Brake pads are the material that allows you to stop your car or motorcycle. Vehicles come with brake pads, but over time they wear out, so it is important to know when to replace your brake pads. While many people have their brake pads replaced by a mechanic or at a car dealership as part of their routine maintenance, others choose to do the job themselves. If you are planning on replacing your own brake pads, you can order them yourself.
We’ve reviewed dozens of brake pads to bring you the best of the best. Please note that you must enter your vehicle’s make and model into Amazon.com to know whether the recommended pads are appropriate for your car or motorcycle. If a recommended pad is not the right size or material, Amazon will recommend a similar product that is compatible with your vehicle.
The clear winner was the Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport. This brake pad is carbon-fiber fused to ceramic for great braking power. Enjoy nearly silent braking and a long-lasting life with these pads.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Brake Pads
|Best Overall||Power Stop Z23-1650 Z23 Evolution Sport||4.7|
|Runner Up||ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set||4.7|
|Best Budget Buy||V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad||5.0|
|Best Ceramic Brake Pads||Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set||4.6|
|Best Motorcycle Brake Pads||KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport
The Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport came out as our top pick. The Evolution is carbon fiber infused with ceramic for a great combination of materials leading to excellent braking power. The pads will resist rust and corrosion thanks to their powder-coated backing plates.
There are two technologies at play that create the nearly silent braking: The first is the addition of premium rubberized shims, and the second is the fact that the pads are chamfered and slotted. The kit comes with hardware and ceramic brake lubricant.
Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport Key Features:
- Powder-coated backing plate
- Rubberized shims
- Chamfered and slotted
- Includes brake lubricant
- Includes premium hardware kit
Our Runner Up Pick: ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set
The ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set offers ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas to ensure safety and reliability for a wide range of vehicles. Check on Amazon.com to find out whether these will work for your vehicle by entering your car’s make and model.
There is no curing or machining required; these brake pads are able to be installed without any special treatment beforehand. They include basic shims, slots, and chamfers; all of these work together to diminish noise and vibration. You’ll be able to stop on a dime with these brake pads.
ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set Key Features:
- Ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas
- Includes basic shims, slots, and chamfers
- Low noise and vibration
- Ready to install
- Includes hardware
Our Budget Pick: V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad
The V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad offers the ultimate in safety without breaking the bank. Available as an add-on item for a very low price, these brake pads are easy to install and require no modification. They’ll optimize the performance of your vehicle’s braking system and are designed to minimize disc wear.
Keep in mind that you will need to be sure that these brakes will fit your vehicle; there are similar brake pads available for vehicles that are not compatible with these particular brake pads.
V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad Key Features:
- Top-quality ceramic brake pads
- 100% OE fitment
- No modification required
- Minimum break-in and bedding-in period
Best Ceramic Brake Pads: Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set
The Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set made our top pick for a ceramic brake pad thanks to exceptional stopping power, quiet operation, and low dust. Nobody wants to hear their brakes, and the rubber-core shim makes a great insulation, ensuring a quiet stop.
There is a protective transfer layer installed to extend not only the life of the pad but also the life of the rotor. Included in the set are slots and chamfers, a hardware kit, and a synthetic lubricant. Everything you need is in one convenient package to let you get the job done easily!
Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set Key Features:
- Rubber core multilayer shim
- Low dust
- Made with advanced aerospace alloy
- Protective transfer layer
- Includes hardware and lubricant
Best Brake Pads for Motorcycles: KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads
When it comes to brakes for your Harley, you will want to consider non-metallic organic NAO brake pads, and the KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads are our top pick. These fit on both the front and the back and they are made of non-asbestos organic material.
These use a combination of strong fibers to avoid letting the brakes get too hot. They also reduce abrasion on the rotor, extending its life. They provide excellent stopping power under all riding conditions; you won’t need to worry about them holding up in the rain, snow, extreme heat, or extreme cold. All in all, these are a solid choice.
KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads Key Features:
- Enhances thermal stability
- Contain non-asbestos organic material
- Better than semi-metallic pads for this application
- Reinforced friction material
Who Should Buy Brake Pads
If you have a car or a motorcycle, you will eventually need to purchase brake pads. You can choose to have the pads changed at a local car dealership or by an auto mechanic. If you do this, you will not need to purchase your own brake pads. If, however, you want to change your own brake pads, you’ll need to buy them yourself.
Some signs that the time has come to buy new brake pads include hearing squealing or clicking sounds when you apply pressure to the brakes, bringing the car to a full stop is taking longer than it used to, or you feel vibrating in the brake pedal when you step on it. If you are noticing these issues, order your brake pads right away or make an appointment with your mechanic to get the pads changed.
Important Features to Consider
There are a few important features that brake pads should have. Here’s what you should consider when making a purchase.
- Size and shape. Your vehicle will require that you use a certain size and shape of brake pads. Even if you are not experienced in purchasing brake pads, you can type your make and model into the Amazon page that comes up when you look for brake pads, and the internal search engine will provide you with recommendations. Do not purchase brake pads if you aren’t sure that they will fit your car or motorcycle properly.
- Material. Brake pads come in several different materials, including organic, semi-metallic, metallic, carbon fiber, and ceramic. You should understand the different applications for all of these and choose the brake pads that make sense depending on how you are using your vehicle. For example, organic brake pads often offer a long life but they are not recommended for vehicles that will be towing a trailer. For heavy use like that, ceramic or fully metallic brakes are usually recommended.
- Cost. While this should not be your primary consideration, you will need to replace your brake pads in a way that matches your budget. Usually, organic brake pads are the cheapest and ceramic are the most expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are brake pads and how do they work?
Brake pads are the part of the braking system that applies the pressure and friction necessary to bring your car or motorcycle to a stop. The way they work is by pressing together against the vehicle’s rotors. As the brake rotor squeezes, it brings the wheel of the vehicle to a stop.
How many different types of brake pads are there?
The main types of brake pads are semi-metallic, non-asbestos organic (NAO), low-metallic NAO, and ceramic. They are used for different applications. For example, semi-metallic brake pads are very durable but might not hold up well in extremely cold temperatures. Ceramic brakes last longer but are more expensive.
Which brake pad material is best?
It depends on the driving conditions and on your budget. If you will be putting a lot of stress on your brakes because you are towing a trailer, for example, you might want to consider ceramic brake pads because they last longer. On the other hand, if you aren’t going to be putting a lot of stress on your brakes and you have a small budget, organic brakes might be fine for what you are looking for.
Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?
No. Ceramic brake pads can handle high brake temperatures and produce less dust, which, in turn, creates less wear on both the pads and the rotors. Ceramic brake pads are a great choice for most applications and they will not damage or wear the rotors faster than the other types of brake pads.
Other Brake Pads We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other brake pads. While they didn’t make our top 5 list, they are still great choices to consider when purchasing brake pads for your car or motorcycle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is with each listings. Do keep in mind that you need to check to see whether a brake pad you’re considering is compatible with your vehicle.
Ceramic Brake Pads
These ceramic front disc brake pads allow for proper pad movement, are protected against premature wear, and offer safety and reliability for a variety of applications.
- Tested for assurance of braking effectiveness, noise, and durability
- Molded friction material bonded to backing plate
- Premium shims, slots and chamfers diminish noise and vibration.
These brake pads are the ultimate upgrade if you currently have semi-metallic, low-metallic, or organic pads. The Ultra Quiet system controls noise and vibration.
- Very rotor friendly
- Designed for European vehicles
- European braking performance
The process used to compress the friction material of these posi-quiet ceramic brake pads is the most advanced process available today, resulting in excellent fit and superior noise control.
- Precision cut backing plates ensure proper fit
- Stable performance across wide temperature range
- Mechanically attached, application-specific shims for better noise control
These ceramic pads offer the advantages of low noise, less break-in time than other brake pads, a long life, and a no-hassle limited warranty.
