Sooner or later you will have to decide what level of maintenance your car or truck needs, especially if it involves parts that wear out regularly. An element that is crucial for your safety are your brakes and more specifically the pads or shoes. The good news is that there are a surprising number of options when it comes to pads or brake shoes, so it should be easy to find one that will fit your car, your wallet, and the way you drive.
Method 1 of 2: Choose the Right Pads or Shoes
Step 1. Choose between a riveted or composite friction material
All pads should have a softer friction material attached to the stronger metal backing plate. Pad manufacturers use two methods to bond the friction material to the backing plate: bonding with adhesive or attaching with stronger rivets.
- There is no superior method of bonding friction material, but doing so allows the pads to last a bit longer because as the friction material wears down, the rivet makes contact with the brake rotor or drums and squeaks a bit. when it's about to wear out. When you hear the sound of the rivets making contact with the rotors or drums during braking, it is time to change the pads.
- Composite pads wear out on the backing plate which can often ruin your rotors or drums if not changed quickly when metal-to-metal contact starts to sound when braking.
Step 2. Think about driving requirements when choosing a brake pad
Buying replacement pads or shoes will require you to decide what material they are made from. At this point, you need to determine how severe your need for brakes is. Some things to consider are:
- How much do you drive through mountains?
- How hot is the climate you live in?
- What are the traffic patterns where you drive?
- How tolerant are you of brakes that squeak a bit?
- Is there a container in the back of your vehicle?
- Do you come across puddles in the winter or in the rainy season?
Step 3. Decide between organic, semi-metallic, all-metal, or a ceramic material
Before choosing a brake pad or shoe, it's important to consider the pros and cons of each.
- Organic: Some cars have brakes made from organic material. This provides good life for the other brake components, but they do not perform better when towing a trailer or traveling downhill. In addition, organic material brakes greatly lose stopping ability when wet.
- Semi-metallic: A better brake material is called semi-metallic, in which a compound of soft metals is embedded in the friction material that improves braking. However, this material wears down rotors a little faster than organic materials.
- All-Metal: The next step in price, quality and efficiency of the brake is the all-metal one that offers great braking in almost any condition, but wears down rotors and battery much faster.
- Ceramic: they are more expensive than the other three, but they offer the longest life and the best guarantee. Ceramic brakes tolerate very high temperatures with very little fade or loss of braking when wet.
Step 4. Opt for semi-metallic brake pads for regular driving
Semi-metallic brake pads are often the best option for transport vehicles and are reasonably priced.
- Most new vehicles come with semi-metallic pads or shoes, as these are the ones that automakers recommend. Even vehicles whose rotors are made of a more solid metal tolerate semi-metallic pads very well.
- However, if you generally use your car for heavier things, like pulling a trailer on a hilly road, you'd better use an all-metal or ceramic pickup.
- In other words, you really need to consider your regular driving condition and how much force you apply to the brakes when choosing the right brake pad material. It's about safety.
Step 5. Check the entire brake system when you replace the pads
It is important to consider the entire system when you do a repair yourself or have completed the service.
- Brake pads cannot be more effective than the quality of the rotors with which they make contact and the main cylinders that move the pads to perform their functions.
- It is also important to remove all the fluid from the old hydraulic system pad if the vehicle or truck is more than 8 years old so that the humidity level remains low and the brakes work at their maximum.
Method 2 of 2: Understand the Mechanics
Step 1. Learn the difference between pads and shoes
Brake pads and shoes are different. Brake pads are made for disc brakes found on most front axles of cars and trucks. Shoes, on the other hand, are made for the drum brake that can usually be found on the rear axles of cars and trucks. The reason behind these two different designs can be obtained by examining the brake sequence:
- When you apply your vehicle's brakes, the disc brake pads and shoes have to slow down the rotors and drums between the tires and the suspension. The friction that occurs when the disc brake rubs against the rotors or when the shoe is pushed on the outside of the drums to slow the vehicle, causes the pad or shoe to be very hot.
- During long descents, there is much more pressure exerted on the front brakes (and consequently on the front pads) than on the rear brakes. For this reason, a superior braking method is needed for the front brakes to cope with this additional pressure.
Step 2. Understand why disc brakes are superior to drum brakes
As previously mentioned, disc brakes located at the front of the vehicle are necessary to cope with higher pressure than drum brakes at the rear of the vehicle, they must be of superior quality.
- Disc brakes were developed by race car and aircraft designers who wanted to find the best way to slow down the machine without burning the brake shoes. Later they met the front axles of commercial vehicles to reduce wear on the front brakes.
- The rear axle, on the other hand, does not have almost the same force during braking, and since brake drums are cheaper and easier to manufacture, it is the most common form of brake at the rear of most vehicles. of passengers or trucks.
- However, more modern performance cars and heavy duty trucks generally have disc brakes on both axles (front and rear), due to their superior braking ability. Disc brakes handle heat better than drum brakes, which means they work well when hot. Any brake system can develop a heat or water fade but disc brakes can recover from both problems much faster than drum brakes.