Brake Pad Selection for Your Car

1 Sep

Brake Pad Selection for Your Car

Many people take their brakes and in particular their brake pads for granted on a grand scale. The braking system on your car is a lot more important than any other mechanism or component as it is the brakes themselves that prevent forward momentum and in emergencies will stop you when you need to be stopped.

Brakes in themselves are many individual parts that work together to respond to the actions of the driver so that the vehicle can slow down or stop. A crucial part of these components is the brake pads and without the right ones the stopping distance of any car is severely restricted.

The brake pad itself works by creating a constant friction between the pad and the car’s brake discs. These are commonly recognized as dinner plate sized metal discs that sit within the wheel housing. As the brake is applied by the driver the brake pad is forced against the brake disc and this contact creates enough friction between the two surfaces to apply a slowing momentum on the wheel. The harder the driver presses on the brake pedal and the harder the pad and the disc come together thus creating greater friction and a greater stopping force.

Due to the different specifications of cars and even heavier vehicles such as trucks there is a direct correlation to the type of pad that is required based on the type of vehicle? Brake pads are subjected to massive stresses and strains as they are constantly in use and under pressure to perform. The faster the car is driven or the heavier a vehicle is the greater the strain is on the pad.
So what are the different types of brake pads on the market?

Brake Pad Selection for Your Car


These are undoubtedly the most common variety of brake pads and are found on many, many vehicles. A unique blend of different metals creates metallic brake pads and within this mix you will find copper, iron, graphite and steel. After the right mix has been formulated a special bond is used to fuse these metals together to create the metallic brake pad.

Cost is a big factor for the success of these brake pads as they are produced on a mass scale and therefore a cost effective solution for the masses. Metallic brakes are a great conductor of heat and have the durability for stopping almost any type of vehicle. The downside is metallic brakes are so hard they can prematurely wear down other brake components and they are much heavier than other pads and therefore are not an ideal choice for racing or performance cars.


Once upon a time brake pads were traditionally made from a substance called asbestos. The advantage to using asbestos was the material has the ability to absorb massive amounts of heat without breaking down or malfunctioning. With great friction there comes heat and this material appeared to be an ideal solution to a problem. However due to a serious risk to human health this material was eventually phased out and banned from production altogether. It was the dust that came of the asbestos that posed the greatest threat as when breathed in it creates breathing problems.

The material that makes up organic pads is a natural occurring product such as glass or rubber and therefore doesn’t produce dangerous by products. Another beneficial material for creating organic brakes is a substance called Kevlar which like asbestos absorbs massive quantities of heat but this material doesn’t create dangerous by-products as it breaks down.

The other great advantage for many of these alternative materials is the fact that they are made of softer more pliable substances and therefore they are generally much quieter than the harder materials. So what vehicle would you use organic pads on? Because of their susceptibility to wear they are ideally used on smaller cars as anything that is driven too fast or any vehicle that is too heavy will wear down these materials in no time.


Hold onto your wallet boys as theseĀ hawk brake pads is affordable. Of course there is a substantial reason for the cost of these pads as they offer durability, great performance and a lightweight alternative to other brake pads.

Ceramic pads will be more commonly found on performance cars or racing cars as their distinctive advantages are best suited to these performance models.

I have created this article to give a more informed guidance on performance parts and accessories.

In subsequent articles we will take a more in depth view of the many different cars on the road and what brake pads are best suited to them. By the way, if you have any questions about H&R Wheel Spacers, check out this website here:

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