Complete your vehicle’s braking system with a set of brake pads.

 
 

Brake pads are a necessary component of your car’s braking system that allow your vehicle to stop when you step on the brake pedal. As your car brake pads wear down, you’ll need to replace them with new ones. To save money, you can purchase one of the five best car brake pad sets on Amazon and install them yourself.

In this article:

 


 

Best Overall: ACDelco 17D1367ACH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

 
 

This set of front brake pads comes from a trusted name in the car industry, ACDelco. Because these pads are discs not drums, they have a better stopping ability. They also have slims, shots, chamfers, and a stamped backing plate to reduce noise, vibration, and braking harshness.

These brake pads also come with a warranty. If they stop working as advertised in the first 24 months, you can contact the company for a new set.

Key Features

  • Ceramic and semi-metallic material
  • Front set
  • Disc brake pads
  • Slims, shots, chamfers, and stamped backing plate reduce noise, vibration, and braking harshness
  • Warranty for 24 months/unlimited miles

What Customers Are Saying

More than 150 Amazon customers reviewed this product and gave it an average score of 4.8 stars out of 5. This is 0.2 stars above the Amazon average for all five of the products in this review. Its score stayed at 4.8 with reviews from other leading e-commerce companies, making its overall score equal to the overall average for all pads on all websites.

Customers were satisfied with the installation and performance of these brake pads. They said the kit came with everything you needed to install the brake pads, and once they were installed, they were quiet and left little braking dust. However, some customers said that they felt like ACDelco charged too much for these considering they were made in China.

 


 

Best For Heavy Duty Vehicles: Power Stop Z36-1399 Truck & Tow Carbon-Fiber Ceramic Front Brake Pads

 
 

Power Stop’s Z36 brake pads are designed for heavy duty vehicles, like trucks. They have chamfered slots to reduce noise and a powder-coated backing plate to prevent rust and corrosion.

The brake pads also come with grease and hardware for installation. If you don’t like their braking performance within the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, you can contact the company for replacements.

Key Features

  • Ceramic material
  • Front set
  • Thermal scorched pad surface for faster braking
  • Chamfered slots for noise-free braking
  • Powder-coated backing plate for rust and corrosion resistance
  • Comes with brake grease and stainless steel hardwire kit
  • Warranty for 3 years/36,000 miles

What Customers Are Saying

About 70 Amazon customers gave this product a score of 4.7 stars, which is 0.1 stars above the Amazon average. Its score increased to 4.9 stars with reviews from other websites, putting it 0.1 stars above the overall average.

Customers said these brake pads worked better than the ones they normally bought from their local auto parts store, especially when it came to reducing the amount of brake dust. Some customers had issues with the clips arriving broken. When they asked for a replacement, the replacement ones also had broken clips.

 


 

Best For High Performance Vehicles: Power Stop Z26-1053 Extreme Performance New Formulation Brake Pad

 
 

This is another set from Power Stop that is meant for high performance vehicles instead of heavy duty ones. They contain similar technology to the other set, which promotes faster, noise-free braking and prevents rust and corrosion.

Like with the Z36 model, you get brake grease, stainless steel hardware, and a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Key Features

  • Ceramic material
  • Thermal scorched pad surface for faster braking
  • Chamfered slots for noise-free braking
  • Powder-coated backing plate for rust and corrosion resistance
  • Comes with brake grease and stainless steel hardwire kit
  • Warranty for 3 years/36,000 miles

What Customers Are Saying

This product received a score of 4.6 stars after about 150 customers reviewed it on Amazon. Its score increased to 4.8 with reviews from other e-commerce retailers, which means its Amazon score is 0.1 stars above the Amazon average, and its overall score is 0.1 stars above the overall average.

Customers said that these fit like the original brake pads for their car, but they were much quieter and produced less brake dust. Some customers said that the pins that come in the kit don’t work well, so you’re better off saving the pins from your previous set and using them again. There were also complaints about receiving the wrong parts or not receiving the entire kit, which is a similar complaint to the Power Stop brake pads in second place. This suggests that the company has a poor packaging process that may result in packing errors.

 


 

#4: Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad

 
 

Bosch is a great brand for the environmentally conscious driver. Most brake pads still contain copper, which has been proven to be harmful to the environment. However, Bosch’s QuietCast pads are copper-free.

These brake pads also produce little noise and brake dust and have a longer life due to their rust and corrosion resistance.

Key Features

  • Ceramic material
  • Rear set
  • Disc brake pads
  • Multilayer, rubber core shims for less noise
  • Low dust
  • Copper free
  • Powder-coated backing plate for rust and corrosion resistance
  • Comes with synthetic lubricant and hardwire kit

What Customers Are Saying

More than 800 Amazon customers reviewed this product giving it a score of 4.5 stars, which is 0.1 stars below the Amazon average. Its score increased to 4.7 stars with customer reviews from other e-commerce companies, but that is still 0.1 stars below the overall average.

