Do you have a brake shop that you always go back to, where they know exactly which types of brake pads you need? If you don’t, you might feel a bit confused whenever the time comes to replace your worn out brake pads with brand new ones.
Fortunately, these simple tips should help you find the right brake pads.
1. Determine your braking needs
If you only use your car to commute to work, you don’t need the same brake pads as if you were frequently going up and down mountains.
Ask yourself a few questions to determine your braking needs. Do you sometimes attach a trailer to your car? Are you dealing with a lot of traffic daily? How harsh are the winters where you live?
2. Semi-metallic brake pads can surely meet all your needs
Semi-metallic brake pads are made with a composite of soft metals that make it easy to brake even when you are going off-road, or towing some heavy loads.
Semi-metallic brake pads will wear out the rotors or the drums of your brakes a bit faster than organic ones, and they can be a bit noisy, but they are perfect for you if you need reliable brakes.
3. Fully metallic brake pads offer great braking in any condition
If your car is always going up and down mountains, or riding over slippery ice patches, you might want to consider fully metallic brake pads. High quality fully metallic brake pads are more expensive than semi-metallic ones, but you can be sure they will not let you down.
This type of brake pads offers a high braking performance, but will definitely wear out your rotors or drums faster.
4. Ceramic brake pads tolerate high temperatures
If you have been increasing your car’s horsepower and performance, and you feel like your braking system could use a boost as well, you should consider buying ceramic brake pads.
Ceramic pads are a more expensive option, but they have the longest life and they tolerate high temperatures and humidity very well. Ceramic brake pads will always allow you to brake with confidence.
5. Organic brake pads are perfect for simply riding around town
If you are simply using your car to commute and to ride around town, you could do just fine with organic brake pads. These pads are made from organic materials, they will be soft on your rotors or drums, and they will provide smooth and quiet braking.
Keep in mind, however, that organic brake pads lose some of their efficiency when they get wet.
6. Understand the difference between bonded and riveted brake pads
Brake pads are made from a softer friction material which can be bonded with, or riveted to a hard metal backing plate.
Bonded brake pads usually last longer than riveted brake pads, for one good reason. When the friction material is worn down enough to expose the rivets of a riveted pad, they will squeal as they come in contact with the rotor or drum, warning you that it’s time to get new brake pads. You don’t get this kind of warning signal with bonded pads.
7. Consider your options
You can either install your new brake pads yourself, or have professionals install them for you. If you want someone to install them, search for a local brake shop that offers this service, and carries the type of pads you are interested in.
If you know you will be able to install your new brake pads yourself, it might be a good idea to shop for new brake pads online. You could save some money, and even enjoy free shipping on your order.