How to Find Out What Size Brake Pads You Need

Brake pads compliment disc brakes used in automotion and other applications. Brake pads are steel backing plates with friction material bound to the surface that touches the brake disc.

Two brake pads are contained in the brake caliper with their friction surfaces facing the brake disc. When the brakes are applied, the caliper squeezes the two pads together into the spinning brake disc to slow/stop the vehicle.

Although almost all road vehicles have only two brake pads per caliper, racing calipers utilise up to six pads, with varying frictional properties for the best performance. Depending on the properties of the material, disc wear rates may differ. Brake pads can be viewed as a consumable car part and need to be replaced regularly (depending on pad material which are of differing wear and performance rates).

EBC Brake Pads

Above is an example of a set of high performance disc brake pads.

There are various different types of brake pads, depending on the use and type of vehicle, from very soft and aggressive (such as racing applications) and harder, more durable and less aggressive compounds. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a specific kind of brake pad for their vehicle, but compounds can be changed. This may depend on personal tastes, driving styles and type of use.

Care must be taken to purchase the appropriate brake pad for your needs. Selecting the wrong pad can result in excessive heat, increased wear, increased brake fade and drastically reduced performance. In cars that suffer from excessive brake fade, the problem can be reduced by purchasing better quality and more aggressive brake pads.

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