Replacing worn brake pads isn’t just a vital safety measure—it’s an inexpensive way to prevent pricey repairs. Worn brake pads give an early warning with a high-pitched metallic squeal. Grinding or a change in pedal feel means the pad surface has worn away, creating an unsafe situation where stopping power is reduced while other brake system components wear down. Continuing to drive in this scenario can lead to costly brake caliper replacement or even a dangerous broken rotor.
The best brake pads have long service life, minimal noise, and no dust build-up on your wheels. Plus they provide strong braking performance without compromising pedal feel. If you’ve decided it’s time to replace them yourself, check out our top picks for the best brake pads money can buy right now.
Best Brake Pads Reviewed For Personal Cars
Brake pads are the most important, and arguably the easiest, part of your car’s brake system to change. As time passes, they wear down and need to be replaced. You can do this yourself or take your car to an automotive shop or dealership. The part is usually cheap and easy to come by. But how do you know which ones are right for you?
We’ve done the research and figured it out so that you don’t have to.
The best brake pads are those that effectively stop your vehicle, last a long time and are quiet. Brake pads should be replaced when they’re worn down, so it’s important to know what to look for when buying new ones. Here are the factors to consider when choosing brake pads:
Type of brake pad: Beside the general categories of organic and semi-metallic, there are many types of organic and semi-metallic brake pads. They vary in composition, which can affect their softness and strength.
Composition: Brake pads are made from different materials with varying degrees of performance. Organic brake pads offer quieter braking but aren’t as durable as their semi-metallic counterparts. Semi-metallic brake pads produce more stopping power, but they tend to be noisier and don’t last as long as organic brake pads.
Durability: All brake pads wear down over time, but the rate at which they do varies between types. Ceramic brake pads usually last longer than others because they produce less dust and have a strong resistance to heat so they’re less likely to warp.
Performance: Stronger braking requires more aggressive stopping power from your vehicle’s brakes, so harder.
Innovations in brake pad materials and design make it possible to find a balance between the two.
The best brake pads offer the stopping power and reliability of “organic” pads with the long life and quiet operation of “semi-metallic” pads.
If you’re looking for an upgrade, this guide gives you all the information you need on how to choose the best brake pads for your car or truck.
We’ll start with some basic information about brake pad types and materials, then we’ll jump into our top recommendations in each category.