Your vehicle’s brakes serve a very important function, yet it’s not something most people think about. Still, you expect them to operate at peak performance when you need them most, without exception. That’s why everyone should be more aware of their brakes and the individual components that safely help bring your car to a complete stop. That brings us to our latest blog post. Today we’re going to talk about the different type of brake pad compounds and what works best for your type of car and/or driving habits.
First up – organic brake pads. These are the most common type of pad found in cars being sold today and also the least expensive. Organic pads are non-metallic, meaning there are little to no metal fibers. Instead, they’re made up of materials like fiberglass, resins, rubber, Kevlar, and more. A benefit to this construction is that they tend to be quiet, less stressful on other brake components, and create low-to-moderate amounts of dust. However, due to the lack of metal fibers, they are the softest type of pad. This means they’ll wear down faster and need to be replaced more frequently and are the lowest performing.
The next type of pad we’re going to talk about is semi-metallic. These are composed of a hybrid compound consisting of 30-70% metal fibers, packed together in an organic resin. This composition of fibers and resin makes them very durable with long service life and high performance under demanding driving conditions. However, there are some downsides. Semi-metallic pads have a tendency to perform worse in cold weather, requiring more pedal effort for the same amount of stopping power, and they are harder on drums and rotors, wearing them down more quickly. These pads also have a tendency to be the nosiest.
Last, there is the ceramic brake pad. These pads are made up of ceramics like clay and porcelain, bonded to copper filament. This construction results in very low noise, very low dust, and excellent performance across a wide range of operating temperatures. However, these benefits over the other pad types comes at a price. Ceramic pads tend to be the most expensive of the bunch. Also, because of their copper content, they transfer more heat to the other brake system components which may lead to warpage in extreme situations.
The brake pad that’s best for you really depends on what you expect from your vehicle and the type of driving you do. If you just drive around town and you’re budget-conscience, an organic pad would work well for you. However, if you demand high performance, or subject your brakes to extreme conditions, semi-metallic is a great fit. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle of the two and have the budget for them, ceramic pads are an excellent choice. Whatever you drive and however you drive it, we’re here to guide you with all your brake repair needs. Give us a call at (610) 696-3263 or stop by 633 S. Bolmar St and we’d be happy to help!