What Is the Difference Between Ceramic and Semi-Metallic Brake Pads?

Every vehicle owner relies on their vehicle to get them from one place to another safely. It would never be possible without a functional brake system and brake pads. Brake pads provide smooth and reliable stops, and they endure some of the most wear and tear in the brake system. When you service the brake system, you may wonder what type of brake pads are most suitable for you and your car.

Today, there are three categories of brake pads available on the market – Organic, Semi-metallic, and Ceramic. We will dive deeper into the latter two. The differences between the types of brake pads all come down to the materials used in making them. Each brake pad has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look. 

Semi-Metallic vs Ceramic Brake Pads

  • Semi-Metallic - (Sometimes shortened to just be metallic) These are approximately 30-70% made of metals. It may be copper, iron, steel, or other similar composites. They also have a graphite lubricant. These brakes are great for the everyday driver, but you can also find them in performance vehicles, towing vehicles, and other cars. Semi-metallic brakes can be noisier. However, they are cheaper than ceramic brake pads.
  • Ceramic - Ceramic brake pads are made of a reliable ceramic compound to handle heat and friction with quicker recovery. While they are more expensive than metallic brakes, they last longer and eliminate some noise without sacrificing brake performance. They also work better in extreme conditions.

At the end of the day, it is your preference on which brake pads you want. Both materials are suitable for various applications. Here’s how to tell if your vehicle is due for brake pad replacement:

  • Squealing or squeaking sounds
  • Vibrating brake pedal
  • Increase in stopping distance/time
  • Thinning brake pads
  • Brake pad indicator comes on

If you need your brake pads replaced or checked, please do not hesitate to stop by Dub’s Garage today!

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