fit your vehicle, but people sometimes forget that it’s vital to know the correct model and year. With automotive makers, things can change quickly. What fits a 2015 model doesn’t necessarily fit either the 2014 or 2016. Sending stuff back gets frustrating, so check carefully before ordering.
The other main difference is what the brake pads are made of: ceramic or semi-metallic.
Ceramic brake pads
When somebody mentions ceramics, you might think of clay pots or dinner plates, and you aren’t far off. Ceramic brake pads are basically a fired clay product. Historically, copper fibers were added to these pads for increased friction, but this is changing. Environmental issues have led to legislation that will ban copper in brake pads by 2025. As a result, many manufacturers are already using alloys instead of copper.
Advantages of Ceramic Brake Pads
- Good for town, city, freeway driving under normal conditions
- Less brake dust
- Low wear on rotors
Disadvantages of Ceramic Brake Pads
- Not as good in the cold or wet
- Not recommended for towing or trucks carrying heavy loads
Semi-metallic brake pads
These brake pads are an amalgam of copper, steel, and iron, with mineral or organic fillers that bind everything together. There’s also graphite that provides lubrication without reducing braking effect. Manufacturers keep the actual composition secret. “High-performance” and “street performance” brake pads are invariably semi-metallic.
Advantages of Semi-metallic Brake Pads
- Good for heavy braking, high-mileage, sporting situations
- More efficient in varied conditions
- Absorb heat, reducing brake fade
- Last longer
Disadvantages of Semi-metallic Brake Pads
- Can be noisier
- More brake dust
- More expensive
- Tougher on rotors
Other considerations to remember when you change your brake pads:
You should always change the brake pads for both wheels on the same axle at the same time. However, it isn’t always necessary to change the brake pads on all four wheels at the same time,
Get your brakes checked immediately if you experience juddering or excessive vibration when braking. These are sure signs of wear, damage, or misalignment of the wheels, rotors, or brakes.
Check your tyre treads, too. Your tyres are an important part of your braking system. If you replace your brake pads but your tire treads are shot, you’re not going to get the stopping power you need.
Source credits: https://bestreviews.com/best-brake-pads