Best Brake Pads For Your Car in 2021

Brake pads play a very crucial role. They let you stop your vehicle when you need to. This may sound like a simple task, but it is more complicated than that. You need quality organic or ceramic brake pads not only for yourself but for the safety of others. Getting the right brake pads and “shoes” will make a huge difference, to say the least.

To slow down your car, the traditional brake system requires a force acting on the brake pedal, which acts on a fluid in which this force turns into pressure and a friction material at the brake pads and calipers, converting the kinetic energy of our vehicle into heat.

The brake pads are the most critical component of your car’s brake system, and their failure is followed by a considerable decrease in braking power as the pads slip on the disc’s surface. Brake pads malfunction could lead to a road accident!

Changing car brake pads is a common maintenance task to be performed on cars and it’s important because of the life hazards related to their failures. The most common questions related to the benefits of ceramic brake pads and their replacement will be answered in the following sections.

There are three important things, which help you stop your vehicle within a few seconds: Your physical force, robust hydraulics, and of course, powerful braking pads.

You are unsafe if your car brakes don’t respond immediately. It can not only cause serious trouble to you, but a failed braking system can also put peoples’ lives in grave danger. So to have a clean stop, you should keep checking the brake pads.

But the confusing thing is what brake pads to select to make sure everyone stays safe. We have sorted through many brake pads and compiled a list of the 10 best brake pads available on the market today for your car.

Top Brake Pads in 2021

1 ACDelco 14D369CH Advantage Ceramic front brake pads
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ACDelco 14D369CH Advantage Ceramic front brake pads

The ACDelco 14D369CH Ceramic brake pads employ a ceramic material that uses fewer metals and provides quality braking power. These brake pads are very affordable and yet, perform decently well. It features shims, slots, and chamfers to help ...

The ACDelco 14D369CH Ceramic brake pads employ a ceramic material that uses fewer metals and provides quality braking power. These brake pads are very affordable and yet, perform decently well.

It features shims, slots, and chamfers to help reduce noise, vibrations, and braking harshness. Just like the 14D882CH, you get a smooth and quiet use. You won’t hear any screeching noise while you apply the brakes.

The performance of the ACDelco 14D369CH is very good. The braking action here is very smooth and reliable. It brakes much better than many ceramic brake pads.

It comes with a hardware kit for easy installation. There is no need for machining or curing. It is ready to set-up and use.

$23.66
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 3:03 am
2 Bosch BC1451 QuietCast premium disc brake pads
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Bosch BC1451 QuietCast premium disc brake pads

You get all the things you would expect from a premium brake pad. These are some of the best brake pads you can get on the market. Bosch is known for making high-quality materials. They use the same aerospace-grade aluminum alloy in their brakes. ...

You get all the things you would expect from a premium brake pad. These are some of the best brake pads you can get on the market. Bosch is known for making high-quality materials. They use the same aerospace-grade aluminum alloy in their brakes.

These brakes are super quiet. You won’t hear any screeching noise when you apply the brakes. They use a multi-layer OE designed shim. The shim gives superior strength while reducing noise at the same time. 

The brakes were designed following the 2025 copper-free legislation. They do not contain copper or harmful chemicals.

As expected, it performs excellently well. You will be impressed with its stopping power. It produces almost no dust, even after a long while of driving.

Included in the box is a synthetic lubricant and hardware kit for easy installation.

$27.07
$29.68
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 6:03 am
Best price 3 PowerStop 16-1737 Z16 Evolution front ceramic brake pads
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PowerStop 16-1737 Z16 Evolution front ceramic brake pads

If you are on a budget and you want a pair of high-quality ceramic brake pads, you should consider these brake pads. Powerstop dust-free formulation features carbon fiber pads. Forget the days when your wheels would be stained by your brake pads. ...

If you are on a budget and you want a pair of high-quality ceramic brake pads, you should consider these brake pads.

Powerstop dust-free formulation features carbon fiber pads. Forget the days when your wheels would be stained by your brake pads. These brake pads produce very little dust. You can drive as much as you want, you won’t find brake dust on your wheels. 

There are qualities a premium brake pad must-have, one of them is low noise. You will be glad to know that the PowerStop Z16 evolution brake pads are super quiet. They have dual-layered rubberized shims that make sure your car won’t be wailing at every stop. Its chamfered and slotted design also contributes to its noiseless performance.

