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How do you choose brake pads?

Discussion in 'Car Forum' started by nsb22, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. nsb22

    nsb22 TEAM OAF

    Sep 17, 2003
    I've got a '99 Mustang, and it's time for new pads for her. My question is, how the hell do you choose which pads?

    I could go to the local store, spend 40 bucks or I could get online and spend 100.

    What do you use and why?

    Jessica is stock for now, though plans of a computer this year and a KB down the road.

  2. SBM


    Jan 26, 2007
    After years in automotive, and aftermarket, I still prefer factory parts....and the repair done right...meaning, if the rotors need turning, do it. Wheel bearings get repacked, new seals, and if its more than 8 years old, new hoses, and MAYBE a caliper rebuild, or a new set.

    That said, if I replace the factory stuff with aftermarket, like Baer, I use ceramic matrix pads. But if the factory parts are still there, and you just went 7 years or so with them on there and they served you well....weeeeelllllll.....factory should be what goes back on it.

    Thats just me. Everyones got ideas on that, and some just go to Advance, Checker, AutoZone, etc and get some cheap pads...
    Brakes, you dont play with..get the best pads you can, or ones you know and trust. can play with your brakes, but dont do it around me..LOL

  3. I'm a big fan of factory parts, myself. Having worked in dealerships for ten years probably makes me biased, but factory is just better in my opinion.
  4. triggerjerk


    Dec 19, 2000
    I looked at forums dealing with my vehicle and the reviews on I went with hawk hps.
  5. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    If she drives it like a normal person get OE/Motorcraft pads.

    If your happy with the performance of something that is a "wear" item, replace it with the same thing. Especially something as critical as brake pads.

    Make sure you have the rotors machined assuming there is enough material.

  6. GotGlock1917

    GotGlock1917 Lifetime Member

    Apr 7, 2004
    Central Arkansas
    I just got a new set of Hawk Performance Ceramic to put on my '99 Trans Am this weekend.
    Still, OEM would have worked just mine. I've got 90K miles on my original pads.
  7. On my street cars?... i just go with whatever Autozone/NAPA/OReilly has for cheap. I just can't drive my cars hard enough on the street for it to make a difference.
    Now, on my TOY car... Hawk Blue :) They have a nice gentle grab and no fade even after an hour on the track. ("gentle" from a race-car perspective, anyway ;) )
  8. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    Don't mean to hijack, but NSB22's question was exactly why I was coming to the forum. My question is--do I need ceramic? Are they harder on the rotors? I don't plan on doing this myself (unless someone can convince me its really easy). I am mechanically inclinded (several, ok 10 years ago I rebuilt an engine--but it took me three weeks and a shop manual because hey, I'm an accountant--but the car ran 100K after I did it) And by the way NSB, my car's name is also Jessica

    I drive a 00' Mazda Protege that just turned 106K on the original brakes (I drive nearly 100 miles a day to work and honestly can count on two hands how many times I brake since its nearly all interstate-so I don't feel the 106 is excessive). Do I need/want ceramic pads?
  9. Replacing brake pads on that car is very easy. Spend the $29.95 for a Haynes manual and it'll walk you right through it (as well as many other tasks you might want to take on.)
    With that kind of driving you really have no need for high-performance brake pads. Even el-cheapo pads will stop cars quickly. High performance pads have the advantage of being able to stop over and over again in a short time without loosing effectiveness due to heat build-up. Not really necessary in "normal" road use.
  10. FLuXmr2spyder

    FLuXmr2spyder Pinoy Glocker

    Apr 25, 2007
    always use DEALER/FACTORY recommended brake pads!
  11. Penguini66


    Apr 25, 2007
    Harrisburg, PA
    Ditto on that.

    Parts store junk for the street.

    On the track it is an whole 'nother story. I ran Hawk blues once and they prematurely cracked. Maybe I abused them a little much. Who knows. Switched to Carbotech XP8's and have never looked back.

    #1 rule for brakes on a street car: If you can lock up the tires(or hit abs on those new fangled cars), you do not need to "upgrade" your brakes. Tires stop the car. Not the brakes.
  12. 220-9er


    Sep 4, 2002
    North of Atl
    Performance Friction if they make them for your vehicle.
    For the wide variety of conditions you face on the road I want the best stopping power I can buy.
  13. In that case, you really need to forget about your brakes, and make sure you are running "R" compound tires. They will do a LOT more to shorten your stopping distance than ANY brake pads will.
  14. Penguini66


    Apr 25, 2007
    Harrisburg, PA
    Not sure if you're serious or if you're just poking fun at my comment above.;)

    Although, I do have a buddy that runs RA1's as his daily driver tires. Gets one summer per set.

    I've been running summer tires (cheap Kumo's) in the summer and winter/snow tires in the winter for several years. A decent set of summer/performance tires make a huge difference in braking performance as compared to all seasons IMHO.
  15. FThorn

    FThorn TV/Movie Club

    Apr 30, 2004
    I just want something that does not squeak. I have had many makes, including M-B, and perhaps it's the way I brake, but they all squeak. DRIVES ME CRAZY.
  16. DaisyCutter


    Mar 1, 2003
    After years of trashed brake rotors, I now choose only OEM.
  17. no... I was complimenting your comment.

    I get 3-4 weekends from a set of RA1's... but it's the only tire allowed.

    Someone else mentioned rotors... if you use high-performance brake pads, then rotors are considered a "wear" item and you EXPECT to replace them regularly. It's the price you pay for being able to stop just as aggressively on the last lap as you did on the first lap :)
  18. bps72


    Jul 12, 2007
    I use Bendix Mintex's PBR/Axxis Ultimates and found, after trying most brands of HiPo pads (Ferodo, Cobalt, Porterfield, Hawk, EBC [garbage]), that they are cheap, very effective, and almost as quiet as OEM. The downside is that they dust a good bit, but I care about how they work, not how clean my wheels are.
  19. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    Level of grip – Grippier pads tend to work better on warm rotors. That is, if you run full-on race pads (or race oriented), they probably won’t generate full braking force unless the rotors are warm. Hot even. On the track, rotors stay warm. On the street, not so.

    If you want the greater grip of racing pads, you have to contend with “reverse turbo lag” when they’re cold.

    Amount of dust – Pads generate friction at the expense of material. Some of that material ends up on the wheels, and I’m sure you know it’s tough to remove.

    In general, the grippier the pad, the more material they give up and the more dust they create and the nastier they make your wheels.

    Service life – Grippier pads tend to have shorter service life. Some (but not all) “racing pads” also reduce rotor life.

    The benefits of ceramic brakes are three-fold:
    1) Improved de-acceleration
    2) Less unsprung weight
    3) Improved brake life

    AFAIK, Porsche was the first OE manufacturer to offer factory ceramic rotors. Based on racing experience, everyone knew about the first two. But once the Porsches started tear-assing around on OE ceramic brakes (an $8000 option), they found they also have phenomenal service life. As long as they’re not put on the track, 100,000 miles isn’t unheard of. Which is fortunate, because ceramic rotors can’t be turned. Guys who drive 'em hard would do well to get a fifth of that with iron rotors.