As you may know, the braking system on your car or truck relies on hydraulic action to transfer the pressure created when you hit the brakes to each road wheel simultaneously. The hydraulic fluid pushes a pair of brake pads against each individual disc, and this brings the car gradually to a halt. Yet, did you know that there are various different types of brake pad and that you need to know which is best for your specific type of vehicle?
In essence, there are four distinct categories of brake pad, and they are usually designed for different "styles" of driving.
For example, semi-metallic brake pads are typically designed for use on racing, rally or high-performance vehicles. They are made from friction material, but they can contain as much as 65% metal, and this is what makes them very durable under extreme conditions. They're not very good on a standard car in passive conditions, as they won't function very well when the temperature is low. Yet if you do have a high-performance vehicle and consider yourself to be an aggressive driver, then these may be the option for you.
However, if you're really serious about your driving and may even take part in some amateur sport on the weekend, then you may like to consider fitting ceramic pads. These are probably the most expensive type of pad, and they will last longer than the semi-metallic. You can expect them to produce less brake dust and less noise even during heavy operation.
Most cars on the road today will be fitted with some form of organic pad. The low-metallic version tends to produce quite a lot of brake dust and can be noisy. They are very efficient, however, and can deal with high temperatures quite easily due to the steel and copper content within.
Fully organic, non-asbestos brakes are something of a compromise. The friction material will include a mixture of rubber, glass, Kevlar and fibre, but once again, expect your alloy wheels to be covered with a lot of black dust as these pads wear down.
Best for You
If you do a lot of driving and don't like too much dust or may like a little more performance from your system, then consider upgrading to ceramic instead. You will need to talk with your component supplier to get the right type of upgrade for your particular vehicle.
Learn more about brakes, such as Renault brake pads, from an auto parts supplier.