Your car’s braking system is undoubtedly one of the most important safety mechanisms that you need to take care of. One of its elements is the brake pad which is what you step to bring your car to a stop. There are several types of these pads, chief among them being metallic and ceramic. The two are the most popular and this prompted us to compare both in an attempt to help you decide the right pads for your vehicle.
So, our question for the day is; do ceramic brake pads last longer than their metallic counterparts? Let’s find out more below;
Ceramic brake pads
Ceramic pads, just as the name suggests, are made from ceramic fibers which are similar to those used in making plates and pottery albeit denser and more durable. They work by inhibiting the heat generated when the pad hits the rotor just like a dual pane window. As a result, they tend to keep brake fluids cooler and this enhances their performance especially for drivers who often do hard stops. Since they are more tolerant to heat, they last longer than most other types of pads. They also produce less dust and can function in a wider range of temperatures.
However, like most things, what gives comes with some takes. Ceramic pads are arguably the most expensive type of brake pads although they might be as aggressive as their metallic equals.
- Quieter than metallic brake pads
- Produce less dust
- Easier on the brake rotors as they’re less abrasive
- Dissipate heat which makes them last longer than metallic pads
- Lighter stopping power as they’re not very aggressive. This makes them not ideal for heavy vehicles and trunks.
- More expensive than other brake pads
Metallic brake pads
Metallic brake pads often comprise a mixture of different metals including steel, copper, iron and graphite. Each of these metals come with its distinct advantage and plays a particular role in making the braking process more effective.
Overall, metallic pads are pretty good at transferring heat generated during their contact with brake rotors. Besides, due to their aggressiveness, they provide high performance making them the best choice for heavy vehicles.
They are also more cost-effective and can perform in a much wider range of temperature compared to ceramic pads.
- The fact that these pads are made of metal means they’re good conductors of heat and thus able to withstand more heat.
- More cost-effective than ceramic pads
- More aggressive (have a better bite) and this makes them the best choice for trucks and heavy vehicles.
- Very noisy
- Add more wear and strain on the rotors since they’re more abrasive to the brake system.
- Produce more black dust.
If you’re still not convinced that either of the two brake pads we’ve reviewed above are for you, then don’t worry as we’ll show you one more option worth considering.
Organic brake pads
Sometimes back, brake pads were made of asbestos as this material is known to be remarkably heat absorbent and could therefore handle the immense heat produced during braking. However, due to the health risks associated with asbestos and the realization that this material was not safe, organic brake pads were created to fill the gap.
Organic brake pads are made using a mixture of materials and fibers including carbon, Kevlar, glass, and rubber which are bound together with resin. They are reasonably affordable and produce less dust.
These pads are recommended for people who use their car for normal commuting since with just minimal heat, they can generate moderate amount of friction. They are much softer than metallic pads which results in quieter driving experiences when using them.
On the downside, organic pads tend to wear out quite quickly, work well within a small range of temperatures, and come with a high compressibility.
So, which of the three options is best suited for you?
Well, your decision really comes down to the kind of auto you drive and your style of driving. Generally, ceramic pads last longer than all the others and are very durable. On the other hand, metallic pads are quite effective for heavier vehicles but can be quite noisy and wear out quickly. Take such factors into consideration and you won’t find it difficult making your decision.