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Brake pads are one of the most important parts of your car. They work by creating friction while pressing against the brake rotors to slow down your vehicle. They wear over time, so to ensure your safety on the road it’s best to replace them before they go bad. Dealerships will try to charge you a lot of money to replace them, but there are less expensive alternatives online. Here are the best brake pads available online — prices vary depending on the make, model and year of your vehicle
$78.49 at Amazon
- Thermal scorched pad surface
- Premium stainless steel shims
- No brake noise
- Includes brake grease and steel hardware kit
- Low brake dust buildup
- Not recommended for track use
The Power Stop Front Extreme Performance Carbon-Ceramic Brake Pads are great for muscle cars. They have a thermal scorched pad surface for a fast break-in period and chamfered slots to limit brake noise. The upgraded powder coat backing plate resists corrosion and rust. These brake pads also come with brake grease and a stainless steel hardware kit.
$115.89 at Amazon
- Ferro-carbon formula
- Gentle on the rotors
- Low noise
- Higher-resistance to brake fading
- Less brake dust
These Hawk Performance brake pads are made with a ferro-carbon formula. They are built with a high performance street brake compound that increases stopping power and has a higher resistance to brake fading. They are virtually noise-free and are gentle on the brake rotors. They offer high friction in hot and cold conditions.
$45.66 at Amazon
- Premium noise-dampening shims
- Integrally molded
- Stamped backing plate
- Compatible with most makes and models
These ACDelco Gold Semi-Metallic brake pads are integrally molded with friction material on the backing plate for extra bond integrity. The stamped backing plate makes it easier to move the pad within the caliber assembly and reduces noise, brake vibrations and wear. These brake pads are backed by General Motors but suitable for vehicles from other manufacturers as well.
$31.88 at Amazon
- Reduces noise and vibration
- High-quality stainless steel
- Balanced friction
- OE style lubricant included
- Compatible with all vehicle types
These Wagner Brake pads are formulated to suit the unique requirements of each vehicle application. They feature a zero-copper friction formula that will provide high performance throughout the life of the pad. This product includes OE style lubricant and stainless-steel hardware.
$27.41 at Amazon
- Advanced ceramic friction formula
- Rubber-core multilayer shim
- Increased strength and noise insulation
- Protective transfer layer
- Powder-coated backing plate
- Includes a pre-installed wear indicator
Bosch uses an advanced ceramic friction formula featuring the same aluminum-based alloy used in aerospace engineering. The rubber core shims increase stopping power, decrease noise and resist corrosion. The protective transfer layer increases durability while prolonging the longevity of the pads and rotors.
$59.00 at Tire Rack
- Thermal-scorched pad surface
- Brake dust reduction
- Minimizes braking distance
- Multilayer ESE
- Additional noise dampening
- Compatible with a wide range of vehicles
Brembo brake pads can be found on many high-performance vehicles, but they can be suitable for regular vehicles as well. Each brake pad is thermally-scorched in order to lessen fading. The Multilayer ESE (Elastomer – Steel – Elastomer) red shim dampens noise and vibrations. The backing plate provides additional brake noise reduction while acting as a heat shield to reduce heat transfer to the calipers.
How often should brake pads be replaced?
According to Bridgestone Tire, brake pads can last 30,000 to 35,000 miles from city driving. They may last up to 80,000 miles or more from mostly highway driving. If you take your car to the track, they may need to be replaced often.
Are ceramic brake pads better than semi-metallic?
Ceramic brakes last longer than semi-metallic brakes on average. Ceramics are also better at limiting noise and require less maintenance.
Ceramic vs carbon-ceramic brakes
Carbon-ceramic brake pads are the best brake pads for track use. They offer the most friction, stopping power and have the shortest braking distance. Ceramic brakes are best for daily driving. They can perform well at low temperatures while carbon ceramics may struggle. Ceramic brakes are pretty quiet while carbon ceramic brakes tend to squeak often when slowing down.