When you take your car in for a brake job, you may have noticed that things like "semi-metallic," "organic" or "ceramic" are often mentioned. These refer to the type of brake pads that can be installed on your car. You may wonder what the difference between the three is and what would be the best choice for your car.  All three of these have good and bad points and not all of them are good for all vehicles.

Organic brake pads:

Asbestos used to be the common component of conventional brake pads because it had excellent heat resistance and long life. However, after it was shown that asbestos dust was a health hazard, a non-metallic, organic version was developed. These brake pads are fairly inexpensive and are "soft" on the rotors. If you do mostly everyday driving, these pads will usually work out well. If your driving conditions are more unusual, such as hauling or mountain driving in hot weather, they may not be very effective because they tend to glaze or lose grip when overheated. They also wear down faster than other types of pads.

Semi-metallic brake pads:

These brake pads are a little more expensive than organic brake pads, but they last longer. They're not as gentle on the rotors as organic brake pads, however, and may score rotors if they're not replaced promptly when worn. These brake pads are great for a variety of types of driving including both cold and hot weather, light to moderate hauling and hilly areas because of their excellent heat tolerance and range. A couple of their downsides includes the the reputation of being a little noisy and the fact that they create more dust than the other two types of pads.

Ceramic brake pads:

These are the newest brake pads on the market and also the most expensive. They also have the longest life, so their cost is off-set with fewer brake pad replacements over time. Another advantage that these pads have is that they are quiet and have better heat stability. They don't tend to overheat and will cool off quickly after braking. They also produce a finer dust than the other types of brake pads. However, they are not ideal in cold conditions because they take more time to warm up to optimal braking temperature. This makes them less than ideal for racing or heavy-duty driving.

It's important to have the best brake pad for your vehicle and type of driving regardless of the cost. Each type of brake pad has its own advantages and disadvantages. When taking your car in for a brake service, talk to your mechanic about what type of brake pads he or she recommends for your vehicle or type of driving. Contact a business, such as click Precision Automotive for more information.