A Guide To Buying Brake Pads

The brake pads are among some of the most important parts of the vehicle in terms of safety. Without fully fitting and working brake pads, you run the risk of your brakes not working when you need them. You’ll know your brake pads are wearing down because you will hear the high-pitched squeaking and sense the vibration as metal grinds on metal. Here’s a full guide to help you buy new pads.

Choose Your Brake Pad Type

There are two main types of pads available for vehicles, depending on how your brakes work. When you have rim brakes, the rim of the wheel is the braking surface and you’ll need pads to protect them. You can get caliper and cantilever brakes for this type. Cars that use disc brakes will need disc brake pads. 

Choose Your Type of Material for Your Brake Pads

There are three main types of materials used in pads. Semi-metallic options will include iron powder, steel wool, and other metallic components, making them extremely durable and able to handle the heat experienced due to friction. The downside is the brake rotors will wear down quicker due to the metal. They can also be noisy.

Non-asbestos organic pads are also called NAO pads. They include natural fibers like carbon, rubber, and glass. The makeup allows them to be quieter and softer, but they aren’t as durable as the above option. It is possible to get some mixed with some metal to help deal with the heat.

Ceramic options are made of nonferrous materials and very little metal. They are among the most expensive types of pads but are quieter. They don’t wear the rotors like others and have become the most popular option for street driving.

Check Your Manual

Always check the manual for the required size and shape of the brake pads. The majority of pads are made for specific types of vehicles, rather than makes and models. It’s important to check that they fully fit and won’t come loose and slip while you’re driving.

Your manual will have normal driving conditions in mind. You’ll also need to consider your driving needs. Having more durable pads for normal driving will be noisy and dusty. However, if you put a lot of strain on your brakes due to larger amounts of driving (for example), you’ll find the upgraded options much better for you.

Don’t jump for the cheapest brake pad available. Look into your material options and think about your driving needs. Put safety first. For more information, contact local professionals like ABS Unlimited Auto Repair.