Car maintenance is a crucial part of owning a car, and not only does it affect how your car will perform, but it also keeps you safe. Some parts need to be replaced sooner than others, which is why it’s of the utmost importance to regularly check the condition of brake disks and pads, engine oil, and suspension components.
Depending on how you drive your car, it’s most likely that brake pads will be the first component you’ll need to replace. Brake pads wear every time you press the brake pedal while the car is moving.
We’ll talk about brake pads, types of brake pads, how much it costs to replace them, how to know when to replace them, and how often they need to be replaced.
Types of Brake Pads
It’s a common misconception that the same type of brake pads are used in all cars. The truth is that there are a few different types of brake pads. Which type of pads are used depends on the type of the car, and its power. The types of brake pads you’ll find in cars today include semi-metallic brake pads, ceramic brake pads, non-metallic brake pads, and carbon brake pads.
Semi-metallic brake pads are the most common type of brake pads found in cars today. These types of brake pads include between 30% and 60% of metal materials such as steel wool, wire, and copper. The reason why they’re such a popular choice is that they’re affordable but effective. They’re also heat resistant which makes them ideal for performance vehicles too. The downside is that they can become very loud and emit a lot of brake dust.
Ceramic brake pads are the most expensive brake pads on the market and they can usually be found in the most powerful supercars. They’re made from ceramic fibers and similar fill materials, they’re durable, heat-resistant, and offer the best performance out of all the brake pads available on the market. Their biggest advantages are durability and performance capabilities, but the biggest disadvantage is that they need to get up to operating temperature to perform as they should. This means that they’re useless on regular road cars.
Non-metallic brake pads, also known as organic brake pads, are compatible with low-powered passenger cars. They’re quiet and affordable, but they wear out faster compared to semi-metallic pads. They used to be made with asbestos, but due to health concerns, asbestos was replaced with other types of materials.
Carbon brake pads are the newest in brake technology, and they’re the most expensive option. Regarding performance, they’re used in race cars and other high-end applications.
What Are The Best Types Of Brake Pads?
There’s no universal type of brake pad that can be considered the best choice for every car. Depending on the car you have, and how you use it, different types of brake pads might be more efficient.
If you’re looking for brake pads for your daily drive car, you can choose between semi-metallic brake pads and non-metallic brake pads.
Which you’ll choose depends on the size and power of your car. Organic, or non-metallic brake pads are used for cars with less power, while semi-metallic brake pads offer better brake performance and durability in cars with more power. The semi-metallic brake pads have better heat resistance which makes them a better choice if you prefer a more aggressive driving style.
Ceramic brake pads are the best choice for performance cars. To be as efficient as they can, the ceramic brake pads need to reach a certain operating temperature. This depends on the brake pad manufacturer, but it’s clear that ceramic pads aren’t an appropriate choice for regular daily driven cars.
Cost of Replacing Brake Pads
Brake pads need to be replaced as a part of regular maintenance. Some brake pads wear out sooner than others, and this is due to the material they’re made from, and how they’re used. The cost of brake pads also depends on the material they’re made from, their size, and the manufacturer.
The most affordable type of brake pads are non-metallic ones, but their braking abilities are the lowest compared to other types of brake pads. The mid-range option includes semi-metallic brake pads, followed by ceramic brake pads, and lastly, carbon brake pads which are the most expensive ones.
When it comes to the cost of having a professional replace your brake pads, the type you choose usually doesn’t have anything to do with the price of labor. The make and model of your car do, but given that most cars have a similar way of replacing brake pads, you shouldn’t expect a huge difference in labor cost, no matter what car you drive.
How Often Do Brake Pads Need To Be Replaced?
It’s a rule of thumb that brake pads should be replaced after around 25,000 miles, but this also depends on the type of brake pads you’re using and the way you drive.
For a system that’s as important as the braking system, you should never rely on statistics. If you regularly check the condition of your brake pads, you won’t get surprised when you notice that the pads are worn. You don’t need to check them every week, but every few months should be fine as long as you don’t race your car on the track.
How To Save On Brake Pad Replacement?
Saving on brake pads isn’t a good idea, especially because brake pads are the only thing that will help your car stop. There is something you can do to save on replacing, and it includes replacing the brake pads yourself. It’s a simple procedure that doesn’t require much time.
You’ll need someone to help you with bleeding the system, but other than that, you won’t need more than two hours to replace the brake pads on all four corners of the car, especially if the brake disks are in good condition. Once the new pads are installed, it will take some time for them to adjust to the grooves in the disks, but you’ll have no trouble braking.