Brakes-Ceramic or Metallic

So the dealer would put metallic brakes on my 2002 Lexus RX300 (86K)for twice as much as the local Firestone shop which quoted me on Wagner ceramic brakes. I also need rotors. We will probably be replacing the car next year, but still don’t want to skimp on brakes! I haven’t a clue what the difference is, so any advice will be helpful. Thanks.

Excellent point, you never skimp on brakes. For a car-based SUV that I’m guessing isn’t taken to the track every other weekend. Ceramic pads and the stock or equivelent rotors will be more than adequate.

Either one is fine. Wagner makes EXCELLENT brakes. Dealers prices are usually very very high. I’d go with the Firestone…as long as you trust them…they do have a bad reputation.

I love the ceramic brakes that came on my wife’s truck. One shop put in semi-metallics, and she burned through them in a year. The next shop went back to ceramic, and it’s been a year and a half, and they are still in good shape. No difference in braking power. The semi-mets left that black dust on the rims. Ceramics stay clean. Also, the rotors last longer, and have a smooth satin look to them, not the bright shiny surface produced by semi-mets.

Here’s a little advice. Install brake friction components that either meet or exceed the OEM’s specifications. And the dealer isn’t the only one who can obtain these components. Brake pad friction compounds are formulated to be vehicle specific, along with the make-up and design of the brake rotors. Deviating from these material specifications can result in poor brake performance and/or brake noise.


I used the Wagner ceramics on my daughters Toyota. They performed exactly like the OEM, but lasted a little longer and didn’t put out as much dust.