If you need to get new brakes on your vehicle, it is important to know that you have choices when it comes to the brake pads. There are different materials that are used on the brake pads which impact how effectively your brakes work based on the type of vehicle you own and the type of driving that you do. Be sure to discuss the different brake pad material options available to you with your mechanic.
#1 Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads tend to be one of the more expensive brake pads you can purchase for your vehicle. Ceramic brake pads are really great because they don't make a lot of noise, even when they are new and you are braking them in. Ceramic brake pads work really well with your rotors, and don't cause your rotors to break down at an advance rate. As the name implies, ceramic brake pads are made out of ceramic fibers as well as additional filler materials.
#2 Low Metallic Brake Pads
Low-metallic brake pads are not the quietest brake pads around. They are made out of primarily organic material; however, they do contain a little metal, generally either steel or copper. The steel and/or copper make low metallic brake pads a little on the noisier side. Low metallic brake pads also create more dust than other types of pads.
The upside to low metallic brake pads is that the metal helps transfer heat in a manner that improves your braking. This is great if you do a lot of hard, race style driving or live somewhere with really hot weather year-round.
#3 Semi Metallic Brake Pads
Semi-metallic brake pads are one of the more affordable brake pads on the market today. They are really common and found in a lot of vehicles. They are primarily made out of metal, unlike low metallic brake pads, where metal is a secondary ingredient. A variety of different metals are used in semi metallic brake pads; such as copper or steel.
Semi metallic brake pads are really strong and are known for being really durable. The downside to semi metallic brake pads is that they don't work as well in really low temperatures, so if you live somewhere where the thermostat tips below freezing in the winter, these may not be the best brakes to put on your vehicle.
#4 Non-Asbestos Organic Brake Pads
Most people skip the long name and just call non-asbestos organic brake pads NAO pads. These types of pads are made entirely out of a mixture of organic material, such as rubber and glass. NAO brake pads are relatively affordable as they use recycled and organic material. If you are worried about noisy brakes, NAO brakes tend to be quieter. The big downside to NAO brakes is that they tend to wear out faster, so although they are quiet and don't cost as much upfront, you will need to replace them faster than the other three types of brake pads discussed above.
Be sure to talk with your mechanic and figure out what type of brake pad material makes the most sense for your car, driving style, and where you live. Asking questions will help you get the best brake pads for your vehicle.