There is nothing worse when driving than having very loud brake pads. Sure, a person wants amazing performance, the ability to stop without any issues and more, but if they are noisy, it’s still going to be incredibly annoying.
The good news is, manufacturers, understand this very well. They have spent a lot of time, money and research to make brake pads quieter than ever in vehicles.
From a consumer perspective, it still might seem a little overwhelming when looking for the right brake pads. That’s why it is important to know what different options are available, and how much is reasonable to spend.
The Best Brake Pads For Different Uses
It’s time to upgrade a current set up of brake pads, opting for something that will provide noticeable benefits. Since different brake pads make the most sense for different situations, here are some common scenarios for people to consider.
Best Quiet Brake Pads for a Daily Drive
These simple, effective brake pads are everything a person could ask for when using for daily drives.
They last a very long time, are extremely clean and allow for a custom fit. Some people will know to replace their current brakes and install these, while others will need to make an appointment.
For a lot of people, the price is something that makes this truly special. It can be tough for some people to spend a lot of money, but these are one of the most affordable ceramic brake pads out there.
They are going to be able to really stand up and do a lot of heavy-duty stuff, but those who do daily commute won’t need that anyway.
Best Quiet Brake Pads for Performance Driving
Whether a person wants to focus on racing on a track or get the most out of their performance vehicle on the road, these brake pads do everything a person could ask for.
They provide carbon and ceramic formula that allows for the best braking power possible. Drivers will be able to stop on a dime if anything comes up, and they are always ready to perform at a high-level.
They are somewhat expensive, but performance drivers should be investing in just the right brake pads more than anyone else. It’s more than just keeping things as quiet as possible.
While these are very quiet in operation, they are mostly known for providing a good amount of safety for all drivers. When going at speed approaching or going over 100 MPH, dependable brakes are essential.
Best Break Pads for Heavy-Duty Use
Whether a person has a utility vehicle, a truck or something else, braking with these heavy-duty vehicles is a challenge at times. Hawk Superduty Brake Pads are affordable, very quiet and perform at a very high-level.
The best part is, the brake pads are made to fit a specific vehicle every single time. This means that the composite pair material will last significantly longer than a more generic set up.
There are way too many brake options that simply do not take the extra time for a customized fit. If that happens to be the case, try looking elsewhere.
The History of Modern Brake Pads
One of the biggest modern advancements of brake pads happened in the 1950s when disc brakes became popular for the first time. These breaks use calipers to squeeze pads on both sides of a wheel, and many people thought this was far and away from the most efficient wait for vehicles to break.
Unfortunately, there was a flaw in the system, as asbestos became the most used brake pad material in the business. At the time, asbestos was looked at as a material that could survive for a long time and work in many different conditions, but it later was determined that it was a serious health hazard.
Companies soon scrambled to find some options that would work best for brake pads on different types of vehicles. People were very used to asbestos being relatively inexpensive, so the material couldn’t cost too much.
Three different types of pads soon developed post asbestos. They include organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic. There are pros and cons of all three, and a lot of it depends on exactly what a person is looking for.
Organic brake pads
It’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what makes up organic brake pads for the most part. They are a combination of many different types of material, ranging from carbon to glass. Everything is mixed together with resins so that it becomes a very durable, well-put-together pad.
Organic brake pads are the most common options out there today. Roughly 2 out of every 3 cars have organic brake pads installed, and they do a very good job of performing well and staying quiet.
The pros of organic brake pads
- Soft on brake rotors, keeping things quiet
- Low manufacturing cost
- Safe to use in different environments, every single day
- Limits dust buildup
The cons of organic brake pads
- Struggle to perform at high levels outside of ideal temperature range
- Short lifespan compared to other options
- Lose brake powder when overheated
- Virtually impossible to use in any type of performance driving
All in all, organic brake pads are largely considered to be the safe choice for people to go with. They do everything very well for the average driver, but they don’t blow a lot of users away.
From a sound perspective, they do a pretty good job staying relatively silent, as long as they stay in the ideal temperature range. Once it gets out of that range, the brakes can start performing at the same level, and they can also prove to be fairly noisy.
Semi-metallic brake pads
As the name implies, a decent percentage of each brake pad contains a few different metals such as steel, copper, and iron. These metal fibers combine with friction modifiers and fillers to create pads that work very well.
There are different thickness options for people investing in semi-metallic brake pads, and they all provide advantages when controlling heat. For the right thickness, talk to an expert on brake pads before purchasing.