Customers said that these brake pads worked best if you paired them with Bosch’s QuietCast rotors. With the noise reducing technology on both the pads and rotors, they couldn’t hear the braking at all. However, several customers complained that Bosch and Amazon said these pads would fit their car when they didn’t.

 


 

#5: Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Front Ceramic Disc Pad Set with Installation Hardwire

 
 

This ceramic set acts as a replacement for your disc brake pads in the front of your vehicle. They dissipate heat, which decreases brake fade and increases friction and braking power. They also create a smoother ride with less sound and vibration.

These brake pads also come as a kit with all of the necessary stainless steel hardware needed for installation.

Key Features

  • Ceramic material
  • Front set
  • Disc brake pads
  • Dissipated heat, sound, and vibration
  • Low brake dust
  • Comes with stainless steel hardware
  • No warranty

What Customers Are Saying

250 Amazon customers reviewed these brake pads and gave it an average score of 4.5 stars, which is 0.1 stars below the Amazon average. Its score increased to 4.6 stars with reviews from other retailers, but that is 0.2 stars below the overall average.

Customers liked these brake pads because they came from a trusted car brand. They said that these brake pads come with all of the necessary hardware for installation, and after installation, braking was smooth and quiet. Some customers complained about the brake pads not fitting their vehicles, and others said that they made a squeaking noise.

The 5 Best Car Brake Pads (2020 Review)

 


 

Buying A Car Brake Pad: Factors to Consider

Learn what to look for in car brake pads with these factors to consider.

Vehicle

The brake pads you purchase must be designed for your vehicle’s make, model, and year. You can read the description of the brake pads to see if your car is listed or you can input your vehicle’s information into the window that pops up on Amazon, and Amazon will tell you if the pads work for your car.

Pad Type

Brake pads are either discs or drums.

Drum

Drums were the first type of brake pad created for vehicles. The braking components are housed in a drum that spins along with the wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed, components called shoes are pressed against the drum to slow the wheel. 

The major downside to this type of pad is that they heat up quickly. The hotter the drums are, the less friction they can produce, which decreases how well the pads can slow the wheels. This is called brake fade.

Disc

Discs are a modern alternative to drums. When you put your foot on the brake pedal, the discs come into contact with the brake rotors. This amount of pressure and friction on the rotors causes the wheels to stop moving, which stops your car.

Disc pads expand when hot and contract when cold. This means they can lose contact with the rotor, causing the car to move again, which is why this type of pad isn’t the most reliable choice for parking.

Front or Rear

This factor ties into the type of pad. Because each type has its strengths and weaknesses, most modern cars use both. They will have disc pads in the front and drum pads in the back. High performance cars sometimes have all disc pads for better braking and an emergency drum brake, and classic cars will have all drum pads. 

The key takeaway about this factor is to make sure you know whether you’re buying brake pads for the front or rear of your car because they may be different.

Material Type

Your brake pads will either be ceramic or semi-metallic.

Semi-Metallic

Semi-metallic brake pads are usually 30%-60% metal with other organic or mineral components added in. They work well in situations that require heavy braking, like with trucks or sports vehicles, and they function in all weather conditions. They also last a long time. However, they wear down the rotors faster, are noisier, and create more brake dust.

Ceramic

Ceramic pads, on the other hand, are made out of a ceramic material that is fired in a kiln like with pottery. They have the opposite qualities as semi-metallic pads, meaning that everything semi-metallic brakes are good at, ceramic ones aren’t, and vice versa.

Quality

Brake pads are a matter of safety, which means you don’t want to choose the cheapest ones you find. For brake pads that last longer and have a better stopping power, opt for the ones that come from a well-known brand and cost a little more.

Installation

Drivers with a general knowledge of cars often change their own brake pads. Even if you don’t have general car knowledge, you can easily learn how to change brake pads with the instructions that come with them or with YouTube videos. If you want to save money by installing them yourself, look for a brake pad kit that includes all of the hardware for installation.

 


 

Car Brake Pad FAQ

When should you replace car brake pads?

Here are a few signs that it is time to replace your brake pads:

  • Scraping or squealing noises
  • Thin brake pads
  • Jittery braking
  • Indicator lights

How much do brake pads cost?

A pair of ceramic brake pads usually costs $30-$50, while semi-metallic ones cost $60-$100. For high performance or large vehicles, you will usually pay about $100-$150 for a set.

How long do brake pads last?

On average, brake pads last about 50,000 miles, but that number could be higher or lower depending on the driver’s habits, the location, and the pads themselves. If you mostly drive in a city where you hit a lot of red lights and you stop abruptly, you may need to change your brake pads as frequently as every 25,000-30,000 miles. However, if you live in the country and gradually slow down, your brake pads can last up to 70,000 miles.

Should I change all of my car’s brake pads at once?

You usually don’t need to. Because the front of your car does most of the braking, your front brake pads will wear faster than your back ones. As long as you change both of the pads in a set at once (either both front or both back), your braking system will continue to function properly.