I have 96 Merc Sable with rear disc brakes. The OEM pad material is Organic. I have tried semi matalics thinking they may last longer and give decent braking for everyday driving. I have found the pads are eating up the rotors prematurely. The pads have plenty of material left but the rotors have low spots and are rusting. I probaly have 50 -70% fo the surface actually doing any work.
My question is what is a good next choice for pads and rotors.?? Should I go with ceramics that are suppose to be gentler on rotors or should I go back to the organic pads.
I used the Autozone gold rotors. I have read that people like them, as I read other boards. But People also like Raybestos and Centric Premium rotors too. Any comments with actual experience appreciated.
In terms of material you’re normally best off with OEM material.
In terms of rotors, get most anything that isn’t bottom/bargain rack price level. The way things operate these days there’s a really good chance that Autozone gold, Raybestos & Centrics are all made by the same company & rebadged for specific retailers or wholesalers.
I’ve used the semi-metallic pads on a Toyota Corolla on the front discs w/out problems. I get about 80k from a set of pads w/out incident. I have a manual xmission and kind of a slow-poke hypermiler though, so my brakes tend to last longer than speedier drivers w/automatic transmissions. I’m surprised you are having a problem with the rear brakes and not the front. Usually it is the front that takes the beating. Do your front pads/rotors have no problem, only the rear? If so, that would make me at least a little suspicious there’s something else going on with your brake system.
Thanks for your response.
The OEM material for the front is semi-metalic and I was not happy with the performance. I have since upgraded to a ceramic and am very pleased. Smooth braking. No noise and the wear so far (15 months) is very reasonable. The rotors are still in good condiditon with very little grooving. This is why I have been leaning towards the Ceramics.
But I am really interested in the experiences people have had with putting ceramics pads on the rear of their Sable/Taurus.
One of two things is likely causing the rusting on your rear rotors, and neither is the pad material. One likely culprit is frozen caliper slides. Did you disassemble all the slides and lubricate them with brake parts lubricant? If not, or if you didn’t even check them, one or more slides may be frozen, not allowing the caliper to “float” as it should. Another possibility is lack of adjustment of the caliper itself. This car uses rear calipers with an internal screw mechanism in the piston for the parking brake. When you replace pads, you have to “spin back” the piston. Consequently, when you reassemble everything, you also have to “spin out” the piston. This can be done by setting the parking brake repeatedly until it will actually lock the rear wheels. Afterwards, you should continue to use the parking brake consistently to keep the calipers properly adjusted.
I’ve upgraded my own brakes to ceramic pads and have been very pleased with the performance. They’re substantially better in very wet conditions and I’ve not had noise or other problems.
Mark9207 and all,
Your comments are appreciate but it is definately not the pins. I religeously check them any time I have the wheels off. I have the rear brake piston advance tool and understand that the piston must be rotated as you describe.
I have done some additonal research and the Ceramic pads seem like a reasonable upgrade from the OEM organic. A number of people do report that semi metalic are hard on rotors.
I just need to select a brand. Cigroller’s observations about rotors are any but the cheap ones as they may all be made in the same factory. It that likely true about ceramic pads. Can I assume a premium Centric will be just as good as an Akebono?
I seldom if ever have to replace rotors…They will last a long time if not abused…Ceramic pads abuse your rotors and provide little in return…
Ceramic pads DO NOT abuse rotors. Both the pad and the rotor last much longer. However, ceramic pads do not grip quite as good as semi-metallic. Unless you have undersized brakes or need to take advantage of super grippy tires, the ceramics have adequate stopping power.
I went back and checked my receipts. I have Advanced Auto Wearever rotors. They have a 2 yrs warranty that has expired. They are not Autozone gold rotors.
I Can’t really understand why the insides are in poor shape while the outsides are ok. As I stated above my pins are free and I even recently checked my pistons and they retractred fine as I rotated them with the appropriate tool. I can only assume it is the pad material. I know the Wearever rotors are not the hightest quality but they are not the in the $14 basement quality either.
Mayby I should just go with the Autozone gold rotors and a mid priced ceramic and see if they hold up better.
AS a side complaint, and not to detract from this topic, I found many of my receipts kept for warrantee info are fading to the point they can barely be read. This is only the receits from Advanced Auto and AutoZone. Not from Napa or other retail stores I have used. Is this a stratgy the box strore parts dealers use to get out of a warrantee??? gee wiz.
On the rotors if you mean that the inboard side of the rotors are much more worn than the outboard side then you have a caliper problem - whether piston or pins. Heavier wear on one side is usually a slide issue. I wonder now about your initial description of the rotors. You said they have low spots and are rusting? All rotors rust. Where is the rust on yours? How did you identify low spots? If these are detectable by the naked eye or running fingers over it then braking must have been quite an adventure.
On receipts, if you use a credit card the big box stores have all of that info in the system & you don’t really need a receipt. Other than that I’ve had no trouble with any receipts that have been stored in an envelope indoors.
The rust is on the inner surface were the pad should contact it. There are low spots and as a result the pad is not cleaning up the rust when the brake is applied. The outsides look pretty good.
I have been able to retract the piston with out too much difficulty. Both calipers are less than 4 yrs old. I do intend to change one of the hoses as it is still origninal. I know that an old hose can cause restrictions.
The side with the old hose is worse than the other side which hose is about 3 yrs old.
Braking has degraded some. The fronts are in excellent shape so it could be worse.