Advance Essentials: Brake Basics

Part 2: Brake Pad Shopping Guide

If your vehicle came with NAO brake pads:
Replace them with NAO. If you want to upgrade to a better pad for longer pad life, buy a premium ceramic pad.

If your vehicle came with semi-metallic brake pads:
Replace them with semi-metallic brake pads. If you're set on converting to ceramic brake pads to minimize noise or dust, buy the highest quality ceramic brake pad you can find.

If you haul heavy loads or brake with a heavy foot, use semi-metallic brake pads. Just be aware that if you do install ceramic brake pads in these applications, you may notice decreased braking performance.

If your vehicle came with ceramic brake pads:
Replace with premium ceramic brake pads.

The popular myth is that ceramic pads are always the best upgrade because they generate less noise and dust. While ceramic pads are a great upgrade from NAO, manufacturers often install semi-metallic pads for a reason—because they provide the best braking for that particular vehicle's weight and brake design. Don't second-guess the manufacturer and upgrade to ceramic brake pads without doing some further research.

Get to Know Our Brands:

The Wearever brand of quality brake pads is designed specifically for Advance Auto Parts by a major brake parts manufacturer. We carry three grades of Wearever brake pads: Silver, Gold, and Ceramic, to make brake pad replacement as straightforward as possible. We also stock Wagner ThermoQuiet pads for the ultimate in quiet braking.  


Wearever Silver our most economical brake pad.
This is the pad to buy if you're on a tight budget.


Wearever Goldmanufactured to meet or exceed OE specifications, and built to last.


Wearever Platinum the pad to buy if you're upgrading.
Exclusive SoundLock Plus 4-layer, diamond-pattern shims are engineered specifically to lock in sound for silent braking.


Wagner ThermoQuiet −A premium pad from a respected brand name brake parts manufacturer. You'll get superior performance and exceptionally quiet braking.


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Additional Brake Parts

Come to Advance Auto Parts for the best brake rotors and other quality auto parts required for your vehicle maintenance jobs.