(Updated on October 17, 2019)
Brake pads may be small components of your braking system, but they are very important components. Without functional brake pads, they would not be able to adequately create the friction against your brake rotors that allow your vehicle to slow down.
This means that you will likely get into an accident and cause all kinds of problems for yourself and someone else. Therefore, it is always crucial to have the best brake pads for your vehicle’s braking system.
What you may not realize is that there are different types of brake pads available on the auto market. The two most common types of brake pads are metallic and ceramic. Each one has their pros and cons, depending on the type of vehicle that you are driving and various other factors.
To get a clear picture of which brake pads are right for you, compare each one and see for yourself if metallic or ceramic brake pads are better for you.
Ceramic Brake Pads
You can probably guess that ceramic material is used to make ceramic brake pads. Ceramic is the same material used to make plates, dishes, pots, and other forms of pottery. The only difference is that ceramic brake pads are much more durable in comparison to ceramic pottery.
The reason for this has to do with the fine copper fibers which have been embedded into the ceramic brake pads. These fibers can preserve the life of the brake pads because they are heat resistant. That way, they can create friction without the pads becoming overheated or destroyed.
Here are the pros and cons of ceramic brake pads.
Pros of Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads cause much less noise in comparison to metallic brake pads because they are not as abrasive. This takes a lot of stress off the brake discs, which means they will last longer too.
Most importantly, ceramic brake pads are more resistant to heat which also preserves the life of your brakes too.
Cons of Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads cost more money than metallic brake pads. Since they don’t cause as much friction against the spinning brake discs, the ability to slow down or stop the vehicle will take a little longer with ceramic brake pads.
If you are driving a big vehicle like a truck or SUV, then you shouldn’t use ceramic brake pads for those. The stopping power will be even worse for them.
Metallic or Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
Metallic brake pads are not actually 100% metal, but they are comprised of mostly metal materials. There are different variations of metallic brake pads which could have as little as 30% metals or up to 70% metals.
The types of metals you can expect to find in these brake pads include composite alloys, steel, copper, and/or iron. Filler materials like graphite lubricant are also used to mold the brake pad into its final form.
Here are the pros and cons of metallic brake pads.
Pros of Metallic Brake Pads
Metallic brake pads are cheaper and more affordable than ceramic brake pads. They even do a better job of slowing down the vehicle because they are more aggressive against the brake discs.
If you are driving a big vehicle like an SUV or truck, metallic brake pads are the best brake pads to have.
Cons of Metallic Brake Pads
Because of the metal materials, metallic brake pads create more noise as they’re in operation. And, although their abrasiveness does a better job of slowing down the vehicle, it also wears down the brakes a lot faster.
This means that you will be replacing your metallic brake pads much sooner than you would with ceramic brake pads. Some people even notice black dust being generated from metallic brake pads too.