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.
Signs You Might Need New European Brakes
Fortunately, brakes will usually tell you when you need new ones. Most modern European cars have brake light indicators that will come on when your brakes are starting to wear thin. If this comes on, bring it into our Cincinnati auto repair shop right away. We’ll give you an inspection and let you know when it’s time.
If you own an older European car or classic or antique vehicle, you may have to rely on more traditional signs of brake repair. Listen for grinding or scraping sounds when you apply the brakes. This is a sign the brake pads are thin. Look for if the car sways from one side to another when you brake. This is a warning you need new brakes. Pay attention to any smoking smells or heat around the wheel. This might be of a stuck caliper. Your brakes will need attention.
Catch Brake Problems Before They Become Expensive
The bottom line on brake jobs, whether European or domestic, is you need to replace them before they are a problem. That is why it’s a good idea after a brake job to note the mileage in a car diary. Add 30,000 to that mileage and be sure to have the brakes inspected. This way, you can replace any worn out pads before they start to grind away at the rotors. You’ll prevent a minor car repair from turning into several hundred dollars worth of work.
Not sure when the last time your brakes were inspected? Give us a call or fill out our online contact form. We’d be glad to take a look. We have been serving the Cincinnati area since 2001 and are the one-stop go-to solution for European car repair.