You Have Choices: How To Choose Brake Parts

Brake parts — the pads, in particular — are among the most frequently replaced parts of any vehicle. This is because brake pads tend to wear on a regular basis, depending on how frequently you drive your vehicle and a few other factors.

Choosing brake parts can be a difficult part of auto repair for many people. This is because many people are unaware that they have a wide range of choices to choose from when they need to replace their brake parts.

Bonded or Riveted

This refers to the manner in which the friction material is attached to the metal backing plate. The friction material can either be bonded or attached using rivets. In terms of performance, there is no clear winner in this case.

When the friction material is attached using rivets, the brakes will produce a squealing noise when they're worn down to the rivets, necessitating you to replace them. Although the bonded materials will last slightly longer, this also increases the likelihood of ruining your drums or rotors since they can wear down to the backing plate.

Consider Your Driving Needs

It's important to choose brakes based on the environment in which you drive in and your driving habits. For example, driving in mountainous areas means you'll be using the brakes often. Driving in a hot climate means that the brakes can overheat quite quickly. Such factors should be remembered when going through your brake pad options.

Different Types of Brake Pad Material

There are four main types of brake pad materials. These are:

  1. Organic: Organic material may come with some cars, and this helps to ensure the other brake parts last. However, the braking performance isn't very good when pulling a trailer or when they're wet.

  2. Semi-Metallic: Composites of soft metals are in the friction material to improve braking

  3. Fully Metallic: These cost more but offer better braking performance. However, they wear the drums/rotors much faster.

  4. Ceramic: This material is much more expensive, but it offers excellent performance and has a long lifespan. Additionally, ceramic brakes handle both high temperatures and wet conditions quite well.

Semi-metallic pads are a good all-around choice and will be adequate for regular driving conditions.

Consider the Braking System as a Whole

It's not enough to have the best brake pads if the entire system is not as effective. When replacing the pads, consider whether the characteristics of the pads are in line with those of the rest of the system. Contact an auto care company like Benchmark Motors INC to learn more.