What Are the Different Types of Brake Pads?

What Are the Different Types of Brake Pads

Table of Contents

Here’s a breakdown of the most common brake pad materials, each with its unique properties:

  • Semi-Metallic Brake Pads:
    • Composition: A blend of 30-65% metal (copper, steel wool, iron) combined with organic fibers and resins.
    • Strengths: Durable, provide excellent stopping power, handle high temperatures well (ideal for towing or sporty driving).
    • Weaknesses: Can generate more noise and brake dust compared to other types.
  • Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO) Brake Pads:
    • Composition: Comprised primarily of organic materials like rubber, glass fibers, and Kevlar. (Note: Asbestos was used in the past but is no longer due to health risks)
    • Strengths: Environmentally friendly, quiet operation, gentle on rotors.
    • Weaknesses: Lower wear resistance, less suitable for demanding driving conditions.
  • Ceramic Brake Pads:
    • Composition: A combination of ceramic fibers, fillers, and copper flakes.
    • Strengths: Provide clean operation with minimal dust, offer good stopping power at moderate temperatures.
    • Weaknesses: Generally more expensive than other options, may not perform as well in extreme braking situations.

Additional Considerations: Low-Metallic NAO Brake Pads

A subcategory of NAO pads, these contain a lower percentage of metal content (typically less than 30%) for a balance between noise reduction and stopping power. They are suitable for everyday driving.

Choosing the Right Brake Pads for Your Car

The ideal brake pad choice depends on your driving habits and vehicle type:

  • Daily errands and highway driving: Standard NAO or low-metallic NAO pads offer a good balance.
  • Performance driving or towing: Opt for semi-metallic pads for their superior stopping power and heat resistance.
  • Noise reduction and environmental concerns: Consider ceramic pads for a quieter ride and cleaner operation.

Pro Tip: Refer to your car’s owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations on brake pad types.

Maintaining Your Brake Pads for Optimal Performance

Regular brake inspections (every 12,000 to 25,000 miles) are crucial. When replacing pads, ensure they are compatible with your vehicle’s braking system. Avoid aggressive braking habits, which can accelerate pad wear.

By understanding the different types of brake pads and their functionalities, you can make informed decisions to ensure your car’s safety and optimal braking performance. Remember, safe driving starts with a well-maintained vehicle!


To choose the right brake pad for your car, enter the pad category from the products section and get your ideal brake pad from Segal.