Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Brake pads, is it going to stop?

Kind of a dumb question but who makes a decent brake pad or the right material. The most expensive are some type of ceramic but my opinion is that it takes more brake pedal force with these news pads. My wife always complains the mini-van won’t stop. Better to go with factory OEMs, whatever the formulation? Also drove friends mustang GT. I popped hood to make sure it had power brakes, hydraulic assist but very heavy brake pedal with plenty of pad life left. Thoughts?

new rotors? if you used the old ones the new pads have to wear into the grove pattern and your braking efficiency will be lower as a result.

Just go for some good, high quality brake pads from a respectable manufacturer; Raybestos or Wagner are the first that come to mind.

Don’t get sucked in to thinking that a brake pad that is advertised as having a lifetime guarantee is necessarily any good.

In my opinion the Ceramic pads are not necessary and are more hype than substance; although I believe they cut down on the brake dust a bit.

Thanks for the replies
I always replace rotors. The ceramics are much lower dust but I think that more brake pedal pressure is needed, especially when cold, at least for the few I have tried. NAPA ADO. It is great with low dust and no fade but if a woman is driving or someone my fathers age, I think I will avoid ceramics for now. They seem to have good grip initially when brand new but over time need much more pedal force.

I have been amazed at how good the cheapest pads and rotors from Napa have been, I usually buy their mid=priced ones but the last car I did they were out of the mid-grade and I used the cheaper ones and I think they were better

I went ceramic for the first time recently - mostly motivated by the dust issue. I’m happy with that.

I do find they have a bit less stopping power (old ones were semi-metallic) - until they heat up just a little bit at which point they provide very strong and firm braking. Maybe it just suits my driving style but I’m liking them - including the cleaner wheels.

I went with ceramic pads recently using the same rotors and found that after a very short and unobjectionable “bedding” period (because of using the same rotors) the brakes felt the same as the OEM pads. I think a lot of that has to do with the overall design; the leverages designed into the system, the booster design, the sizes of the calipers, the rotors and pads, and perhaps a few other details.

I’m perfectly happy with the ceramic pads and actually find them better in very wet conditions.

However, “ceramic” is not as descriptive as you may think. A visit to the attached link may be informative.

“find them better in very wet conditions.”

I recently went ceramic myself, and now that you mention it mtnbike, I was recently driving home on a very rainy night getting off the highway so the brakes hadn’t been used in a while. I assumed wet brakes and gave more than the usual (dry) pedal pressure and was actually quite surprised b/c I had immediate and firm braking. I would also say pleasantly surprised. I’ve been driving this car for about 160K in the same way on the same roads, so I can really only attribute the difference to the ceramic pads.

My son went with ceramic pads and had the same experience. He too noticed a difference in wet weather.