Like most of the components on your car, there's a straight line between the cost of brake pads and their quality. Yes, you can get budget brake pads, but will they deliver the kind of performance and lifespan that you need? Let's brake down the various brake pads on the market.
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads were introduced in the 1980s and have gained popularity since then. They're composed of a material that's very similar to the ceramic in cookware or dishes, only denser and shot through with copper fibers to help conduct and disperse heat. Ceramic brake pad material is a softer material which is easier on the rotor, helps with longer service life, less noise and less dust.
Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
Semi-metallic brake pads offer great performance. Their friction material consists of a mix of metals, including iron, steel and alloys, held together with a binder and a small amount of graphite lubricant. Semi-metallic Carquest Wearever brake pads are available in Silver, Gold and Platinum options. The semi-metallic friction is preferred for vehicles that do a lot of heavy towing.
Is One Kind of Brake Pad Better Than Another?
Short answer: yes. We'll break it down by looking at a few examples.
1. Carquest Platinum Brake Pads
Carquest Platinum brake pads are premium brake pads and are perfect for daily driving and they offer the best performance. These pads are going to stop faster and last longer than economy and mid-grade pads. Platinum pads produce low brake dust so if your ride sports custom wheels then you'll probably want to avoid unsightly brake dust by upgrading your brake pads from the economy version. These pads have patented 4 layer HEX shims to eliminate noise and revolutionary burnishing strips to allow for proper break-in of new brake pads and rotors. The Carquest Platinum brake pads will include premium hardware if hardware is required to complete the job. Shop Carquest Platinum Brake Pads here.
2. Carquest Wearever Gold Brake Pads
Carquest Wearever Gold brake pads are great for daily driving. These pads offer advanced, application-specific formulations to stop faster and last longer. Similar to the Platinum brake pads, the Gold pads produce low dust so they keep your wheels cleaner than a lower grade brake pad. If you want ultra-quiet braking then the multi-layer shim on these brakes pads will provide just that. Shop Carquest Wearever Gold Brake Pads here. Note that both Platinum and Gold pads are available in ceramic or semi-metallic on many applications. You should pick the friction type that matches your driving.
3. Wearever Silver Brake Pads
Are you looking for an economical brake pad to fit your budget? Then Wearever Silver brake pads are for you. Wearever Silver brake pads offer reliable performance at an entry level price point. These pads will have less pad life and stopping power than mid-grade and premium options. Hardware is sold separately from the economy brake pads.
Why Choose Better Brake Pads?
Just remember that all these styles of brake pads are a “you get what you pay for" proposition and that corners will be cut in terms of materials and design at the lower price points. In other words, there's a big difference between budget-line and premium brake pads, whether they're ceramic or semi-metallic. Let your budget and your driving expectations help you make this decision. And, know that the higher-priced brake pads will just about always offer better performance through better stopping power, longer pad life, lower noise and less dust.
Visit the brake pads section on our website for more information and fitment.