Are Ceramic Brake Pads Better Than Metallic

The debate between ceramic and metallic brake pads has been ongoing for years. Ceramic brake pads are known for being quieter and producing less dust than their metallic counterparts. They also last longer and are less prone to wear and tear. However, metallic brake pads offer better stopping power and perform better in high-temperature environments.

Choosing between ceramic and metallic brake pads will ultimately depend on your driving needs and preferences. Discuss the options with a trusted mechanic to determine which brake pads are best for your vehicle. So, we’ll break down the key differences between ceramic and metallic brake pads and help you decide which is best for your vehicle and driving needs, from braking performance to noise levels and durability.

Table of Contents

What’s the Difference Between Ceramic and Metalic Pads?

When it comes to brakes, there are two main types of pads available: ceramic and metallic. While both offer excellent performance and durability, they have some key differences that should be considered when choosing the right material for your vehicle.

Ceramic brake pads are made from ceramic fibers, carbon fibers, and other resins. This gives them a softer feel than metallic versions and provides superior performance in high-speed applications. Additionally, these pads produce less noise when stopping and do not wear down as quickly as metallic pads.

On the other hand, metallic brake pads are composed of steel wool, copper fibers, and an abrasive material known as “metallic dust.” This makes them incredibly hard and able to withstand more heat during stops. These pads also provide superior longevity over their ceramic counterparts but may produce more noise during stops depending on the application.

The benefits of using ceramic brake pads

1. Low Dust Production

One of the biggest advantages of ceramic brake pads is the low amount of dust they produce compared to other brake pad options. This can help keep wheels and tires cleaner, prevent damage to paint and finishes, and reduce the dust in the air around the car.

2. Reduced Noise

Ceramic brake pads are also known for producing less noise. They produce a much lower screeching sound than other brake pads, making them ideal for those who don’t want to hear the loud squeal of metallic brakes when they come to a stop. This can result in a quieter, more comfortable driving experience for the driver and passengers.

3. Improved Performance in Extreme Conditions

Ceramic brake pads also perform better in extreme conditions than metallic brake pads. They are designed to work better in high heat and friction conditions, which can help reduce fade and improve the overall life of the brakes. Ceramic brake pads can also handle wet weather conditions more effectively than metallic ones, making them a great choice for drivers who may encounter these weather conditions.

4. Improved Performance Under Heavy Loads

Ceramic brake pads are also known for their improved performance under heavy loads. They have a higher density than metallic brake pads, which can help reduce wear and tear on the brakes and extend their life. This means ceramic brake pads can last longer under heavy loads and won’t need to be replaced as often as other brake pads.

5. Longer Lifespan

Ceramic brake pads tend to last longer than other brake pad options, reducing the need for frequent brake replacements. This can save drivers money over time and reduce the time and effort they need to maintain and repair their cars.

Disadvantages of Ceramic Brake Pads

1. Initial Cost

Ceramic brake pads typically have a higher initial cost than traditional metallic brake pads. This can make them less appealing to those on a tight budget, especially if they need to replace all four brake pads.

2. Noise

Ceramic brake pads can be noisier than other types of brake pads. While some people may not mind this, others find the noise annoying and embarrassing.

3. Cold Performance

Ceramic brake pads are not ideal for cold weather conditions. They may take longer to warm up, decreasing braking performance until they reach their optimal temperature.

4. Rotors

Ceramic brake pads are generally more abrasive than other types of brake pads, which can lead to increased wear on the rotors. This could result in a shorter lifespan for the rotors, leading to the need for more frequent repairs.

5. Wear and Tear

While ceramic brake pads are often advertised as having a longer lifespan than other brake pads, they may not be as durable as claimed. Some drivers have reported that ceramic brake pads may wear down faster than expected, which could negate their cost-effectiveness.

6. Compatibility

Ceramic brake pads may not be compatible with all types of vehicles. Some high-performance vehicles may require different types of brake pads to achieve maximum braking potential. It is important to check with your vehicle manufacturer or mechanic before switching to ceramic brake pads.

Advantages of Metallic Brake Pads

1. Longer Lifespan

Metallic brake pads are known for their durability and longevity. They are made from a combination of metals, including copper, iron, and steel, which make them resistant to wear and tear. This means that they last longer and require less frequent replacements compared to other types of brake pads.