It’s important to draw heat away from the road or at certain times. It helps keep the brake pads in great shape and functioning the right way. If the brakes are functioning well, they are going to stay relatively quiet.
Yes, semi-metallic brakes are indeed going to be the noisiest out of the three major types of brake pads, but there are ways to control the sound and make them as efficient as possible.
Pros of Semi-metallic brake pads
- Best overall braking performance
- Works well in any weather or temperature
- Different compounds allow for different uses, ranging from daily driving to track racing
Cons of Semi-metallic brake pads
- The noisiest brake pads out of the three
- Brake dust can be problematic at times
- Brake rotors wear quickly due to abrasive pads
Some people believe that semi-metallic brake pads are the best options out there, mostly because of versatility. It is expected to pay quite a bit more than standard organic pads, but it is something to consider.
People who get the most out of semi-metallic brake pads are those who tow a lot of heavy things, race their vehicle or struggle with brake pads warming up properly. Anyone who lives in really cold or really warm locations should give them a try.
Ceramic Brake Pads
While organic and semi-metallic brake pads of been around for a while, ceramic brake pads are still relatively new. They are created by using ceramic material and embedding copper fibers to get the right set up.
Technically speaking, this makes them semi-metallic as well, but the main material used is ceramic. Think of the pads as having a pretty dense, thick feel to the touch, while being just soft enough for consistent use.
This might be the best option for those people who want a silent pad that performs at a high-level. It does a great job of controlling noise levels and making people feel comfortable overall.
Since around the 1980s, they have gained quite a bit of popularity. The major drawback is the cost of these brake pads, but some people feel like it is worth the investment if they simply can’t deal with noisy brakes.
Pros of ceramic brake pads
- The quietest brake pads a person can purchase
- Creates a minimal amount of brake dust, which keeps the wheels cleaner in the long run
- Last longer than any other brake pads
- Can handle different temperatures and weather fairly easily
Cons of ceramic brake pads
- more expensive
- Struggles a bit with extremely cold climates
- Not built for heavy-duty use
If a lot of people are looking for an alternative to organic brake pads, they are consistently debating between ceramic and semi-metallic brake options. Semi-metallic or more of a performance-based type of brake pad, and might not make as much sense as ceramic to a lot of people.
For the average driver, ceramic brake pads can just make life a lot easier, even if they do cost a decent amount of money. For most people, spending more money for more peace of mind is just fine.
Best Way to Decide Between the Different Types of Brake Pads?
When going through all the pros and cons, what a person should be examining is what is most important to them.
For some people, it is finding the best option to control noise every time the brakes are used. For others, they want to control noise, but they also need to perform tasks daily without it becoming too complicated.
Are There Any Ways to Make Existing Brake Pads Quieter?
The best way to make brake pads quieter that is already installed on a vehicle is to take good care of them. A lot of people overlook brake pad maintenance, but it can go along way towards reducing the sound.
Some people feel like pads can get extremely noisy in a hurry, and they don’t understand why that is the case. Sometimes, the material will harden up a bit, and dust can get in the way as well.
If a person doesn’t feel comfortable examining their brake pads and seeing if they can identify the issue, the next step is to go ahead and schedule an appointment with a mechanic. They might be able to find what is causing the noise issues, and whether it can be fixed or forced to be replaced.
Ideally, no one likes having to replace their brakes consistently. By spending a little bit more money for something other than organic brake pads, there is a good chance that they will end up paying for themselves because they will have a longer life.
Why are Brakes Noisier in the Morning?
If the brakes are particularly noisy when the car is first driven for the day, the good news is that it might just be surface rust scraping off the rotors. It tends to go away after just a few minutes, and although it sounds terrible at first, it is really nothing to worry about too much.
If it becomes longer and longer, then that could be a serious issue. No one wants to have noisy brakes, as it makes a person feel like everyone is looking at them when they are driving down the road.
These morning noises are something that most people just have to deal with because even brand new brake pads have a chance of doing the same thing in a short amount of time.
Investing in a Quieter Solution
Functional breaks are important, and quiet brakes can make a car sound so much better. It’s not fun to be stared at because the car is making too much noise, and the squeaks and squeals can touch a nerve with some drivers.
At the end of the day, new brake pads don’t cost that much money in comparison to the rest of the car. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money for a worthy upgrade. For the best majority of people, a ceramic brake pad option will be far superior in the end.
Some luxury vehicles are even coming with them installed because organic brake pads simply aren’t getting the job done like in the past. Too many people have complained about how noisy they can be, and it’s just too much to handle.