Brake Pads 101

It’s important for everyone to know a little bit about brake pads because they are a high priority maintenance item for your car or truck. We at Bring Your Own Parts wanted to help people out with some of the basics.

What are Brake Pads?

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Wikipedia’s definition of brake pads

Most modern vehicles use the disc brake system, so chances are if your vehicle is 90’s or later, it will have disc brakes. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid moves through the brake lines into the caliper and forces the brake pads into contact with the brake rotors. The friction produced from this contact causes your vehicle to slow down. Brake pads are made of various materials that are strong enough to stop you but are meant to wear over time and not damage your rotors.

Brake Pad Types

Organic, Semi-Metallic and Ceramic

Organic brake pads are made from various plant fibers or glass materials. They are less likely to warp or damage rotors due to their softness. They are some of the fastest wearing brake pads and produce brake dust but are generally quieter than pads with metal.

Semi-metallic pads are similar to organic but they include some metal material in the pads to induce greater friction. They can be noisier than organic, but have a longer life. Depending on the amount of metal included in the pads (semi v. low), they can have reduced stopping power in extremely low temperatures. Luckily, something we don’t have to worry about too much in San Antonio.

Ceramic pads are composed of copper and various ceramic materials like clay and porcelain. These pads provide great protection against wear and, due to their inclusion of metal fibers, have great stopping ability as well. They take longer than semi metallic pads to heat up. They are extremely quiet and produce very little brake dust in comparison to other pad types.

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From How Stuff Works


Brake Pad Replacement Cost

It depends on where you have it done and what type of brake pads you have installed, but it can run anywhere from $100-$220 per axle. “Per axle” means that the service will include both wheels, front or rear. It is never advisable to change just one side of an axle at a time because uneven braking on either side could cause steering issues, i.e. pulling to one side under braking.

On the Bring Your Own Parts homepage, you can find an internet-only special for brake pad installation. Scroll through the photos at the top of the page.

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