Published on January 20th, 2023 | by Sunit Nandi


Brake Pad Buying Guide: An Expert’s Take

Driving around with worn out brake pads or brake rotors is a dangerous thing and that’s why drivers are always advised to assess their brake pads from time to time whether they suspect them to be faulty or not. Any number o things can happen to your brake pads rendering them unsafe and most of the time, doing an assessment will at least save you the worries when you most need the brakes. You are likely to find debris, dust, rocks, or even hardened mud hampering your brakes. At worst, you may find that your brake pads are hanging on to dear life and the assessment could have potentially saved your life. However, most people don’t know a thing about changing brake pads let alone buying them. This article will serve as a guide to help you in upgrading your most vital safety feature in your car.

How To Tell When It’s Time To Change Your Brake Pads

Your car will give you indicators that your braking system is not working properly. You may have noticed a shrill sound from some cars and this is one of the most common indicators. Other things to look out for are failure to brake adequately, which you can tell by how long it takes for your car to stop once you apply the brakes. The best thing to do in such a situation is to apply the emergency brakes and seek a replacement of your brake pads and brake rotors immediately. Other cars produce a grinding sound and this shows that the friction material on the brake pads have long been worn out.

Choosing the Best Brake Pad Material

The types of brake pads in the market vary based on the material they are made from. There are steel, ceramic, semi metal and organic brake pads and all these have different applications for different vehicles and terrains. Steel brake pads are the most common and your car will likely come with stock steel brake pads. You can always change your front brake pads if you feel the material is not the right one for you. Though steel brake pads are the cheapest they are not the best and that’s why you will find high end cars with ceramic brake pads.

Are Semi Metallic Brake Pads any Better?

Semi-metallic brake pads are the next best option if you are on a budget. They consist of about 35-65% metal and the other material could be rubber or any other highly frictional material. You can find these mostly in mid-range vehicles that travel in both off road and highway terrains. Some drivers install semi metallic brake pads during winter since they don’t get stuck and you won’t need to warm up your car first. However, they break easier than steel brake pads due to the composite material’s inability to withstand intense pressure and heat.


Whatever material your brake pads are made of, it’s important to maintain them properly by driving carefully and installing the right size based on the weight of your vehicle.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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