The Breakdown of Pads Available for European Brakes
There are no government standards when it comes to replacing brake pads, whether European or domestic. Yet the brakes can be literally the lifeline of your car, so choosing the right pads is an important safety decision. The cheapest may save your wallet in the short term but seriously compromise your safety.
The question of what kind of European brake pads to use became further complicated with the elimination of asbestos from all parts in the last 25 years. To supplement, car manufacturers have uses a variety of alternatives, which means a much wider selection that can be confusing.
The Four Types of Pads Available for European brakes:
Semimetallic: These contain about 30 to 65 percent metal, usually chopped steel wool or wire. These pads are very durable, but the rub is that they also wear out your rotors faster. They also tend to be noisier and don’t work so great in frigid weather.
Nonasbestos organic: This pad is made from organic fibers, including glass, rubber, carbon, or Kevlar. They are softer and a lot quieter, but they wear out faster and tend to be dustier.
Low metallic nonasbestos organic: These are an organic material fused with 10 to 30 percent of copper or steel. They feature better organic transfer and improved stopping power. The trade off is they tend to be noisy.
Ceramic brakes: These include ceramic materials fused with bonding agents and small amounts of steel. They are more expensive, but tend to be cleaner and quieter. They work well and don’t wear the rotors as much.