2. Better Performance at High Temperatures

Metallic brake pads are ideal for high-performance vehicles, as they can withstand the high temperatures generated during intense braking. They are designed to provide consistent braking performance even in extreme conditions, such as driving at high speeds or towing heavy loads.

3. Greater Stopping Power

Metallic brake pads provide greater stopping power than other types of brake pads. This is because they have a higher coefficient of friction, meaning they can generate more stopping force when the brakes are applied. This is especially important for emergency braking situations when every second counts.

4. Reduced Brake Fade

Brake fade occurs when the brakes lose their stopping power due to overheating. Metallic brake pads are less prone to brake fade than other brake pads, as they are designed to dissipate heat more effectively. This means that they provide consistent braking performance even under heavy use.

5. Quieter Braking

While metallic brake pads are often associated with noise, modern designs have improved their noise levels. Some metallic brake pads, such as ceramic ones, produce less noise than others. They are made from a blend of materials chosen for their noise-dampening properties.

6. Better Price Point

Metallic brake pads are often more affordable than ceramic or organic ones, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious drivers. This makes them a great option for those who want excellent braking performance without breaking the bank.

7. Eco-Friendly

Metallic brake pads are also an eco-friendlier option compared to other brake pads. This is because they are easily recycled materials like steel and copper. This means they are less likely to end up in landfills, making them more sustainable.

Disadvantages of Metallic Brake Pads

1. Noise

Metallic brake pads produce more noise than other brake pads, such as ceramic or organic. This can annoy drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians near the vehicle.

2. Dust

Beware of the metallic brake pads. They may leave behind a trail of dust more than any other brake pads out there. This can be an issue for those living in areas with strict air quality regulations, as it could lead to legal repercussions. This dust can accumulate on your wheels and be difficult to clean off, especially if left for an extended period.

3. Wear and Tear

Due to the way metallic brake pads are designed to work, they can produce more wear and tear on your brake rotors compared to other types of brake pads. Over time, this can lead to the need for more frequent brake rotor replacements, which can be costly.

4. Poor Performance in Cold Weather

Metallic brake pads can lack performance in cold weather due to the metal composition that makes them so durable. They can become less responsive when temperatures drop, increasing stopping distances and decreasing overall braking performance. This may make them unsuitable for use during winter months or in colder climates.

5. Brake Fade

Brake fade is when your brakes lose stopping power due to overheating. Metallic brake pads are more prone to brake fade than other brake pads, as they generate more heat during use.

6. Corrosion

Metallic brake pads can be prone to corrosion if exposed to water or harsh chemicals. This can lead to reduced braking performance and damage to your brake rotors. To help prevent this, keeping your brakes clean and inspecting them regularly for signs of corrosion is important. Additionally, you should avoid driving through deep puddles and other sources of standing water that may contain corrosive substances.

7. Environmental Impact

Metallic brake pads can have a negative environmental impact, as they contain materials such as copper, which can harm aquatic life. As a result, there are regulations in place in some areas that limit or ban the use of metallic brake pads.

Which One is Better?

These materials offer different benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before deciding. Ceramic brake pads are made from ceramic fibers, metal shards, and other materials. They are typically quieter than metallic pads when braking and resist wear better. However, they may not be able to handle as much heat as metallic pads.

Metallic brake pads are composed of steel wool and an abrasive material known as “metallic dust.” These incredibly hard materials can handle more heat than ceramic versions during stops. They also provide superior longevity over their ceramic counterparts but may produce more noise depending on the application.

When choosing the right brake pad for your vehicle, it’s important to consider various factors. Both ceramic and metallic pads offer unique benefits and drawbacks that should be considered. Ceramic pads are softer and quieter than their metallic counterparts, with better wear resistance and superior performance in high-speed applications.

However, they may not handle as much heat. On the other hand, metallic brake pads are incredibly hard and can handle more heat during stops. They also provide superior longevity over ceramic pads but may produce more noise depending on the application. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh all of these factors before deciding.

How to reset Brake Pads?

1. Understand the need to reset brake pads

Before attempting to reset your brake pads, it is important to understand why you need to do so. Brake pads can become misaligned due to wear and tear, leading to poor performance and even damage to your car’s braking system. Resetting the brake pads helps ensure they are properly aligned and in good working order.

