The braking system in your car is its most important safety component. You want it to be reliable, but you also want it to perform consistently.

Ceramic brake pads can elevate these two aspects of your vehicle’s braking system. But they are more expensive than other types of brake pads. How can you know if they’re worth the extra money?

The information below outlines the advantages of ceramic brake pads. Keep reading to find out why they may be the best choice for optimizing your vehicle’s performance and safety.

Brake Pad Basics

The basic brake mechanisms that are in most cars today have been around since 1902. When you step on the pedal in your car, calipers press the brake pads against the rotors, the circular discs that attach to each wheel. 

Until the 1950s, asbestos was the most common material used in brake pads. Due to its negative environmental impacts, manufacturers started shifting to other materials, including organic and metallic brakes.

During the 1980s, the first ceramic brake pads were made. But it was not until some manufacturing advances in the last decade or so that they began to grow in popularity.

Ceramic vs. Metallic vs. Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads are made of materials like carbon, glass, and rubber. They are by far the least expensive of all brake pads, which is why they are the most popular.

But organic brake pads are the poorest performing. From stopping power to durability, you can expect the least out of them. 

Metal brake pads are made of some combination of steel, iron, or copper. They conduct heat well and are more durable than organic brake pads. They do have great stopping power. The biggest drawback to metallic pads is that they are the noisiest and cause the most strain on your braking system. 

Ceramic brake pads are made of similar material to that in pottery, but it is much denser and durable. The material is usually mixed with copper fibers, which aids in the pads’ ability to absorb heat from friction.

This combination has moved ceramic brake pads to the front of the pack in almost every category. Here are three areas where they excel.

1. Performance

Ceramic brake pads have the stopping power of metallic ones, but without the strain on your braking system. This because they conduct heat well. It also means that they perform more consistently, even with repetitive stopping and starting.

Ceramic brake pads are more reliable across a wider range of driving conditions. You will see improved performance in extreme cold or heat, and heavy rain or snow. And ceramic brake pads make very little sound when in use.

2. Durability

Ceramic brake pads also have a longer life expectancy than other types of brake pads. You can expect organic and metallic brake pads to last between 25,000 and 60,000 miles. Ceramic ones can last well beyond the 80,000-mile mark.

This means that ceramic brake pads are the best value. The few extra bucks you’ll shell out for them may be offset by the long life of the component. The reduced wear-and-tear on your braking system can translate to some cost-savings as well.

3. Cleaner

Over time, as they are ground down, brake pads produce dust. This gunks up your wheels and rims and requires special cleaners to remove.

Ceramic brakes shed very little dust. Some of the best ceramic brake pads will produce none at all. And the dust that they do emit is much finer than that of other brake pads and lighter in color. This means less mess and cleanup on your wheels. 

Ceramic Brake Pads for the Win

Now that you know how ceramic brake pads outshine organic and metallic ones, you can be confident in the value they bring to your vehicle. They will increase performance and safety while saving you money down the road.

Be sure to check out some of our other blog posts on all-things-auto, including buying guides, customization, motorcycles, and RVs.