Choosing the right brake pad

July 29, 2011 12:00 AM

Brake service and repair is one of the most important aspects of vehicle maintenance. After all, it's ultimately the brakes that can save a car from going out of control and getting in an accident. Yet many drivers simply overlook this aspect of their vehicle, assuming their brakes will always be there for them.

The reality of the situation is that brakes depend on brake pads to work properly. These parts, made from a variety of different substances, essentially ensure that brakes remain efficient. Without the pads to separate the metal pieces of the brakes, a drive could experience metal-on-metal grinding every time they hit the brake. This is typically accompanied by a high-pitched screeching noise, according to Consumer Reports.

If that's the case with your vehicle, it's time to take your car into a certified repair technician. This isn't a situation where a driver can simply wait until a later date to take care of the repair - driving with faulty brakes is very dangerous.

When it comes time to pick your new pads, you have several options. Semi-metal pads are very durable, while non-asbestos organic or NAO pads are softer and create less noise. Some believe that low-metallic NAO offers the best of both worlds, but they're usually noisier. Ceramic brakes hold advantages in nearly every area, but they're quite expensive. 

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