If car parts are alive, the brake pads live the worst lives. In fact, they are the most expendable car part there is. They are always in constant pressure and are always in the heat of the action. They are the most frequently changed car part. But the most important thing is, their passenger's lives are in their hands. Brake pads are designed to endure high friction. They are made to make contact and consequently generate heat. They are the most hardy of the hardy.
It is commonly thought that brake pads directly make contact with the brake discs surface but in fact it touches another pad material on the sides of the brake disc. The contact between two surfaces produces a semi-liquid friction boundary that results in actual braking. Excessive braking and improper braking technique can easily wear out the pads and even the brake discs. The brake pads' make can ensure its longevity but this also have trade-offs. The more hardy the brake pad, the lesser its braking power and vice versa. In effect, it is better t invest in a well-rounded brake pad.
When looking for quality brake pads, it is better to choose a brake pad that can fully serve you needs. If you are are speed freak, it is better to gear up your car with more brake pads for optimum performance and to ensure your safety. But if you are just an average Joe kind of driver, it better to opt for the average but quality brakes to suit your need. When choosing a brake pad, choose a hardy and trusted name. Because a brake pad's job is hardwork.
Brake Pad Set Buyer's Guide
- A brake pad set is typically made up of four individual brake pads. Each wheel requires a pair of brake pads to be installed (one pair each for the driver and passenger side).
- These brake pads are a critical component of the brake assembly. They are designed to convert kinetic energy to heat, making it possible for your vehicle to slow down and come to a full stop.
- Brake pads stop the movement of your car’s wheels by applying friction on the moving rotor.
- There are four main types of brake pads categorized by the material. These are organic, ceramic, metallic, and semi-metallic brake pads.
- Manufacturers typically provide guidelines regarding brake pad replacement. In general, your car’s brake pads should be replaced after 30,000 miles.
- Factors such as your environment, driving style, the type of vehicle transmission you have, and damage to other brake components can accelerate wear on your brake pads.
- The cost of a brake pad set will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement brake pads will generally cost you anywhere between $2 and $630.
- Some of the steps you can do to check if you have a faulty brake pad include checking the brake indicator light, listening for squealing noises while braking, and inspecting brake pad thickness.
What is a brake pad set?
A brake pad set is typically made up of four individual brake pads. Each wheel requires a pair of brake pads to be installed (one pair each for the driver and passenger side). This means that you’ll need to get one set for the front wheels and a different set for the rear wheels.
These brake pads are a critical component of the brake assembly. They are designed to convert kinetic energy to heat, making it possible for your vehicle to slow down and come to a full stop. Brake pads are attached to the inner side of the caliper and the outer side of the piston that comes in contact with both sides of the rotor.
How do brake pads work
Brake pads stop the movement of your car’s wheels by applying friction on the moving rotor. During this process, the energy coming from the rotors is converted into thermal energy, which is then absorbed and dissipated by the brake pads. These are made from materials that can withstand regular use, maximizes grip, and has high thermal conductivity.
Types of brake pads
There are four main types of brake pads categorized by the material. These are organic, ceramic, metallic, and semi-metallic brake pads.
Organic brake pads
Early brake pads were originally made from asbestos which was later proven to be a health and environmental hazard. These were replaced by non-asbestos brake pads which are commonly known as organic brake pads.
The material used for this type of brake pad is a combination of rubber, glass, resin, and cellulose. This makes the dust produced during the process of braking less harmful to humans and the environment. They are commonly used in small and light vehicles because they are softer and can easily wear out if regularly used for hard stops.
Ceramic brake pads
This type of brake pad is known for being lightweight and providing excellent brake performance. These brake pads are made from a mix of ceramic fibers, filler materials, and copper fibers. They dissipate thermal energy effectively, produce less dust, and do not wear down as quickly as other types. The one thing that keeps people away from choosing ceramic is its steep price tag.
Metallic brake pads
Standard metal brake pads are great for vehicles that require a great amount of stopping power. These pads are made from a combination of bonded copper, steel, iron, and graphite. The only disadvantage of using this type of brake pad is that they can add extra weight on your vehicle which shouldn’t be a problem unless your vehicle is meant for high-performance driving.
