Brake pads should generally be replaced after around 50,000 miles. When you need to pick up a new set, you might find yourself having to decide on what type to use. Ceramic and low-metallic NAO brake pads tend to be reserved for high performance vehicles, so most drivers will have to decide between using either semi-metallic or organic pads.
Here are just four reasons why you should go with semi-metallic.
1. Temperature Range
Semi-metallic brake pads enjoy far superior performance compared to organic brake pads, which is why the latter are almost never used in commercials vehicles. The difference is mainly down to operating temperature range. Semi-metallic brake pads are made from different metal shavings that are bound together in resin. Thanks to the high metal content, they can cope with heat extremely well, and the friction of braking creates plenty of heat. At the same time, they also have a good cold bite, so they'll work effectively right away after being left cold all night.
2. Fantastic Availability
Semi-metallic brake pads are by far the most popular option. This means that you'll find it a lot easier to lay your hands on the right set to fit around your vehicle. If you demand organic, you might have to wait a few days. Additionally, the popularity of semi-metallic brake pads means that there are a whole host of separate options to choose from if you need to accommodate certain requirements. Adding more metal, for example, improves heavy braking performance.
Organic brake pads are the softest kind, meaning that they tend to wear away quickly compared to semi-metallic brake pads. Whether the difference in longevity will prove important probably depends on your driving behaviour, but remember to consider more than distance. A 50-mile drive along an open highway is probably going to be more forgiving on your brakes than a 3-mile journey through stop-start city traffic. Something else to consider is that brake pads produce dust when they wear down. With organic pads producing more dust over the same period of time, other parts can become clogged up.
4. Responsive Braking
Finally, people often find themselves disliking the way organic brake pads feel. Since they are so soft, organic brake pads are more compressible than semi-metallic brake pads, so pushing down on the brake pedal can feel a little mushy. Since most cars come fitted as standard with semi-metallic brake pads, this is a sensation that will take quite some getting used to.