Best Brake Pads

Looking after your car is a great way to keep it road-worthy and safe for use. Having good braking pads is no different. Using your brakes properly is the best way to ensure that you can stop your car safely.

Brake pads are one of the most integral parts of your car. Having strong, working brake pads is paramount to your safety on the road.

Without good braking or stopping power, you will be unable to halt your vehicle in preparation for an intersection, traffic light or stop sign and are putting yourself at risk of an accidental collision.

Brake pads work as part of the braking system in your vehicle. This system applies both the pressure and the friction to bring your car to a complete stop.

Having a good set of brake pads could be a matter of life and death, so it is important that you consider the right ones for your vehicle. 

We know that searching through the nitty gritty of car accessories is a tiresome task, so we have done it for you. Keep your car and your family safe with the best brake pads on the market.

OUR TOP PICK

Bosch BC1281 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set For: Acura MDX, ZDX; Honda Odyssey, Pilot, Rear

With Bosch engineering and premium materials, these brake pads are a great choice for your vehicle.

The Bosch QuietCast Brake Pad Set is a number one bestseller, and can be purchased for front, rear and as a set for both. 

These brake pads come in a multitude of sizes to fit your vehicle. With premium engineering and high quality materials, these brake pads have exceptional stopping power and quiet operation with low dust emissions.

These pads even have a protective transfer layer to extend your pad and rotor life for longer. Bosch’s ceramic disc brake pads have the highest level of quality and they come with a hardware kit for easy and straightforward installation. 

They are copper free and have innovative Quietcast technology that delivers quiet operation whilst remaining durable and long lasting.

Pros:

  • Ceramic Brake Pads
  • Comes with hardware
  • Easy to install
  • High quality
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • QuietCast Technology
  • Low dust emissions
  • Exceptional stopping power
  • Number 1 bestseller
  • Copper free

Cons:

  • Have to buy rear and front separately

EDITORS CHOICE

ACDelco Gold 17D1367ACH Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

For many drivers, ceramic type brake pads are the only way to go, and these ACDelco Gold Ceramic Front Brake Pads are no different. They have been tested extensively for breaking effectiveness, along with noise harshness and durability testing. 

With ACDelco, you have the assurance of quality and durability. With a stamped backing plate that allows proper pad movement, these ceramic brake pads reduce noise, brake pulsation and prevent premature wear and tear.

Their friction material is molded to the backing plate for greater bond integrity, so you can be certain you are safe with ACDelco. 

For fit, form and functionality, try the ACDelco Brake Pads.

Pros:

  • Effective breaking
  • Noise reduction
  • Prevent wear
  • Extra longevity 
  • High quality
  • Easy to install
  • Very little brake dust

Cons:

  • Rear brake pads sold separately
  • Not as long lasting as competitors

BEST VALUE

Bosch BP1108 QuietCast Premium Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pad For: Audi: A3, A4, A6, TT; Volkswagen: CC, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Passat, R32, Rabbit, Tiguan, Rear

For the driver that requires semi-metallic brake pads, then Bosch has a fit for you.

These brake pads feature quiet operation with a rubber core multilayer shim that provides increased strength and insulation whilst still reducing the noise levels. 

With an advanced aerospace alloy, copper free, semi-metallic friction formula, these brake pads will be an impressive fit for your vehicle.

The protective transfer layer extends your pad and rotor life, whilst the QuietCast technology sustains your pads.

What is great about these brake pads is that the molded shim feature ensures that the shim stays attached throughout extended use of the pad, it will not slide on the backing plate which provides maximum stability and quieter performance over the life of the pad.

For semi-metallic brake pads assured with premium engineering, try the Bosch brake pads.

Pros:

  • Copper free
  • Reduced noise
  • Hardware included
  • Strong materials
  • Protective transfer layer
  • Comes ready to install
  • Molded shim technology
  • QuietCast

Cons:

  • More excess brake dust
  • Noisy when cold or wet

RUNNER UP

Wagner ZD914 Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set

If you need strong quality braking pads on a budget, then try out Wagner’s Ceramic Brake Pad Set.

These brake pads are designed to restore a vehicle’s braking system to brand new quality and performance.

These brake pads are recommended for all vehicle types, with the hardware included for installation. 

Wagner delivers consistent and even braking performance throughout the life of the brake pad, with reduced vibration and consistent feel.

Pros:

  • Ceramic
  • Hardware included
  • Consistent performance
  • Noise reducing technology
  • Reduced vibration

Cons:

  • Difficult to install

RUNNER UP

Power Stop Z26-1053 Extreme Performance New Formulation Brake Pad

Are you searching for premium stainless steel shims to ensure noise free braking? Look no further. Power Stop Ceramic Brake Pads are made from carbon fiber featuring a thermal scorched pad surface for fast break-in. 

These brake pads were made for high performance cars or street drivers who demand shorter stops. The drivers that will benefit from these brake pads will own high horsepower cars. 

Power Stop boasts that these brake pads resist fade, are dust-free and provide better stopping power without sacrificing everyday drivability.

Pros:

  • Ceramic
  • Fast break-in
  • Noise-free braking
  • Resists rust and corrosion
  • Hardware kit included
  • Premium materials
  • Resists fade
  • Dust-free

Cons:

  • Not long lasting
  • Not entirely noise free
  • Hard to install

RUNNER UP

StopTech 309.10780 Sport Brake Pads with Shims and Hardware

These brake pads are ideal for autocross and light track use. With high max operating temperature, you can eliminate fade.

