Last Updated: 11 Jun 2019
Rev up your engines. Today I’m going to talk about what are the best brake pads for your car. I’m going to tell you the truth about brake pads, then you can make a decision on which ones you want to buy.
A Brief History of Brake Pads
Now, to understand brake pads you need a little history lesson.
Asbestos Brake Pads – When I was young, brake discs just came out as a new thing and they were all made out of asbestos which worked fine. But asbestos dust causes lung cancer, so they made it illegal to make brake pads out of that and they had to find other materials.
Ceramic Brake Pads – In the 1980s, the brake pad manufacturers came out with ceramic pads. Originally, ceramic pads had a lot of problems with them. They made terrible noises and a lot of dust. So then they came up with organic brake pads that didn’t have the same problem. However, they didn’t last as long and didn’t work quite as well.
Semi-metallic Brake Pads – And then came semi-metallic pads that had more metal in them. They worked quite well, but they also had a flaw. They did have a tendency of wearing the brake rotors out a lot faster because if the brake pads had more metal in them, that’s going to wear the metal rotors and they would wear out a lot faster.
New Era of Ceramic Brake Pads – Time marches on and the engineers got better. They finally figured out how to make ceramic pads that don’t leave a lot of dust and don’t make noise that we can hear as humans. You have to know that ceramic pads actually do make noise, but it’s a high-frequency noise that we can’t hear. So maybe, you’re going to be bothering your neighborhood bats while you’re braking, but people don’t hear it at all.
The Best Type of Brake Pad for Your Needs
Ceramic Brake Pads for Everyday Car
I have personally been using these Akebono brake pads for a long time. The company is very progressive. They actually work with the manufacturers, so their pads equal or surpass the braking capacity of the ones that originally come with the car. And I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I had a customer and they were in a hurry. The brake pads had worn down, they gouged the rotors a little bit, but they said just put some pads on. But we don’t want any noise, so I put on Akebono pads and even though the rotors were somewhat messed up, it didn’t make any noise and they brake pretty smooth. If you wonder what’s in ceramic pads, well, they are composed of clay and porcelain that are bonded to copper flakes and filaments. And so, they have a nice mixture if they’re made correctly. They stop well, don’t make any noise, and can last a really long time. But of course, you have to realize that braking is always a compromise between one thing and another. The ceramic pads will not stop quite as fast as semi-metallic brake pads will.
Full Metal Brake Pads for Race Car
If you’re a racing fanatic, you’re better off with semi-metallic brake pads although they’re going to wear things out faster, or full metal brake pads. And the full metal brake pads are what race cars use themselves. When they’re metal they hardly wear at all, but the rotors get eaten up really quickly. So it’s not something you’re going to use for everyday driving. And get full metal brake pads if you want the ultimate in stopping capability, if you want to spend a fortune and if you can even find them.
Carbon Fiber Brake Pads for Planes
Carbon fiber rotors and carbon fiber brake pads are the absolute best because the giant planes that we fly around with when we go places, those who have carbon fiber discs and carbon fiber brakes. That is because carbon fiber actually wears less the hotter it gets, so they work great under high-pressure situations. But if you don’t own a 747, these Akebono ceramic pads are probably the best pads you can use on your everyday driving car.