More About Brake Pads
Brake pads are composed of friction material and a backing plate. The brake pads are pressed against a brake disc when the brakes are applied. That creates friction between the disc and brake pad, which converts the rotational energy of the wheel and brake disc to heat and brings the vehicle to a stop. Even in normal use, brake pads wear and must be replaced.
Amazon.com sells brake pads to fit most vehicles sold in the United States that are equipped with disc brakes. Brake pads differ in the type of friction material used. Brake pads made with organic materials are standard equipment on some vehicles. Organic brake pads are quiet and run clean, but wear rapidly and can lose effectiveness when hot. Semi-metallic brake pads are another choice. Semi-metallic brake pads resist brake fade when hot and offer long wear, but can be noisy and may leave black powder on the wheels. Ceramic brake pads are made with a mix of ceramic compounds and metal fibers. Ceramic brake pads are quieter than semi-metallic brake pads, wear well, and generate minimal dust. They are usually more expensive than other brake pad types.
Some disc brake systems have a metal tab on the brake pad that touches the disc and makes noise when the brake pads are worn. Other disc brake systems may have a warning light. Regular inspections of brake pad material are highly recommended, and when brake noise increases, service should be performed immediately.
When replacing brake pads, the brake discs should be resurfaced or replaced. If the discs are worn beyond limits or cracked, the discs must be replaced. Make sure you know the year, brand and model of your vehicle before ordering brake pads or other brake system replacement parts. Click the Part Finder link at the top of this page to locate the right brake pads for your vehicle.