Selecting The Right Brake Pads For Your Car

When a car needs to have its brake pads replaced, it's common to just take the car into the repair shop and have the mechanic select the brake pads. You may not be aware that you actually can select the material that the brake pads are made out of. Here is what you need to know about selecting between brake pads made out of semi-metallic or ceramic materials.

Semi-Metallic Pads

If you do not specify with your mechanic what kind of brake pads you want, chances are that they'll select the semi-metallic material. The brake pad material is constructed with a resin that is embedded with small metal fibers made out of graphite, copper, steel, or iron. The metal fiber sizes are what determines the price of the brake pad. A coarse fiber will be cheaper than a fine fiber, with the difference being that a coarse fiber brake pad can wear down the rotor faster.

Semi-metallic pads will work fine in all kinds of temperatures and driving conditions, which makes them a great choice for pulling a heavy load behind your car or in an area with steep terrain. The pad is effective even if it has not been warmed up, and is not prone to failing when they get very hot, such as braking while driving down a slope.

A semi-metallic pad can be noisy compared to other pads, and can create dust that will coat your car's wheel and brake surfaces. Thankfully, the dust will wash off, and it doesn't affect the performance of your brakes.

Ceramic Pads

A ceramic brake pad uses a mixture of ceramic and non-metallic fibers that are in a resin. They cost more than semi-metallic brake pads, but do not create dust or noise when using them. Consider getting ceramic pads if you own a nice luxury car in an area where you have normal city driving conditions.

Ceramic pads will wear down slower than semi-metallic pads, but will put more wear and tear on your rotors. It's a good idea to have brake inspections done more often if you have ceramic pads. The material also performs better after they have been warmed up, which does not make them ideal in cold climates. The ceramic pads also can become weak when they get really hot, which is why they should not be used on cars that pull trailers or go up and down steep roads.

Now that you know more about brake pads, you can select the material that will best fit the needs of your car. Contact a company like Terwood Auto Repair for more information.