As already stated in our previous article on right brake pads, the best advice for changing brake pads is to follow the manufacturer’s advice for replacement components. In most situations, this implies you’ll ask for OEM replacement brake pads. Depending on the kind of car you own, it’s likely your OEM brake pad is produced from one of three unique materials. Shown below are the 3 most common kinds of brake pad materials:
- The Organic Brake Pads
Before now, brake pads were produced out of asbestos, a hard yet toxic material that has been been associated with causing multiple respiratory diseases. When asbestos got banned, many brake pads got manufactured by a composite of multiple materials including carbon, glass, rubber, fibers, and more. Organic brake pads are usually quieter and softer-applying brake pads. The main drawback is that they don’t last very long. You will typically find organic OEM brake pads for lighter-weight luxury cars.
- Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
The majority of cars on roads today make use of semi-metallic pads. The semi-metallic brake pad is made up of copper, iron, steel, and other metals added with graphite lubricants and other materials to assist to reduce the build-up of heat. These types of brake pads are usually found as OEM solutions for heavy-duty cars due to their ability to stay longer and to lower friction — that assist heavier vehicles, trucks, and SUV’s stop more efficiently.
- The Ceramic Brake Pads
The newest type of brake pad on the market is the ceramic pad. Ceramic brake pads were introduced in the 1980s as the replacement for older asbestos pads. This kind of brake pad is produced from a hardened ceramic material added with copper fibers. Because of their unique construction, they seem to last the longest among the big-three and apply quite softly. The drawback is two-fold. First, though they can often withstand high temperatures, they don’t function very well in colder-weather climates, as the material is usually prone to cracking whenever introduced to extreme cold conditions. Additionally, they are the most expensive kind of brake pad.
4. Are OEM Brake Pads the Only Ones to use?
The answer to this question is no. There are some car manufacturers that need the use of OEM parts in order to comply with warranties, so you should usually check with your car manufacturer first. However, several vehicle companies have OEM-equivalent brake pad options produced by aftermarket manufacturers. If you’re going to buy aftermarket brake pads, follow 3 these basic rule:
- Always purchase a trusted name brand.Brake pads can be your life saver. You don’t have to compromise on replacement brake pads produced by a cheap aftermarket manufacturer.
- Inspect the Warranty.Most brake pad manufacturers (or retailers selling them) provide warranties on brake pads. While they are made to wear out eventually, if they are protected by a mileage warranty, it’s a good sign of the quality of the aftermarket part.
- Check for Certifications.There are two general brake pad certifications offered on aftermarket parts. The first is Differential Effectiveness Analysis (D3EA) and the second, Brake Effectiveness Evaluation Procedures (BEEP).
Irrespective of what type of brake pad you opt for, the important thing to know is the proper installation is the most vital attribute to follow. When you’re checking to choose the right brake pads, ensure you have a professional mechanic handle the service for you.