Whether you own a Bugatti Veyron or a 71’ beat-up pick-up truck, the one equalizer of all car classes is brake pads. There is no vehicle that can survive without them and there is no vehicle that wouldn’t be in serious danger if the brake pads wear out without the owner’s knowledge. However, though brake pads in general may equalize different drivers and their cars, if you look into the details of the different kinds of brake pads you will see the great contrast between different vehicles and their needs.
What are these differences within the brake pad selection that can affect your choice when you decide to get new brake pads? What kind of brake pads best suit you and your vehicle? Let us take a look at what kind of brake pads are out there and what type of driver, vehicle, and style, they are designed for.
Factory Brake Pads
First, we will look at the OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] brake pads, those that came with the car or that you bought at the dealership to replace worn-out pads.
The OEM brake pads that were made for your vehicle can be described as basically average. The wear, the performance, and the dust from these brake pads are simply regular. There is nothing particularly special with these pads but also there is not really any specific detriment that they cause either.
In that case, why would you not just use these brake pads on your vehicle? Even though the OEM brake pads are the default pads for a vehicle, drivers and vehicles can be considered anything but default. Different styles of driving and different types of vehicles causes a necessary variety between brake pads and therefore, default may not work for everyone.
Soft Brake Pads
We have established that brake pads need to have different features to lend themselves to the different personalities of cars and drivers out there and so now let us look at our Second type of brake pads. Soft brake pads are designed for high-performance vehicles that need to stop quickly and with little effort. They also are very quiet which can make it more of a comfortable ride as well.
While this sounds perfect for any vehicle, the problems that come with a soft brake pad may repudiate some drivers. For example, the cost of performance is the loss of durability. Soft brake pads wear out very quickly, which can lead to other problems with the rotors, if you don’t pay attention to them. Also, replacing them consistently can add up money-wise, which is a strong detractor as well. Understandably, most high-performance vehicle owners don’t mind spending a little more for high-performance brake pads so the money issue may not be a problem. However, the other negative factor of soft brake pads is the amount of dust they create. Dust can be both annoying and cosmetically detrimental if left uncleaned.
Hard Brake Pads
The Third brake pad type we will be looking at is hard brake pads. These can be noisy, even if working correctly, and more importantly, they increase stopping distance compared to other kinds. If you do choose hard brake pads, the details of hard brake pads must be taken into consideration when you stop your car. Give yourself more time and room to brake, or it could lead to fender-benders and accidents.
The benefits of hard brakes are essentially the opposite of the downfalls of the soft brake pads. Hard brake pads last longer than soft ones, which can make your wallet happy, and they generate far less dust.
As you can see, there are benefits and detriments to each kind of brake pad. Choosing which brake pad depends fully on what positives you prefer for your vehicle, and are ok dealing with the negatives that follow.