Choose The Right Brake Pads For Your Driving Style


Many people don't realize that there are different types of brake pads available for a car. The next time you take your car in to the auto repair shop for brake service, ask which pads they recommend for your driving style. Here are the types of pads available and for what type of driving they work best.

The Typical Brake Pad

All brake pads have a similar construction:

  • a metal base to which the brake calipers attach
  • a resin pad in which are embedded various materials

The difference between brake pads is in the materials embedded in the resin and how the brakes respond to the braking action.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

These are the standard pads used in brake shops when you don't specify the type of pad you want. They are made by embedding tiny pieces of metal into the resin. Iron, steel, copper and graphite are the common metals used in these pads. The pad can be made with a combination of metals and with pieces of different sizes.  

To be the most effective, these pads need to be warmed up slightly. This isn't an issue if driving on level surfaces. But if towing heavy loads up and down steep inclines, these brakes should be warmed up by tapping on them periodically.    

These are the noisiest of all of the brake pads and they create a fine black dust that coats the brakes, wheels and other surfaces. The pads can come with larger pieces of metal, which make them noisier and less expensive. Or you can buy more expensive semi-metallic pads with finer pieces of metal, which are quiet and produce less dust.

Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) Brake Pads

These pads use pieces of glass, rubber or Kevlar in the resin. These pads are quieter then semi-metallic but still produce some dust. They don't need to be warmed up as much so they are better for towing heavy loads. They do heat up and need time to cool off if going down steep inclines.

These pads are more expensive than semi-metallic. They also wear out faster then semi-metallic, so you'll replace them more often.

Low-Metallic Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) Brake Pads

Metal pieces are combined with the non-metallic pieces to create a brake pad with the best characteristics of both pads. They have a firmer touch than the other pads and they lose heat faster. If you live in a climate with temperature extremes, these pads are a good choice. They are noisier and produce more dust than the standard NAO pads. They need to be replaced less often, but are more expensive than the other two types of pads.

Ceramic Brake Pads

These pads contain ceramic fibers embedded in the resin. These are the most expensive brake pads and the most quiet. They also produce little dust which is a benefit if you drive a luxury car and are concerned with the appearance. On the downside, these pads are hard on the rotors. You'll need to have brake inspections more often and expect to replace the rotors sooner than with the other pads.    

Contact a business, such as the Alignment Center, for more information. 


15 April 2016

Investing In Proper Auto Service

After trying in vain to fix my car for a few months, I realized that I needed to hire a professional. I was tired of dealing with repairs that I was unfamiliar with, and I knew that I needed to get some help. I started looking around for a great auto mechanic, and even though one business was more expensive than others, I decided to work with them. They worked hard to fix my car, and I was really pleased with how great of a job they did. This blog is all about investing in proper auto service so that you don't have to deal with problems in the future.