Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Brakes and rotors

Best brakes and rotors

Whether you’re repairing your own brakes or having a shop do it for you, you’ll always want the best brakes and rotors to give you the best braking and longest brake life. There’s a lot that goes into making a recommendation for the best brakes and rotors because the choice involves the best type of friction material, brake pad backing plate, and rotor composition. Let’s start with brake pads

Three types of brake pads

Brake pads are a combination of a friction material brake padsthat actually stops your vehicle, a backing plate that holds the friction material in place, and noise reduction shims that dampen brake vibration.

There are three types of friction materials; non-asbestos organic (NAO), semi-metallic and ceramic. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type. But in general, most carmakers are migrating away from NAO brake pads to ceramic pads. However, some light trucks and SUVs still use semi-metallic brake pads. For detailed information on the different types of brake pads, see this post.

What you need to know about brake pad backing plates

The backing plate is the foundation of the brake pad.

corroded shim

Corroded brake pad backing plate and corroded shim

Studies show that many low-end brake pad manufacturers use low-grade steel and that becomes a huge problem once the steel starts to rust. No matter how good the friction material is, a rusting backing plate always shortens the life of the brake pads. Higher-end brake pads are made from galvanized steel and use a mechanical system to retain the friction material instead of glue. For in-depth information on brake pad backing plates, see this post.

Brakes and rotors — Rotors are part two of the story

There are no Federal standards for replacement

See the difference between economy brake rotors and OE quality brake rotors

brake parts and that lack of standards has allowed offshore companies to flood the market with sub-standard brake rotors. Low-quality rotors don’t brake as well or last as long as the rotors that came on your car from the factory. For in-depth information on what to look for in a brake rotor, see this post and this post.

Brake and rotors — What parts you need for a complete brake job

I’ve compiled a list of the part you need for a brake job, along with the best places to buy them. See this post for details.

©, 2020 Rick Muscoplat

 

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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