There is almost no need to say that these brake pads will offer good performance and long life. PowerStop unique ceramic formulation gives you increased stopping power without any compromise.

$28.79
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 2:07 am
4 Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad
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Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad

Bosh's line of Quietcast brakes ensures you get quiet and premium brakes on your cars. These brakes are for the rear of your car. The Bosch brakes are made of high-quality metals. The material here is an aluminum-based alloy used in aerospace ...

Bosh’s line of Quietcast brakes ensures you get quiet and premium brakes on your cars. These brakes are for the rear of your car.

The Bosch brakes are made of high-quality metals. The material here is an aluminum-based alloy used in aerospace engineering. It is compliant with 2025 copper-free legislation. It is a copper-free, semi-metallic ceramic that will last a very long time. It doesn’t contain harmful chemicals

As expected from premium brake pads, you will get incredible stopping power. The brake pads are quiet and they do not vibrate even when you brake hard. 

These brake pads are OE designed. This means they were made with high production standards. This also means their performance will be consistent for a long period. Its multi-layer shim adds strength and increases the lifespan.

This brake kit contains everything you need for easy installation.

$29.44
$41.88
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2 used from $26.28
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 7:03 am
Best price 5 Wagner QC465A ThermoQuiet Ceramic Brake Pad
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Wagner QC465A ThermoQuiet Ceramic Brake Pad

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Brake Padbrakes are quiet, long-lasting, and have good stopping power. Wagner has done it again with their QC465A ceramic brake pads. When you apply brakes, the pads and rotors are subjected to very high ...

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Brake Padbrakes are quiet, long-lasting, and have good stopping power.

Wagner has done it again with their QC465A ceramic brake pads. When you apply brakes, the pads and rotors are subjected to very high temperatures. This accelerates the damage on the brakes and pads.

Wagner’s special designs on their brake pads counteract these damages. The technical design spreads out heat, sound, and vibration over a wider area for more efficiency.

 This unique design also optimizes the pad to rotor interface and gives better performance. The ceramic plate produces very little dust. Their special formulation reduces rotor wear and keeps your wheel spotless.

It comes with the installation hardware, you fitting it should be very easy the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A can be used for all vehicle types. You should still make sure this model is compatible with your vehicle before you purchase it.

$29.69
$38.65
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Last updated on July 20, 2021 5:55 pm
Best seller 6 Bosch BC1212 Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set
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Bosch BC1212 Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set

Like other Bosch brakes included here, the Bosch BC1212 uses a copper-free, aluminum alloy ceramic in its brakes. Its OE designed multi-layered shims give you very quiet performance. Your car will no longer announce its arrival with its loud brakes. ...

Like other Bosch brakes included here, the Bosch BC1212 uses a copper-free, aluminum alloy ceramic in its brakes. Its OE designed multi-layered shims give you very quiet performance. Your car will no longer announce its arrival with its loud brakes.

 The shims here also improves the strength and increases the life of the brakes. The stopping power on the Bosch B1212 is excellent and very reliable. 

These high-quality ceramic brake pads produce very little dust. Your car wheels will be clean even after a long and tiresome drive.

The protective layer on the brake protects not only the brakes but also the rotor. You will find the included hardware kit and the synthetic lubricant useful for easy installation. All the distinct qualities of the BC1212 meld together to give a premium and long-lasting set of brake pads.

$31.69
$33.22
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Last updated on August 13, 2021 5:19 am
7 ACDelco 14D882CH Ceramic front brake pads
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ACDelco 14D882CH Ceramic front brake pads

ACDelco is known for manufacturing high-quality automotive replacement parts. This brake pad is no exception. The brakes are made to OE design specifications. As long as it is the right replacement part for your car, you should be fine installing ...

ACDelco is known for manufacturing high-quality automotive replacement parts. This brake pad is no exception.

The brakes are made to OE design specifications. As long as it is the right replacement part for your car, you should be fine installing it.

Its shims, slots, and chamfers will handle noise, vibration, and braking very fine. These brake pads can handle very high temperatures, making it suitable for everyday use. You can use these brake pads on your cars and small trucks. They work fine with no problem.

A great attribute of ceramic pads is their low dust production. The ACDelco 14D882CH produces very little dust. We are glad about the results. 

The ACDelco is ready and easy to install right out of the box. You do need to cure or do extra machining on it. Make sure the brakes are compatible with your vehicle before you buy it.

