How to Buy Good Quality Brake Pads | YourMechanic Advice

How to Buy Good Quality Brake Pads

Brake pads sound cushy - however they’re anything but soft and snuggly. These components attach to the brake calipers in order to stop the discs (also known as rotors). The calipers squeeze the pads against the discs, which are mounted next to the tires, and this brings the whole operation to a halt when you press the brake pedal.

All this squeezing eventually causes the brake pads to wear down, and they’ll typically need replacing every 30,000-70,000 miles give or take, depending upon the usage and types of pads. Your brake pads need replacing when you hear that telltale squeal or squeak indicating the friction of metal-on-metal.

There are three different kinds of pads and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Organic: These brake pads were developed when health concerns arose surrounding the original disc brake pad material – asbestos. Organic pads are made of a composite of varying materials that may include rubber, glass, carbon, fiber and more. They’re affordable and quiet, but don’t last as long as other types.

  • Semi-metallic: These are made up of iron, copper, steel, or other metal, combined with fillers and a graphite lubricant. Semi-metallic brake pads perform better than organic, and do a good job drawing heat away from the discs. They’re more expensive, and noisier, than organic.

  • Ceramic: The newest of the players in the brake pad field, coming onto the scene in the 1980s, ceramic brake pads are made up of hardened ceramic material that’s combined with copper fibers. Ceramic lasts the longest and is quiet. However, ceramic pads don’t perform as well as semi-metallic in cold climates and also are the priciest.

Things to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting high quality brake pads:

  • Consider aftermarket: This is one of the few parts for which OEM may not trump aftermarket in quality. Many cars come off the line with organic pads which are the lowest performers and least enduring. There is a wide variety of quality brands and types to choose from.

  • Go with a trusted name brand: Brakes are one of those systems in your car that you want to make absolutely sure of getting genuine, high quality replacements.

  • Check the warranty: It may be hard to believe but you can get warranties on brake pads. AutoZone is famous for their extremely liberal warranty/return policy on brake pads. They even offer a lifetime replacement policy on some brands, so check first to see which the best warranty for the price is.

  • Certification: Look for D3EA (Differential Effectiveness Analysis) and BEEP (Brake Effectiveness Evaluation Procedures) certifications. These assure you that the brake pads meet certain minimum standards.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality brake pads to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a brake pad that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on brake pad replacement.


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Jason

31 years of experience
273 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Redwood City, California
Jason, was great! Friendly, professional, and helpful! I would request him again and you should too! Thank you Jason!
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Mountain View, California
Xcellent customer service. Very knowledgeable and experienced. Friendly and willing to explain what he is doing, and gives helpful advice for gen. car maintenance. Would highly recommend, and personally use for future service.

Robert

15 years of experience
38 reviews
Robert
15 years of experience
Chrysler Town & Country - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Maricopa, Arizona
Robert was excellent. He is very professional and courteous. Robert replaced brakes, rotors and did a 50 point inspection. I immediately made an appointment to have him return for an oil change next week.

Scott

33 years of experience
412 reviews
Scott
33 years of experience
Kia Rio5 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Denver, Colorado
Scott was absolutely terrific with my low mileage but 11 year old kia!! During a brake replacement he found the pin in one of my calipers was stuck. Instead of making me buy a new set of calipers he spent a surprising amount of effort getting the pin unstuck. I can't thankyou enough. I work hard in a culinary job and have been missing the time my vehicle saves me in transportation. At the same time an extra four hundred dollars goes a long way for me and that is essentially what I was given by Scotts effort and expertise.

Jonathan

34 years of experience
402 reviews
Jonathan
34 years of experience
Scion tC - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Jonathan is knowledgeable and very experienced mechanic. I am 110% satisfied with the job performed. Fast, accurate, great communication - What else do you need. Easy, Five stars service...

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