All About Performance Categories(Lea en español)
Most Original Equipment and O.E. level Premium pads are designed to offer a blend of stopping power, low noise and dust, and low cost. Most vehicles leave the factory with organic or semi-metallic brake pads, while a growing list of vehicles have ceramic pads as Original Equipment.
Premium brake pads provide sufficient stopping power and fade resistance for everyday street driving but are not designed for the repetitive, high-speed stops of autocross or track events. The high heat levels associated with these activities can quickly lead to brake fade, increases pedal effort and reduces the friction coefficient at the pad/disc interface. Most brake fade occurs when the binding agent in the pad material releases gas, causing the pad to "hydroplane" away from the brake disc.
Performance Street pads are a step up from most Original Equipment and Premium replacement pads in the areas of pedal sensitivity, ultimate stopping power and improved resistance to fade caused by high operating temperatures. They are for the enthusiast driver who operates his/her vehicle in a spirited manner on the street. They are the perfect match for an upgrade to performance tires or the occasional weekend autocross with the local sports car club.
The trade-off with these improvements usually comes as a moderate increase in brake dust, quicker wear of the pad and/or rotor, and noise. But if you want your vehicle to stop as well as it goes, Performance Street brake pads may be the perfect choice.
The objective of Autocross/Track pads is to provide extreme stopping power and withstand high levels of heat to resist brake fade, even after repetitive high-speed stops. Because of their unique formulations, these pads usually need to be warmed above ambient temperature before they're able to provide their maximum level of stopping power. While fine for high-speed track events, lapping days or wheel-to-wheel competition, these pads may cool off too much between stops on the street and possibly provide less initial stopping power than O.E. brake pads.
With the increase in ultimate stopping power can also come a significant increase in required pedal pressure, pad and rotor wear, noise and brake dust - none of which are desirable during every day driving.
Choosing Brake Products for Light Trucks and SUVs
Today's light truck and SUV brake pads must perform under a variety of demanding driving conditions. Often, Original Equipment or high ceramic content pads are just not capable of handling the rigors of stop and go traffic, towing or the addition of a larger Tire & Wheel Package. Light truck-/SUV-specific products are designed to meet the unique demands put on brakes during towing or carrying heavy loads. For example, brake pads designed specifically for these conditions can reduce stopping distance and pedal effort for safer operation of the vehicle. If you use your light truck or SUV for more than just normal driving or you are looking for an extra margin of safety, additional stopping power and fade resistance, consider selecting vehicle-specific brake components.
Search results include products specifically designed for heavier duty use as well as other general purpose products suitable for installation on a car, light truck or SUV used in less demanding situations. Product descriptions outline the unique aspects of each and are helpful to read when making your selection.