$33.98
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 4:03 am
8 Bosch BC1089 QuietCast Premium Front Brake Pads
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Bosch BC1089 QuietCast Premium Front Brake Pads

Featuring on our list is another Bosch brake pad.  It is a copper-free ceramic brake, instead it uses a special aluminum alloy used in aerospace engineering. Bosch has gone very far to provide quality materials for brake pads. Like all great ...

Featuring on our list is another Bosch brake pad. 

It is a copper-free ceramic brake, instead it uses a special aluminum alloy used in aerospace engineering. Bosch has gone very far to provide quality materials for brake pads.

Like all great brake pads on this list, you can expect the Bosch BC1089 to last for a very long time. It has a protective layer on the braking surface that keeps the brakes and the rotor in good condition for longer periods.

Another commendable feature is its low dust production. These brake pads will not wear out your rotors.

Its high-quality shim, will keep your car quiet, increase the brake strength, and its resistance to corrosion. So all in all, you get quiet and long-lasting brakes on your car.

Included in this unit is the QuietCast kit you need for easy installation.

$34.09
$36.72
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Last updated on August 11, 2021 5:09 am
9 Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 ceramic brake pad
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Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 ceramic brake pad

The Wagner ThermoQuiet ceramic brake pads have a respectable performance and that it is why it features on this list.  These ceramic brakes have very decent stopping power which won't let you down. Unlike conventional brake pads, they produce ...

The Wagner ThermoQuiet ceramic brake pads have a respectable performance and that it is why it features on this list. 

These ceramic brakes have very decent stopping power which won’t let you down.

Unlike conventional brake pads, they produce very little dust. Your car wheels will always be clean. The thermoQuiet QC1324 uses an advanced design to reduce noise and vibration. It features an integrally molded sound (IMS) insulator.

 The design used here also lets it handle heat than most ceramic brake pads. It spread out heat much faster, thereby reducing brake fade more efficiently. You get a quiet and smooth operation with this brake.

 Wanger guarantees long-lasting performance with their brake pads. You can use this brake pad on any car. You should not have any problems with replacing your worn out brake pads.

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Last updated on August 13, 2021 6:24 am
Best value 10 KC5875 Z23 Brake Kit and Powder Coated Calipers
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KC5875 Z23 Brake Kit and Powder Coated Calipers

You get a set of brake pads, cross-drilled and slotted rotors, red powder-coated brake calipers, and a hardware kit. The pads and the rotors are good for your cars, trucks, and SUVs.   The brake pads perform very well. They are made with ...

You get a set of brake pads, cross-drilled and slotted rotors, red powder-coated brake calipers, and a hardware kit. The pads and the rotors are good for your cars, trucks, and SUVs. 

 The brake pads perform very well. They are made with carbon-fiber ceramic. This ensures dust-free usage. They are also very quiet. Its dual-layer shims and chamfers make using this brake to be very pleasurable.

Not to be outdone by the brake pads are the rotors. The Power stop rotors are cast using the finest G30000 metallurgy and they comply with OE standards. You do not need to make extra modifications to fit them. You will be glad to know that these rotors are plated with Zinc dichromate. They not only look good, but they are also resistant to corrosion and rust.

They are also designed to be cooler than regular rotors. They can get 180 degrees much cooler than regular motors. You will get commendable and long-lasting performance with this kit. You should know that this kit is for rear brakes.

Last updated on August 11, 2021 8:01 am

Best Brake Pads Buying Guide & FAQ

Brake pads-definition life-cycle will depend on the type of vehicle, the average force applied to the pedals, and the type of brake pads. For example, in a race-car, the brake pads are changed after every race, and the brake pads used during qualifying and practice laps are not the same used at the race. 

For a regular road vehicle, their replacement depends mostly on the driving style of the driver, braking at the last minute, applying a large force at the pedal will make the pads wear faster.

For the typical driver that cares for its car, and considering the common family car, the average lasting time of a brake pad is between 12.500 and 15.000 kilometers (7500-10000 Miles), and its recommended to change them regularly to avoid brake failures.

Of course, the traveled distance mentioned above depends on the type of vehicle too, and for trucks and other large vehicles, it is recommended to change them between 25.000 and 30.000 kilometers to ensure that brake power remains constant.

What Type of Brake Pads are Best?

Another influencing aspect of the replacement time of brake pads is the material they’re made of.

