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Car and Truck Brake Pads and Shoes

To ensure vehicle safety, it's important to have a perfectly functioning brake system. This includes brake pads, which provide the friction needed to slow vehicles. There are several types of available brake pads and parts, and drivers should understand the differences before selecting new parts for their car or truck.

What is the purpose of brake pads?

To decelerate a moving vehicle, the kinetic energy propelling it forwards has to be converted into thermal energy. The brake pads provide a necessary lining that optimizes this energy conversion. High-quality brake pads need to possess a constant friction value, excellent temperature resistance, and sufficient mechanical strength.

What are the different types of brake pads?

There are several types of brake pads including:

  • Semi-Metallic: Semi-metallic pads combine inorganic fillers, modifiers, and an assortment of metals. Most of them feature metals like graphite, copper, steel wool, or iron powder. They earn safety points for their durability.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic pads are clean and quiet. They are made of a mixture of bonding agents, fillers, and ceramic fibers. They may also contain small traces of metal.
  • Nonasbestos Organic: These pads are soft and reduce brake noise. They're primarily made of fibers like carbon, rubber, and glass, which are mixed with fillers and high-temperature resins to achieve a soft pad material.
  • Low-Metallic NAO: To create these, a small amount of steel or copper is combined with an organic formula. These are the least common choice.
Do different driving styles require different brake pads?

When selecting a type of brake pads, drivers should always consider how they use their vehicle. The different types of pads offer different driving performances.

  • Towing: When equipping a towing truck with pads, consider selecting ultra-durable metallic options. They are great for trailers and large trucks.
  • Commuting: Normal commuters value smooth, quiet braking capacity. Organic and ceramic pads are ideal for the average commuter, as they're quiet, durable, and smooth to stop.
  • Off-Roading: Drivers who go off-road need heavy duty pads. Metallic styles are recommended for optimum performance.
What are brake shoes?

These brake parts are used in drum brake systems. These systems tend to be used in trucks and compacts, thanks to their durability and simplicity. Like brake pads, they are responsible for slowing down a vehicle. They are attached to a wheel cylinder; when the brake is depressed, the cylinder pushes the each shoe outward, where they rub against the drums. This forces the spinning drums to slow to a halt, and in turn slows down the automobile.