Our technicians at Bowers Automotive are the best source of reliable advice for all vehicle-related matters. This week we bring you a guide on, how do I choose the right brake pads?
There are many different types of brake pads available for your car or truck. Most drivers will rely on their mechanic to choose appropriate brake pads, but it’s always a good idea to have basic knowledge about the parts needed for your vehicle.
A variety of different materials are used to make brake pads, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages. Brake pads made from organic composites are usually the cheapest available; however, they do not perform well when wet. It is unwise to choose these brake pads if your need to pull a trailer or do a lot of heavy downhill braking. Semi-metallic brake pads offer higher resistance than the organic ones and better performance in most conditions. If you must drive regularly in wet or snowy weather, these would be a better option than organic brake pads.
Fully metallic brake pads are tough wearing and will last considerably longer than either of the previous types mentioned. They are also more expensive. Ceramic brake pads are the costliest variety, but they offer the best overall performance, even when wet and extremely hot. If you plan to be putting a lot of stress on your brakes by driving on mountain roads with steep declines or pulling extra loads, you may want to consider investing in ceramic brake pads. They will provide consistently reliable braking under heavy use for the longest amount of time.
Brake pads vary in both their material and installation. You can buy brake pads riveted to the brake backing plate. The sturdy metal rivets will keep the brake pads firmly in place, but as the softer material eventually wears down over time, the rivets will encounter the brake rotor disc and make a loud screeching noise.
The other method of securing the brake pads is by directly bonding them using a strong adhesive. With either method, a clear signal telling you that it is time to change your brake pads will be the grinding sound of metal on metal.
Choosing the right brake pads involves thinking about your driving patterns, the weather conditions, and your budget. Somebody who drives an average car in a dry climate with little incline or decline may be able to use organic brake pads. Someone in a wetter climate who frequently gets stuck in traffic jams and uses their vehicle to tow a trailer will be better off with high-performance brake pads.
No matter what you choose, remember to be aware of the longevity of your brakes and listen out for grinding or squealing noises. Delaying getting your brake pads changed means that your brake rotor disc or drum will get worn down and possibly require a costlier replacement.
If you are unsure about the timing of changing your brake pads or choosing the right type, please feel free to contact Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs. We are always ready to help our clients when they ask the question, how do I choose the right brake pads? Of course, we’ll also provide expert installs and repairs. Contact us today.