Match Your Brake Pads To Your Driving Preferences

29 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog


When you take your car in to have the brakes inspected and repaired, you have a choice as to the type of brake pads used. Auto shops will use a standard type of brake pad, which is good enough for the average driving a person may do. But you may have a preference for a different type of pad based on your driving habits. Here are your choices the next time you have brake work done on your car.

Semi-Metallic Pads

These are manufactured by combining small pieces of metal in a flexible resin base. Steel, iron, copper and graphite are the typical metals used in this brake pad. The pads may contain a combination of metals or all one type. The pieces of metal in the pad can also vary in size.

The least expensive pads have larger pieces of metal in them. These are the noisiest pads and will wear down the brake rotors quickly. Semi-metallic pads with fine pieces of metal are quieter and more expensive.

All semi-metallic pads create a fine black dust that can coat the wheels and parts of the car surrounding the wheels. They also need to be warmed up before they are at peak gripping power.

Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO)

These brake pads use no metal. They rely on rubber, glass and Kevlar fibers embedded in a resin base. These pads are quieter than the semi-metallic pads but still produce dust on the car. They have a softer touch and need less warming up than semi-metallic to perform well. These are good pads for the stop-and-go driving typical in city settings. These are a more expensive pad than semi-metallic pads, and they do wear out faster.

Low-Metallic NAO

This is a hybrid pad that combines the NAO design with fine metallic fibers. The metal in the pad gives them a firmer feel, and it keeps the pads cooler. These pads also work better in extreme temperatures. They produce more noise and dust than the regular NAO pads. They are also more expensive but last longer.

Ceramic Pads

These pads use ceramic fibers in a resin base. They produce very little dust, wear out slowly and dissipate heat quickly. They are also the most expensive brake pads and will wear out rotors quickly.

Which Pads Are For You?

Semi-metallic pads - Good for overall driving habits in city and highway conditions. Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) pads - Good for urban driving and short trips. Low-Metallic NAO - Good pads when pulling a trailer or other heavy object over inclines such as mountain roads. Ceramic pads - Good pads for luxury cars where you want no dust and city driving conditions with lots of stop-and-go traffic.

For more information, contact Discount Brake Center or a similar company.