Stopping is the most important thing about driving. Brakes are what make that happen. Brake pads are what stop your truck or car and also have to become maintained frequently. A brake job is fairly uncomplicated procedure and something that most anyone can do with basic tools. At the same time most shops will change and check pads everything about your brakes for around $60 bucks. No matter which route you will go, don’t fudge on brake maintenance. Ah! But how do you know when it’s time for brake maintenance if you’re not having any problems? The pad manufacturers have come up with a cool way to let you know by installing “squealers” on every set of brake pads. This is a soft metal wear indicator that rubs against the brake rotor when your pads are getting thin to alert you that it’s time for brake maintenance. So when you apply the brakes and you hear a squealing sound it’s time to make an appointment with your favorite shop or put a brake job on your list of things to do. Preferably near the top. Other signs that your brakes need attention are pulling to one side or the other when stopping, grabbing or vibrating when stopping, and the brake pedal being softer than normal to depress. A grinding sound means that new pads are overdue and damage is being caused to the rotor.
Knowing that you need brake pads is the first step, deciding what type to install is second. But what are pads? Steel baking plates with friction causing material bonded on the surface and facing the brake rotor. When you apply the brakes, these pads are pushed to the drum or rotor and become heated converting the kinetic energy of the vehicle to thermal energy through friction. This will cause the pad to transfer small quantities of friction material on the drum or rotor. The brake rotor and disk will stick with one another and give stopping power.
You will find four main kinds of brake pads; semi-metallic, , ceramic, non-asbestos organic and low-metallic NAO.
Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
Semi-metallic brake pads are made from a mix of 30 to 65 percent metal and usually include chopped steel wool, iron powder, and copper or graphite mixed with fillers. The components are bonded together with friction modifiers. This kind of pad is really durable and it has excellent heat transfer abilities. The downside of this type is that they wear your rotors down quickly, are a bit noisier than others and don’t always work well in colder temperatures.
Non- Asbestos Organic
Non- Asbestos Organic This type of brake pad is made from glass, rubber, carbon and Kevlar fibers bound together with fillers and high-temperature resins, These pads are softer and quieter but typically wear faster and make more brake dust that you should clean off your rims.
Low-Metallic NAO These pads are manufactured from a natural formula combined with 10 to 30 % of copper or steel to obtain good heat transfer and give better braking. Although you get better breaking, because of the metal that is added, you get more break dust and they tend to be slightly noisier.
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic Brake Pads These pads are composed of ceramic fibers, nonferrous filler materials, bonding agents and sometimes small amounts of metal. They are lighter in color, therefore cleaner. They are quieter but, also more expensive. This type of pad offers excellent braking with they least wear to the rotors of all types.
Which of the four is the best? It depends on your individual circumstances. Type of car, driving habits, climate, and a host of other things. No one type of brake pad is better until you factor in all these elements. Most manufacturers offer a range of pads for each application, but consumers shouldn’t be fooled into believing it’s always a good better best choice. You won’t necessarily be safer with the most expensive replacement pad. The conventional pad, should fulfill the demands of ordinary driving. If you tow heavy loads, live in a mountainous area, or carry lots of passengers you should consider upgraded or heavy duty pads. You may sacrifice a little noise and smoothness. Sound like trial and error? It is. You have to try different pads until you find the type you prefer.