These brake pads have excellent actuation, modulation and release with greater linear response! 

The Stoptech Sport Brake Pads will give you a much more significant brake performance and a dramatic increase in your stopping power.

With the hardware included, you can install these brake pads with ease and speed.

Pros:

  • Ceramic
  • High max operating temperature eliminates fade
  • Ideal for track use
  • Easy to install
  • Dramatic increase in stopping power
  • Not noisy
  • Hardware included

Cons:

  • Front pads sold separately
  • Excessive brake dust
  • Only track use

Best Brake Pads Buying Guide

The benefits of good brake pads

Having strong brake pads will increase your stopping power and time greatly. This is an excellent way to remain safe when travelling on the road.

Accidents can happen, and there are many erratic drivers out there. Give yourself the best chance of keeping safe by reducing your braking distance and preventing collisions.

Newer brake pads will also not cause a lot of noise when using. Old brake pads will screech and squeal when overused.

Overused brake pads may also be inconsistent and give a harsh performance. This can be unreliable and increase your chances of hitting objects with rough, hard braking performance. 

How to find the right brake pads for you

There are many different types of brake pads that are suited to different driving styles, weather conditions and budget, so it is important that you find brake pads that are right for you.

Types of brake pads

Fully-metallic brake pads are often the most strong and durable braking pads on the market. They offer smooth and reliable performance with high stopping power. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and these brake pads will wear down your rotors greatly. 

Whereas semi-metallic brake pads are made of both metal and non-metal materials. These also have great stopping power, durability and heat distribution, but can also be more noisy and will not last as long.

For a more eco-friendly option, you may prefer non-asbestos or organic brake pads that are constructed of organic materials, so they do not pollute the air as they are worn down. These are much quieter on the road and softer on your rotors than metallic brake pads, however they will wear down much quicker than other types. 

Finally, there are ceramic brake pads. These are the top of the range brake pads that are the most costly. However, they have all of the benefits of the above types of brake pads such as quiet operation, longevity, extra stopping power and will not wear down your rotors. 

Another feature you may want to consider is how easily your new brake pads may be installed. This can save you a lot of time and effort if you are installing them yourself. You may require additional hardware with some brake pads sets which you should consider before purchasing.

Whilst old brake pads tend to screech and make a lot of noise, some newer brake pads will make some noise during operation. You should take this into consideration when shopping for new brake pads.

You should also consider where you live and what types of roads you use most frequently. If you live in a residential or busy environment, you may use your brakes a lot more than someone who drives on a freeway frequently, or lives in a quiet area. You will need more powerful brake pads that will last a lot longer, to really get your money’s worth.

Similarly, you should look for brake pads that are suitable for your style of driving. Some brake pads are tailored for light driving such as commuting, whereas others are designed to resist fade in more heavy use. 

Brake fade is when your brakes decrease in effectiveness over time. As your brakes fade, your stopping power will be reduced and it will take your car a lot longer to come to a complete stop. This typically happens if you have been driving erratically.

If you use the brakes harshly, this will cause a lot more friction, which turns into heat and will cause your brakes to fade.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do brake pads work?

Brakes are composed of the brake rotor, caliper and brake pads.

When you use the braking pedal, brake fluid goes through the caliper, which will force the pads onto the rotor and slow down the vehicle. 

Braking is an essential part of driving a vehicle, so it is important that you have working brake pads at all times. 

How often should I replace my brake pads?

This will depend on how much you use your car, your driving style and the quality of the brake pads installed.

Generally, brake pads do not need to be replaced until every 50,000 miles. However, this can be shortened depending on where you drive regularly or by how much you use your breaks. 

You can extend your brake pads longevity by anticipating having to brake sooner, by pressing the brakes hard and fast you will wear them down quickly.

Try reaching intersections or stop signs slowly and anticipate having to stop.

How do I tell if my brake pads need changing?

The most common and easiest way to tell if your brake pads need changing is to listen out for any squealing or screeching sounds when braking. You may also feel some restriction , resistance or pressure on the pedal that is not normal for your vehicle. 

Another way of checking to see if your brake pads need changing is if your car is not braking as quickly or effectively as before. 

Some newer model cars will have an indicator to show that there is a problem with your brakes. If this shows, or any of the symptoms above become clear, then you should take your vehicle to be inspected or fixed.

Mechanics generally recommend that your brake pads should be replaced when they reach a thickness below 4 millimeters.

How to break in brake pads?

Breaking in your brake pads is essential if you want to maintain them for longer. This will maximize their performance later on. When first using your new brake pads, you should try to avoid stopping too quickly or using the brakes harshly. 

Following this, you can try to drive a speed of around 35 miles per hour, and gently to moderately apply pressure to your brakes. Bring your car down to a slow speed, but do not stop your vehicle completely. 

Try doing this for around 6-10 times to break in your brake pads. You should also try to stop the car to allow the brakes to cool for them to work properly.

Why are my brakes making so much noise?

If you find that when you are breaking, you hear a loud noise, or feel any resistance, you should take your car to a professional mechanic or car garage to be checked. 

Squeaking, squealing or screeching noises when braking can mean that your brakes are failing and you should have your braking system checked for your own safety.

It can also mean that your brake pads simply need replacing, which is relatively inexpensive, especially if you purchase your own!

What does brake fade mean?

Generally speaking, brake fade is the reaction when your brakes have absorbed too much heat in order to function.

If your brakes get too hot, then they will not be able to generate any more friction.

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