Semi-metallic brake pads
This type of brake pad is commonly seen in modern vehicles. These brake pads are made from a combination of metal and synthetic materials that are bonded using an organic resin. This type is highly resistant to thermal damage and wear but produces less friction than its organic counterpart.
How often should brake pads be replaced?
Manufacturers typically provide guidelines regarding brake pad replacement. In general, your car’s brake pads should be replaced after 30,000 miles. However, factors such as environment, driving style, the type of vehicle transmission you have, and damage to other brake components can accelerate wear on your brake pads.
How much does a set of brake pads cost?
The cost of a brake pad set will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement brake pads will generally cost you anywhere between $2 and $630. These sets typically come with 2 pairs of brake pads (one pair for each side of the vehicle). These sets are categorized by where they should be installed—front and rear.
How to check brake pads
There are several ways to determine whether its time to get a new brake pad set for your vehicle. Here are some of the steps you can do to check if you have a faulty or damaged brake pad.
- Check if the brake indicator light on your dashboard is on (if applicable)
Some vehicle models carry brake pad sensors that trigger a warning light on the dashboard once the brake pad has worn down enough for it to require replacement.
- Listen for any squeaking or high-pitched noises while braking
Don’t panic if you hear this noise—a metal indicator on your brake pads is designed to make this sound once the material is worn down near the end of its service life. This noise automatically goes away by simply replacing the brake pads.
- Inspect the thickness of your brake pads
Peek through the tire spokes and observe whether the brake pads are less than a quarter of an inch thick. If yes, you should consult a mechanic immediately to have it replaced.
Finding the best brake pads for your vehicle
Make your search for the right brake pad set easier by using our website’s built-in vehicle selector. Simply plug in your car’s correct year, make, and model to narrow down the results to all compatible parts.
Inside The Braking System
Braking power can never be as good with a powerful brake in your performance vehicle.
You love driving power, no doubt about it. But while the concept of acceleration and horsepower may be thrilling to you, and while you may be more inclined towards performance upgrades and enhancements, you must not forget other important systems in your auto, especially those that determine your driving safety. Have you checked on your brake recently? Have you inspected the brake pads to see if their friction materials are still intact?
No drive is ever safe without the brakes, the system that combats your vehicle’s acceleration to bring you to a safe halt.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Brake Pad Set
Avoid accidents. Ensure that your car has a good brake pad set installed in it.
The chain of command isn't only a human thing. It also applies to organized working parts like your automotive systems. One good example is the braking assembly. Its operation starts with the brake pedal, where you give out the command, so to speak, by pressing on it with your foot. The pressure created is multiplied up to four times by the brake booster. The master cylinder then transmits the brake fluid to activate the pistons in the calipers, pushing the calipers inwards. The brake pad set, stuffed on the inner side of the calipers, clamps into the brake disc, generating friction that stops or slows down the spinning of the wheels.
The function of the brake pads is basic to stopping your vehicle. Each set includes different numbers of steel-backed plates with friction materials on their surface. Since the pads rub with the rotating steel brake disc, their friction materials are bound to thin over time. So it's important to always check on your auto's brake pad set-both front and rear-to ensure that they haven't reached their minimum thinness limit. But when they already did, replace them immediately to prevent unwanted rotor wear (and untoward incidents, too).
Running with your pads' friction materials thin reduces your auto's braking ability. This also risks your brake discs because each time you press on the pedal, the pads' metal backing is the one scratching the discs, not the friction surface. When further neglected, you're bound to replace both pads and discs.
The Automobile Basics: Brake Pad Set
Brake Pad Set: Just the Facts
Among the crucial parts of the braking system is the brake pad set. Found between the calipers and rotors, the brake pad is forced against the brake discs once you step on the brakes. The resulting friction allows the rotor, and the wheel it's attached to, to slow down and eventually stop. To hold their own against the enormous amount of heat and pressure brought by friction, brake pads these days are usually crafted from ceramic or steel. Both materials make for durable, long-lasting brake pads, but, of course, these braking components also experience their share of damage and wear and tear. When the time comes that you need to replace your vehicle's brake pads, you can trust our offers at CarParts.com. We have a wide array of brake replacement products at our catalogs, including the perfect brake pad set for your vehicle
• Made from high-quality fiber-based compounds enhanced with ceramic particles
• Ensures dependable, no-fail braking
• Prevents heat expansion and cracks, and minimize brake noise
Finding the Perfect Set of Brake Pads
Brake pads are a consumable part of your car's braking system. They are essentially steel backing plates that have friction material bound to their surfaces.