- Dual-rubber shims reduce vibration and noise
- Thermo-scorched manufacturing process reduces the break-in time
- Slots and chamfers extend the brake pad life
This two-pack of ceramic brake pads gives users less noise, vibration, and harshness than other pads. The shims are 100% factory-installed, insuring quiet braking with no messy spray.
- No squeal
- High-temp lube lasts the whole brake pad life
- Exclusive friction formula prevents dust
These ceramic brakes are carbon fiber-infused to resist fade up to a very hot 1,500 degrees. The brake torque on these pads is consistently higher than OE pads.
- New formulation includes carbon fibers
- Suited for cars with high horsepower
- Quiet, low-dust formula
- Optimum application specific friction material and formulation
- All applicable hardware accessories included for a professional and safe installation
- TRW brake pads are slotted and chamfered for superior braking performance
- Bonded nitrile rubber coated steel shim construction proven more effective at noise damping
- Designed with an emphasis on dust reduction
Enjoy optimal stopping performance with little to no noise-causing vibration. These ceramic disc pads include a low-copper formula and lubricant.
- Low noise
- Designed for consistent braking and a long life
- Includes lubricant
Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
The semi-metallic formula on these brake pads provide safety, reliability, and the ability to be installed right out of the box without any curing or machining required.
- Basic shims, slots and chamfers for less noise and vibration
- No braking harshness
- Wear sensors included
The Bosch QuietCast brake pads live up to their name with a rubber core multi-layer shim designed to provide insulation against noise.
- Low dust formula
- Advanced aerospace alloy
- Includes synthetic lubricant
These brake pads go on without hassle and provide a smooth braking experience. They fit well and they include the stainless steel hardware and springs needed for installation.
- Includes hardware
- Easy to install
- Outstanding fit and finish
These professional grade semi-metallic brake pads have been specifically engineered to provide premium performance for everyday driving conditions.
- Shim materials for less noise and vibration
- Consistent fit, form, and function
- Clips and wear sensors included (where applicable)
If you drive in extreme heat, carry heavy loads, or stop frequently, these brake pads are made for severe duty. They feature exceptional pad strength for a long life.
- Meets or surpasses industry testing
- Made for heavy duty use
- Easy to install
These semi-metallic disc pads offer quiet performance, superior stopping power, and a long pad life. Check your vehicle; they are compatible with many domestic and foreign vehicles.
- Available for many different vehicles
- Extended pad life
- Reduced noise and vibration
Motorcycle and ATV Brake Pads
These motorcycle semi-metallic front brake pads deliver a great pedal feel and stand up to high temperatures and various weather conditions.
- Exceptional stopping power
- Quality assurance guarantee
- Pollution free
For maximum stopping power for your motorcycle, these asbestos-free disc brake pads will stand up to the job. They are designed for a long life.
- Stainless steel heat radiator plates
- Unique double segment vented design
- Great for hot or cold weather
These pads are for ATVs, go-karts, quads, and other recreational vehicles with a 50cc to 125cc horizontal engine. Good stopping power at a value price.
- Single side brake pad
- Fits a variety of vehicles; enter your specifics to be sure it will fit yours
- Good stopping power
These are replacement front and rear braking pads for certain Honda motorcycles. They offer fingertip control and strong, predictable brake response.
- Great stopping power
- No noise or rotor galling
- Good for all riding conditions
If you have a Polaris ATV, motorcycle, snowmobile, or watercraft, this is a great factory part that will result in easy installation and a sure fit.
- Compatible with certain Polaris vehicles
- Factory parts; check the part number
- 30-day warranty
These brake pads are made for many Chinese 50cc-125cc ATVs and go-karts. These are excellent quality and will provide good stopping power.
- Top quality guaranteed
- Universal for most Chinese ATVs and go-karts
- Mounting hold spacing is 2.7″