The Different Types of Brake Pads

Brake pads are an important part of a vehicle’s braking system. Disc brakes rely on the caliper, brake pads, and disc rotor to function correctly. The brake pads sit inside the caliper, and are the part of the system that clamps down on the disc rotor. Over time, the pads will wear from the friction that is placed on the rotor to get the wheel to stop. There are four types of brake pads which are:

  1. semi-metallic

  2. non-asbestos organic (NAO)

  3. low-metallic NAO

  4. ceramic

It is important for you to know which type of brake pad is best for your vehicle.


What’s the Difference between Types of Brake Pads?



  • Semi-Metallic Brake Pads: These brake pads are 30 to 65 percent metal and are considered to be very durable. These brake pads may also not function well in extreme, low temperatures. These brake pads are less expensive and easier on the rotors than ceramic brake pads, but that they are louder and do not last as long as ceramics. The metal element to the compound makes them more resistant to heat and wear than the purely organic variants, but as metal has a lower friction coefficient at low temperatures to the more pliable synthetic material, a tad more pedal power is needed to create the same braking force with the semi-metallic pads when cold. These brake pads are generally used on high performance and race cars such as Subaru, Mitsubishi Evolution etc.

  • Ceramic Brake Pads: These brake pads are generally the most expensive, but are cleaner and produce less noise than other materials. Ceramic brake pads last longer than semi-metallics as well. Ceramic brake pads are known outperform organic pads.

  • Low-Metallic, Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) Brake Pads: These brake pads are known to be noisy and to let off a lot of brake dust. However, according to Brake Masters, the copper or steel that is used in these pads helps with heat transfer and breaking.

  • Non-Asbestos Organic These brake pads are generally made from organic materials including fiber, glass, rubber, and Kevlar. These pads are pretty quiet, but can wear faster and produce a lot of brake dust.

Quite a few cars come off of the assembly line with organic pads. This may be because this type of pad is typical for street driving. Although organic brake pads seem to do the trick, you may upgrade to ceramic brake pads if you want less noise and dust. Trucks and SUVs may need brake pads that have more metal for additional stopping power, according to Consumer Reports. Call Superior Parts Ltd if you have questions about the different types of brake pads or you need new brake pads installed,


Does your steering wheel shake when braking? Then it possible that your brake rotors need to be resurfaced/skimmed. Contact us today about our on-vehicle brake skimming services which is more economical and quicker than conventional methods.


In our next post we talk about the different types of brake fluids.




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