What do brake pads do?
Brake pads are installed on a caliper, with their friction surfaces facing the brake disc. When you step on the brake pedal, the caliper squeezes the disc with the brake pads. This contact between the pads and the surface of the rotor generates the friction that is necessary to slow down and stop your vehicle.
How do you know when your brake pads need to be replaced?
The most common sign that your brake pads need to be replaced is a squealing or screeching sound made by the brakes. This sound is made by a thin piece of soft metal in the pad that rubs against the brake disc when the pad gets too thin. If you own a more expensive car, you probably have an electronic sensor that will tell you when you need to get new brake pads.
What type of brake pads to get for your car?
There are several kinds of brake pads available in the market today, with their biggest difference being the type of material that they are made of. The type of pads that you get will affect braking performance, brake pedal feel, and braking distances.
Before you choose brake pads, you should consider how you're going to use your car, the way that you drive, and the level of performance that you want to get out of your brakes.
If you simply want to recapture the old braking performance of your vehicle, then we recommend that you get the same type of pads that originally came with your car.
To minimize brake noise and prolong rotor life, non-asbestos organic pads are ideal.
For heavy-duty performance, such as track or road racing, we suggest that you get semi-metallic pads. They provide excellent braking performance, although they produce a significant amount of noise.
For better brake feel and shorter braking distances, we recommend that you go for ceramic brake pads. They are pricier, yes, but they are far more resistant to brake fade, they operate quietly, they consistently provide excellent brake feel, and they produce relatively light-colored brake dust that isn't as noticeable on your wheels.
What to look for in brake pads?
Always look for Brake Effectiveness Evaluation Procedures (BEEP) or Differential Effectiveness Analysis (D3EA) Certification when searching for brake pads.
We recommend that you get products only from trusted and established brands. You may pay a premium for these products, but at least you can be assured of excellent performance, quality, and durability.
How to Change your Brake Pads
Brake pads are a consumable part of your car's braking system. They wear out over time and must be regularly replaced. You can get a mechanic to replace your pads or you can just do it yourself to save some money.
Here are the tools you will need and the steps to follow to replace the brake pads on your vehicle.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket wrench set
- Small bungee cord
Before you begin, make sure your car is raised and supported by jack stands and not just jacks. The jacks may give, which could crush you while you are under the car.
Also, take note that you will need to remove several nuts, bolts, and screws for this project. Put them away in a safe place and in an orderly manner. You won't want to lose any of those.
Step 1: Using the lug wrench, loosen your wheel's lug nuts. Remove them and slowly slide your wheel off. Set it aside for now.
Step 2: You now have to remove the brake caliper. Feel around the back of the caliper for two or more bolts. Use the socket wrench to loosen and remove these bolts. Grab the top of the caliper and gently pull it away. If it won't move, tap it very lightly with the hammer. Set it down on the floor or use the short bungee cord to hang it.
Step 3: Take note of how the pads are attached to the caliper. We suggest you take a picture of the assembly that you can use as a guide when putting things back together again. The old pads should slide right off. If they don't, look for tabs or clips that may be keeping them in place and remove those as well. Slide the new caliper in place.
Step 4: Before putting the caliper back in place, use the c-clamp to reset the position of the piston or pistons that push the brake pads toward the brake disc. Place the end of the clamp with the screw against the piston and the other end of the clamp behind the caliper assembly. Gently tighten the clamp until you move the piston back to its original position.
Step 5: Place the caliper assembly back in its place and secure it by tightening the bolts. Press the brake pedal a few times to test the brake pressure. Put everything else back in place and lower the car.
Just repeat the steps for each of your car's wheels, and you'll be good to go with a new set of brake pads.