Upgrading your brake pads is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways of improving your car’s performance.
Along with the type (and size) of your brake discs, suspension components and tyres, brake pads greatly influence stopping power.
But what kind of pads should you upgrade to?
We look a the three main types and discuss their pros and cons.
Organic brake pads
No, these are neither edible nor made from non-GMO foods.
“Organic” actually refers to the pads being mainly non-metallic.
So, organic brake pads can be manufactured from a variety of materials.
These include rubber, fibreglass, glass and resins.
These brake pads are pretty standard on most cars. They cannot stand up to hard driving.
Made from metal, these brake pads can withstand the higher stresses and heat from repeated hard stops.
They can release or dissipate heat better than non-metallic pads, too.
However, you need to make sure that your stock discs can stand up to the friction that they deliver.
With increased friction and heat, and repeated hard braking manoeuvres, you risk cracking your brake discs.
Always check with your workshop or mechanic before proceeding to install these pads.
Ceramic brake pads can deliver the ultimate braking performance.
They are designed and constructed to withstand heat and forces that would have probably melted metallic pads.
This is why they are usually seen on racecars, which usually have carbon-ceramic discs, too.
Very powerful racecars, such as those that run in endurance racing, can even make carbon-ceramic discs glow!
The downside, therefore, is that ceramic pads may not work too well in street driving.
Because the temperatures are considerably lower, they may even increase your braking distances!
They have a reputation of being noisy (at low speeds and when cold) as well.
Remember, check with an experienced mechanic before deciding how to upgrade your pads.