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Which brake pads do I need? Front pads differ based on rear brake setup. '06 Sentra

New owner of an '06 Sentra, hoping someone can provide some insight on this…

Looking through various parts sites (Autozone, Rock Auto, etc) and I’m seeing that there are different applications for different front brake pads, depending on the rear brake setup. Some front pads are listed specifically for models with rear drum brakes, and some are listed specifically for models with rear disc brakes.

I’ve never seen such specifications for any other car I’ve ever owned. Anyone know what the difference is or why? Does it really matter? I’d like to get some ceramic pads, but those mostly seem to be listed specifically for models with rear disc brakes. FYI my Sentra has drum brakes.

Yes it matters. The balance and braking qualities differ depending on whether the rear brakes are drum or disc. You should use exactly what is specified to minimize braking distance.

The front rotor and pad design are sometimes different on cars with rear drums or discs. If you buy the wrong pads, they may not fit.

Be sure to price the pads at the dealer parts dept too. Sometimes the dealer parts dept will sell brake pads at prices competitive w/the retail auto parts stores. Plus they’ll be able to answer your question with experience. Honda I’ve heard is known for pricing their brake pads competitively at the dealer. No sure about Nissan. But if you can buy them from the dealer for about the same price, that’s probably the best bet.

If it is an SER model or SPEC-V, it came with 4 wheel disc brakes. This is a high performance car. Brembo brakes were optional, and they are considerably larger. If you have ABS, then you do not have the Brembo brakes.

Since you stated that you have drum brakes, you must have the smaller 1.8L engine and that car has smaller wheels and smaller brakes. 16" wheels and 4 wheel disc brakes were an option on he smaller engined Sentra’s.