The brakes are one of the most important aspect of your car’s safety system. Just think — it can be annoying when you need new tires or you need a new car battery, but it is a huge problem when the brakes are not working.
Fortunately, the brakes rarely stall but when you require brake repair, pads and rotors can siphon cash from your wallet if you continue to choose the wrong materials. When it’s time to change your brakes, stop and consider what will work best for your vehicle, and what’s economically viable for you.
More than 30% of auto manufacturers today equip their cars with ceramic brake pads. Of course, every situation doesn’t call for you to swap into ceramic pads. You have the positives and the negatives.
Squealing screeching brakes generally come from one of two sources. First, the brake pads are supplied with a metal tab, located on one side of the brake pads that warns you when the pads are thin and it is time for some form of brake repair. The other reason that the brakes squeal is not quite as simple, and is due to the materials used.
Making Brake Repair More Efficient
Traditionally, brake pads materials contained asbestos. Obviously today, asbestos has been replaced from the pads due to all the health problems. Now, semi-metallic and ceramic pads are used. You can easily point out cars with semi-metallic pads because you notice that the front wheels are dirtier than the rear wheels. This is due to dust that accumulates from semi-metallic pads.
The advantage is semi-metallic pads are relatively inexpensive; however, they can be noisy. They also allow more brake dust to accumulate on the wheels compared to other types of materials. Most car enthusiasts frown on dirty wheels and brake dust can certainly be a challenge if you try to keep the wheels shiny.
Another advantage of using ceramic pads for your brake repair is that ceramic pads dissipate heat exceptionally well, much better than semi-metallic pads. This improves performance because your pads won’t wear down so quickly.
In general, ceramic brake pads cost more but they are a heck of lot quieter, and they produce less pollutants and are eco-friendly. Ceramic pads also extend the life of your discs. The ceramic pads also can easily replace standard brake pads during your brake service servicing, for both the front and rear axles.
Typically, high performance cars have been using ceramic pads because they are usually driven much harder than your average family sedan. This is changing because even the family sedan has become much more sophisticated today. So it is worth the extra money on ceramic brake pads that stop you faster and does not wear down as quickly.
The Real Cost of Ceramic and Semi-Metallic
Chances are your car is equipped with semi-metallic brake pads. It is not just pure steel, they are carefully designed combinations of resins and fibers that are mixed then developed into a brake pad.
- Ceramics are much less expensive, and for older models cars, they are durable. They offer adequate performance and they do the job of transferring the heat from the friction between the brake pads and discs.
- Semi-metallic pads are heavier than ceramic brake pads, which can slightly reduce the fuel consumption of your car. As they are harder than ceramic, they also cause more wear and tear to the brake discs which means they must be replaced more often.
Overall, ceramic brake pads reduce the costs of brake repair, but every situation is different, so it pays to asks before buying new brakes.