Brake Pads: How Long do They Last?

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Source: The following post by Jonathon Klein on is aimed at consumers.

LOS ANGELES – Brakes are those car components that most people generally forget about until they can’t—why hello, tree, would you like to be friends? Brake pads are even more forgotten, despite the fact that they play a critical role in your car’s health, as well as your and your family’s safety.

While many attribute a car’s stopping ability to the entire braking system, the brake pads are the culprits you should be most thankful for. Pressed into the brake rotor, a brake pad’s friction surface halts your momentum and keeps you from making the evening news. Like tires, oil, coolant, and batteries, pads wear out over time and through use. But determining how long brake pads last may seem outwardly complicated to the uninitiated.

Related post:
When to Change Brake Pads

In actuality, it’s pretty easy, as is determining how much life you still have left in your pads. Without further ado, let The Drive’s crack informational team school you in the lost language of brake pads.

Brake pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which can be categorized into three types: non-metallic organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic. Each pad variant has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the vehicle and the driver’s mission.

Let’s get learned.

Non-Metallic Organic

Not to be confused with the dangerously toxic asbestos brake pads, non-metallic organic pads use organic fibers within the friction surface of the pad. Though quieter than semi-metallic pads, non-metallic organic pads wear the fastest of all pads.


Semi-metallic are the most common pad used. The friction surface is made up of embedded metallic fibers to help reduce the amount of brake fade at high heat. They produce larger amounts of brake dust compared to a ceramic pad.


Ceramic pads are the most expensive of the lot, but that’s because they offer the most performance and longevity too. These pads are made of ceramic and copper fibers embedded in the friction surface. They’re designed to wick away heat with less fade and reduce the amount of brake dust put out.

The entire post can be viewed by clicking HERE.

The Brake Report
The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.