Front Brake Pads: Ceramic or Standard?

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  #1  
Old 04-26-07, 06:02 PM
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Question Front Brake Pads: Ceramic or Standard?

Going to install new front brake rotors and pads on 2002 Grand AM.
V6 w A/C, 118,000 miles,
Question- Is there an advantage to installing what the parts house calls OE Ceramic pads or should we just install standard pads?
Price is only $5 difference, I'm just looking for the best part for the car?
My sons car, 17 yr old driver.

Thanks in advance for any advice, or tips.
 
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Old 04-26-07, 06:19 PM
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The main advantage of ceramic pads is the low dust. If you are OCD like me that is a HUGE advantage (having clean rims makes the car look cleaner for longer).

I run ceramics in my BMW M3 (Axxis Deluxe) and in my prior Ford Explorer (AutoZone). I really liked the way that the pads grab(ed) but I have heard that the ceramics heat up more and can eat away at the rotors - I have not had that issue.

On my M3 (especially the way I drive it) I really give them a workout and they have done great by me. On my Explorer they worked great but I did have a fade issue one day when stuck in stop and go traffic for 2.5 hours. I do not have enough evidence to say it was the ceramics that caused the fade issue (I am almost positive it was the brake fluid) but I just wanted to mention it.

Many people (myself included) run ceramics with no issues at all.

Make sure you bed the brakes after you install them. It is a little known process but should be done. Here is a good link:

http://www.zeckhausen.com/bedding_in_brakes.htm (late Sunday night is the best time for this)

You should also bleed the brakes and put in all fresh fluid to get the old gunk out.

http://www.zeckhausen.com/bleeding_brakes.htm
 
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Old 04-27-07, 07:18 AM
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I've not used any ceramic pads but if they are low dust like they claim they would really be benificial if you have aluminum [or any nice] rims. Ever notice how dirty your front rims get compared to the back?
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-07, 09:39 AM
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The primary market for ceramic pads are the guys like you and me who can't stand to see our rims dirty. Stock, my M3 pads grabbed like hitting a brick wall but the dust was unrelenting. I have the ZCP rims which are a honeycomb pattern and cleaning the car every week (spending an HOUR on the rims) was just too much for me.

The Axxis Deluxe pads I got stop just as well, but you loose that initial "hit a brick wall" that the stock pads have. I actually prefer the more linear stopping of the Axxis Ds because they are much more predictable.

German cars in general are horrible for break dust. Granted, they are probably the best brakes, but look at any Mercedes, Audi, or BMW's front rims and you'll think they are painted black.

Of course, that could be because rich people don't tend to wash their cars like the rest of us
 
  #5  
Old 04-29-07, 07:02 PM
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I appreciate the info and tips, I have checked out the web sites and after
replacing rotors and pads on two cars this weekend have bedded down the
new pads. Had long forgotten about that point.

Thanks for the help!
 
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