- What’s the difference between semi-metallic brake pads, ceramic brake pads, and organic brake pads?
The most common type of brake pad in cars today, semi-metallic brake pads contain metal fibers embedded into pad compound. They’re relatively cheap, resistant to cold, and are much more forgiving on the brake rotors. Ceramic brake pads, on the other hand, are made from a blend of heavy-duty ceramic and copper fiber embedded into the pad compound. They are far more expensive than their semi-metallic counterparts, but they are quieter, last longer, and generate less brake dust. Meanwhile, organic brake pads, or NAO, are more recent technology and are made from more natural fibers like glass, rubber, carbon and Kevlar. Higher-end models also contain a small amount of copper or steel to transfer heat more efficiently. These pads are softer and generate less noise than ceramic and semi-metallic pads, but they also wear faster and generate a lot more brake dust.
- Can I use racing brake pads in my car?
While they might seem cool to have, it is strongly recommended not to install racing brake pads for your car. This is because racing pads are designed to work at the very high temperature range that is only achieved through racing cars, and thus these will not slow down conventional passenger cars. Racing pads are also made of a harder compound that conventional pads and can wear out the brake rotors easily. So unless you intend to race your Mercedes through a track, stick to a conventional set of brake pads.
- What is brake dust and how do I prevent it?
The unsightly brake dust you see in wheels is not dust at all, but it is actually a combination of dust particles abraded from the brake rotor and metallic fibers and carbon from the brake pad. Ninety-nine percent of brake pads made today have metallic compounds, so brake dust is impossible to eliminate completely. However, it can be minimized by getting high quality brake pads, installing brake shields, and washing the wheels on a regular basis.
- What is brake pad glazing?
Brake pad glazing is caused by overheating of the friction material in the pad, which in turn is due to the pad operating at a temperature above its specified range or non-compliance with the ‘bedding-in’ guidelines specified by the manufacturer. The high temperature creates crystallized friction material on the pad’s surface and brake disc, leading to decreased stopping performance, vibrations, and cracks or fissures in the brake pad material itself. To prevent brake pad glazing in your Mercedes Benz, make sure to follow the bedding-in instructions for brake pad and use a pad that has a temperature range that matches its intended use.
- Why are my brake pads squealing?
The high-pitched squeals coming from your car’s brake pads are actually high-frequency vibrations between the pad and the brake rotor. These vibrations in turn are caused by a variety of factors, including the stiffness of the brake discs, the density and composition of the metallic compounds of the pads, rapid changes in temperature, and excessive humidity. Loud, excessive squealing can signal a problem in your car’s brake pads or brake discs, so when this occurs make sure to have these checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
- What type of brake pad should I get for my car?
There are a couple of factors that you need to consider when getting a new set of brake pads for Mercedes vehicles. First, you need to make sure that the brake pads are compatible with the type of vehicle you have. Brake pads meant for pickup trucks, for example, may not perform well or even fit properly in a sedan. One should also consider where and how often the vehicle is used. High performance pads may generate more noise and have a harder pedal feel when installed in cars used for daily driving, for example, while ceramic pads are best suited for use in urban driving conditions. If you are not sure of what type of brake pad is suitable for your Mercedes Benz, don’t hesitate to ask a mechanic about it. An incompatible brake pad may lead to inefficient braking performance and make your driving experience a less comfortable one.