Replacement Brakes: A Primer

A good pair of brake pads will last a year or so. They wear out because the brake lining material, which can be made of metallic, organic or ceramic material, wears out every time you press the brakes. These pads push against the rotor on your wheel, making it stop.

Once you have made it through the manufacturer-installed brake pads (often referred to as OEM pads), you need to choose a replacement. There’s also performance grade to take into account. But brakes can be confusing and expensive – read on to learn more. Take into consideration wear, dust, noise, fade resistance and stopping power.

First, consider materials. If you’re a person who drives fast, races, or hauls often, a semi-metallic options might be best. Their heat-related capabilities also makes them ideal for fade resistance, so they won’t fail even if you keep your foot on the pedal for a long period. These metallic pads can be bothersome from the get go due to noise, and they cause dusty rotors. At Christian Brothers of Fort Mill, our skilled technicians don’t prefer these for average cars.

Now for organic pads. The best for comfort, they’re at the low end for stopping power.

The final main option is ceramics. Asbestos brakes are out. They are excellent at coping with a range of heat situations, meaning that they are as effective after long drives as when you start with them. They don’t wear away too fast, either. Plus, they aren’t dusty. They are not made for racing though.

You have the basics of how the brake pads are built. It’s all about the pressure vs. glue. For the first brakes, the car factory molds the friction material to the shim directly at intense pressure, making for more consistency.

Aftermarket ones use glue instead. You can get breaks, cracking, and uneven wear.

We would love to explain all the ins and outs. We invite you to give us a call.