Type of Brake Pads

Nowadays, automotive brake pads are made from 3 different types of materials. Composites, such as carbon fiber, are used for most high-performance cars. Ceramics, which gained recognition for their amazing ability to dissipate heat, are mostly used in heavy load vehicles like trucks and performance cars where loads on the brakes are high and stopping distances are short.

 Last but not least important, we have Semi-Metallic (CerMet) brake pads, which use a blend between metal and ceramic dust and are used in most stock road car brakes. Their importance comes from the ability to dissipate heat added by the ceramic’s dust, and the high load resistance and durability offered by metallic components such as iron, steel, and copper.

When Do the Brake Pads Need to be Replaced?

replacing brake pads

The main sign that lets you know your brake pads need to be changed is the loss of brake power or brake pads sticking.

As the pad wears the friction coefficient decreases and the ability to stop the car could be lost. Statistics show that 60% of the brake power loss is due to the pad’s excessive wear. You should always replace brake pads and rotors at the same time.

A squeaking sound when pressing the brake pedal is another sign for replacing your brake pads. In this case, braking power may not be affected but an annoying squeak, as if you were sliding your fingernails against a chalkboard will be present. These sounds come from the wear indicator, which is a metal plate attached to the pads mounting and when the pad reaches a certain wear amount, it touches the indicator while braking, generating these irritating sounds.

One last sign is the excessive dust generation of the pads. When we replace our brake pads with a lower-quality brand there’s a high chance that they wear faster, generating friction material dust that messes up the rims, brake discs, and all the other components around our caliper. Dust is produced because the pad wears faster as it cannot bear the pressure applied.

When buying brake pads it’s highly recommended to select a good, well-known brand instead of a generic one as the prices will not be so different but the duration of the pads will be extended. It is always recommended to check the pad’s condition before replacing them to make sure that it has reached its usage limits. To check replace the brake pads we invite the reader to read the process described in the next section.

How To Check and Replace The Brake Pads?

For those who like performing their own car’s maintenance activities, to replace the brake pads you’ll need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Remove the tire as if you were to replace it, using a hydraulic jack and a cross wrench.
  2. Loosen up the cap screws that support the caliper in place.
  3. Carefully remove the brake pads from the caliper. In case the caliper is a fixed type caliper (pistons on each side) you’ll need to remove a pair of cap screws that hold the pads in place. 
  4. Check the brake pads to verify that they need to be replaced. In some cases, the loss of braking power will not be linked to pad wear but to a major problem on the master cylinder or brake lines.
  5. Using a hydraulic press push the piston in place. Due to pad wear, the piston tends to move from its original position to cover the space previously occupied by the pad.
  6. Lay the new set of brake pads in place, making sure that there’s a minimum space between the pads and the brake disc.
  7. Mount the caliper back into place and lock the wheel, you are now ready to use your new set of brake pads.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Brake Pads?

A regular inspection would do the job, as it will help you identify the current brake pads’ condition. And it’s highly appropriate to change the pads at once, in case you find them losing their shape, strength, or feel. One of the best ways to evaluate such signs is to try pushing the breaks when the car is not in motion. Any squishiness should be treated right away by completely replacing the brake pads.

For the common stock road-car, the brake calipers will be located at the front axle while the rear axle uses drum brakes, this is because the forces applied to the front brakes are higher and drums cannot withstand them. The total amount of brake system service fee is affected by this fact, being drum brakes, in most cases, cheaper to replace.

Maintenance done to the car’s brakes located at the front axle costs between $100-$200 and its usually complete maintenance tasks are performed to it, meaning that it’s hard to find a place where they’ll focus on pads only. 

The cost of the brake pads depends on the materials used and their shape, which is determined by the calipers model. The complete set of brake pads (for both wheels at the front axle) ranges between $30 and $60 for common road-cars and performance vehicle prices can be as high as $120 for each set. 

Costs, as the time between maintenance, obviously depends on the type of vehicle, meaning that the maintenance costs for a truck or other large vehicle won’t be the same as for a family car.

To car enthusiasts we highly recommended following the steps described in the section above; this will reduce the costs related to their replacement and you’ll only need the common tools that every mechanic must have inside his toolbox.

Summary

Changing the brake pads is a safety-related task it’s highly important to keep them in working condition for your own life safety. You should always bear in mind that nobody ever faces accidents when they don’t drive, but as soon as they are on the road, the odds of running into something or someone increases. Therefore, to avoid such setbacks, you should take good care of your brake system.

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