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What are the Different Types of Brake Pads?

brake pads(Photo shows new metallic brake pad on left and worn metallic brake pad on right)

What are the Different Types of Brake Pads?

The brake pad is the part that clamps down on the brake rotor to stop the wheels on the car from spinning and stop the vehicle.

There are three basic types of pads for cars and light trucks:

1)    Metallic brake pads:  They are the most common type of brake pad.  These are made of iron, copper, steel and graphite which is mixed and bonded together. Here are a few characteristics of metallic pads:

  • cost effective
  • durable
  • good performance, transfers heat caused by friction well
  • heavy, may have a small effect on fuel economy
  • not much “give” and therefore can cause more wear on rotors over time

2)    Organic (non-asbestos organic brake pads):  These originated when asbestos  was removed from brake pads.  They are made from natural materials like glass and rubber with resins that withstand high heat. Organic pad characteristics include:

  • made from natural materials to limit pollution
  • softer, can be quieter
  • softer, they wear faster requiring more frequent replacement
  • create more dust than ceramic or metallic brake pads
  • best when used on small cars that aren’t driven aggressively and have limited hard stops

3)     Ceramic brake pads:  Generally a longer life brake pad that is made from fibers, filler material and bonding agents and in some pads, copper. Ceramic brake pad characteristics:

  • Great performance, long lasting, wear well
  • Lightweight, shouldn’t impact fuel economy
  • Dissipate heat well
  • Expensive- not an economical choice for all vehicles

In most cases, brake pads do not have a warranty simply because they are a wear item on the vehicle.  Similar to the tread on the bottom of your shoes, you use the brake pads on your car every day, so they will need to be replaced periodically to maintain the vehicle.

Keith’s Car Care is Oswego’s oldest and most reliable auto repair shop. Drop by for a free estimate on your brake pad replacement today!

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