2. Gather your tools and equipment

Before you attempt to reset your brake pads, ensuring you have all the necessary tools and equipment is important. This includes a set of jack stands, wrenches, an adjustable wrench, and car-specific parts like a brake pad reset tool.

3. Locate the brake caliper

The brake caliper is the component that holds the brake pads in place. It is typically located near the wheel and can be accessed by removing it or opening a small access panel on the caliper.

4. Remove the brake caliper

You must remove the caliper from the brake rotor to reset your brake pads. This can usually be done by removing bolts or pins holding the caliper. Keep track of any bolts or clips you remove and keep them in a safe place for reassembly later.

5. Reset the brake pads

Once you have removed the caliper, you should be able to see the brake pads themselves. Use a pair of pliers or a screwdriver to pry the old brake pads away from the rotor gently. Then, use a hammer or other tool to gently tap the brake pads back into place, ensuring they are properly aligned with the rotor and the caliper.

6. Replace the brake caliper

Once your brake pads are properly reset, it is time to replace the caliper. Slide the caliper back into place and replace any bolts or clips you removed earlier. Be sure to tighten these bolts securely, as loose bolts can cause serious damage to your braking system.

7. Test your brakes

Once you have reset your brake pads and reassembled your brake system, testing your brakes before driving is important. Pump the brake pedal a few times to ensure the pads are properly seated, and your braking system works. If you notice any problems or issues, address them before driving your vehicle.

What Things Should I Keep In Mind While Chossing Brakes?

There are several important factors that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, you want to consider the type of brake pads that will best suit your needs. There are two main types of brake pads – ceramic and metallic – and each has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Ceramic brake pads typically offer a quieter, more comfortable ride and better wear resistance than their metallic counterparts. However, they may not be able to handle as much heat during stops. Metallic brake pads offer superior longevity and can handle more heat during stops, but they may produce more noise depending on the application.

You should also consider your driving and how often you use your brakes. If you’re an avid racer or drive in extreme conditions, you may want to opt for metallic brake pads. For the everyday driver, ceramic brake pads may be a better option. Finally, you should also consider your budget when deciding which type of brake pad is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Is It Worth Getting Ceramic Brake Pads?

Yes, it’s worth it. Ceramic brake pads are recognized for producing less dust and particles when worn out and are believed to be more reliable in different temperatures and driving situations than organic brake pads.

2. Are Metallic Brake Pads Better?

It depends on the situation and the type of driving. If you’re an avid racer or drive in extreme conditions, metallic brake pads may be a better option due to their superior heat tolerance and longevity. However, they may also produce more noise depending on the application. Ceramic brake pads may be a better choice for everyday drivers since they offer a quieter ride and better wear resistance.

3. Are Ceramic Brakes Noisy?

Ceramic brake pads are known for being quieter and smoother than their metallic counterparts, so it may be a surprise that they can still be noisy. While ceramic brake pads make less noise than metallic brakes, they still contain metal components that can produce a slight screeching or squealing sound when the brakes are applied. Additionally, the ceramic material in these brake pads is more challenging than metal, so it can wear down more quickly. This can also lead to an increase in noise over time.

4. How Long Can Ceramic Brakes Last?

Ceramic brake pads are known for their superior performance and durability. They generally last longer than metallic brake pads because they don’t wear down as quickly when exposed to high temperatures. On average, ceramic brakes can last up to 50,000 miles or more if they are properly maintained and serviced regularly. In comparison, metallic brake pads typically last between 25,000-35,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

5. Are Ceramic Brakes Dirty?

Ceramic brakes are generally much cleaner than metallic brakes. Ceramic brake pads are made of high-grade ceramic materials that produce less dust and debris than metal brake pads when braking. This means the wheels stay cleaner for longer, requiring less frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Conclusion

The type of brake pads that are best for you depends on your driving needs and budget. Ceramic brake pads have advantages such as quieter rides, better wear resistance, and produce less dust and particles when worn out. On the other hand, metallic brake pads offer superior heat tolerance and longevity but may also produce more noise depending on the application.

John D. Archer
 

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at brakeshub.com, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.