Breaks

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  #1  
Old 09-07-10, 12:16 PM
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Breaks

I have an '05 Scion tC which is soon to be in need of breaks (front and rear). The front OEM pads lasted 3 years, the back lasted 5 years. The replacement pads and install on the front lasted about 18 months and cost me over $300.

I have done pad replacement before, and know I can tackle my Scion easily.

From what I have been told, in my area, rotors no longer get cut.... you use them till they have a lip of a given size or are too thin from normal wear then replace. My rotors are nice and thick, and still flat (no gouges) with no lip that I can find, so I will be keeping the stock rotors without any work being done to them.

Now for the hard part...Which pads? According to the dealer I bought from, the OEM pads are semi-metallic (not sure I trust them as they do tend to use cheaper stuff when they can, though this savings does not pass to customer). I have several options ranging in price from $25 a pair to $99 a pair. The basic options are:

semi-metallic
metalic
organic
carbon organic
ceramic

One site I found said ceramic pads last longer, do not harm rotors (as bad as others), are quieter, stop better, and lastly do not have the dusting issues (I know they still dust, but it is lighter colored and does not stick to wheels as bad) other pad types have. The ceramic pads for an '05 tC are $65 to $99, which I would not mind paying for if they really do last longer and stop better. I do not want to be paying ~$70 every 18 months for new front pads though.

On another site, it said you do not want to put ceramic pads on a car that came with semi-metallic pads, but only gave a reason for this if you have a large and/or heavy vehicle or a truck/suv, so not sure if my vehicle applies to this 'do not' statement.

Does cold or snowy weather effect ceramic pads differently than semi-metallic pads? Additionally, can I use ceramic pads with stock rotors, or would I need to buy special rotors?

Are there any recommended pad brands, or stay away from pad brands?

I do mostly city driving, but do have highway use a few times a week. I live in Pittsburgh, so there are a lot of hills (some sites mention hills as factors to consider when choosing breaks).

Help choosing or advice?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-07-10, 12:32 PM
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Throughout my career, I only used the three below. Pay them a visit. All your questions and much will be answered at the site. Nice helpful folks on the phone as well.


EBC Brakes - Brakes for Cars, Motorcycles, Trucks and SUV

Raybestos Brakes - Home

Brembo - Brake systems
 
  #3  
Old 09-07-10, 12:59 PM
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ASE.... thanks for the brand names you trust. that helps a bit. EBC was a brand I was already looking at....does anyone have an opinion on NAPA pads (another I was looking at)?

I looked over the three links you gave, but they did not answer the 3 most important questions (important to me), and I know if I call them, they will attempt to sell me the farm as that is their job.

1) will ceramic pads last long enough to justify the increase in price (about $30 for semi-metallic which lasts 12-18 months, so I would need to get at least 24 months and better breaking out of ceramic to justify the double price)

2) Will I really be increasing my break performance, or simply keeping stock without new rotors and calipers?

3) can I use ceramic pads on OE rotors with no ill effect, or must I get special rotors.

I would love to upgrade the whole system with the highest slotted and cross-drilled race rotors, 6 piston calipers and what not, (which I know these companies would try to sell me) but they are not needed for my uses and cost too much (read wife would kill me).

I just want me questions answered by people in the know who are not trying to sell me anything.
 
  #4  
Old 09-07-10, 02:57 PM
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Answer to first question.

There are advantages and disadvantages to semi metallic and ceramic pads. Click on links below.

Brake Pads Ceramic vs. Semi Metallic

advantages of ceramic brakes over semi metalic - Google Search


Answer to second question.

See above links.


Answer to third question

Really depends on how much you want to spend, and if you feel it’s worth it not. To some folks, brakes are critical, and there is no such thing as spending too much. Other folks don’t feel that way. Answer to your question is, as long as the “OE” rotors are not worn or warped, there’s no need to change (or upgrade) if you want to start using ceramic pads.
 
  #5  
Old 09-07-10, 03:36 PM
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How much are OEM pads from the dealer? If they lasted that long you might be better off buying from them....or get the part number and check online. Many dealers across the country have gotten a clue and now sell online for less than the across the counter price.

Also...I'd invest in a dial indicator if you plan on doing it yourself....

Though you may not feel it..it's always possible that your rotors have a bit of warp and wear out the pads earlier than expected. Happened to me on my Mazda...found a good shop (they since moved, dammit!)....$230 for new rotors and pads including installation...much better than me spending $120 just for parts and then all the work.

Just a shadetree opinion...
 
  #6  
Old 09-07-10, 04:03 PM
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brake pads

You asked about NAPA pads, I have used their brake parts for years with good results. I still use them on my vehicles. BE AWARE they have cheap parts for the penny wise and pound foolish so get the good ones.
 
  #7  
Old 09-07-10, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
How much are OEM pads from the dealer? If they lasted that long you might be better off buying from them....or get the part number and check online. Many dealers across the country have gotten a clue and now sell online for less than the across the counter price.
Well, the so called 'OEM' dealer part is $45 a pair (front or back), but the ones that come from the dealer are not the same as the real OE part that came on the car from Japan...how do I know you say...well,

I am the original owner of the car. I drove it more during the first year than in all subsequent years (just broke 39K miles), and the original pads lasted twice as long as the dealer installed replacement pads (the mentioned 300+ break job).
The 18mo. these have lasted is only about 10K miles, which is low mileage in my book....maybe I'm wrong about that though
 
  #8  
Old 09-07-10, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by retired wrench View Post
You asked about NAPA pads, I have used their brake parts for years with good results. I still use them on my vehicles. BE AWARE they have cheap parts for the penny wise and pound foolish so get the good ones.
Thanks, I was thinking the NAPA ULTRA PREMIUM ceramic pads, so not the cheap parts.

I have read that NAPA used to have their pads made by Raybestos, but not sure if that was true or still the case
 
  #9  
Old 09-07-10, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ASE MASTER View Post
Answer to first question.

There are advantages and disadvantages to semi metallic and ceramic pads. Click on links below.

Brake Pads Ceramic vs. Semi Metallic

advantages of ceramic brakes over semi metalic - Google Search


Answer to second question.

See above links.


Answer to third question

Really depends on how much you want to spend, and if you feel it’s worth it not. To some folks, brakes are critical, and there is no such thing as spending too much. Other folks don’t feel that way. Answer to your question is, as long as the “OE” rotors are not worn or warped, there’s no need to change (or upgrade) if you want to start using ceramic pads.

ASE, Thank you, very helpfull. One last question.... One of the links (a forum) from the google search you gave above stated that ceramic pads will wear rotors more if the rotor is not made to handle ceramic pads. Is this true? Most other sites say rotors will be worn less with ceramic pads, but do not specify what type of rotor.
 
  #10  
Old 09-08-10, 04:38 AM
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I'm not a mechanic but I do work on my own vehicles. I buy my brake pads/shoes from autozone because I can get a lifetime warranty. I would think other parts stores have parts with the same warranty. I doubt they're the best pads around but you can't beat the warranty, especially if you keep the vehicle for an extended time. I've put brakes on my old work van [bought in 1993] 4 or 5 times but only paid for the 1st set.
 
  #11  
Old 09-08-10, 11:30 AM
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(Question) ceramic pads will wear rotors more if the rotor is not made to handle ceramic pads. Is this true?

Not true. But you should know that a "THICK" rotor (A rotor with a larger brake pad contact area) enhances a ceramic pads breaking power, and allows it to last a bit longer.
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-10, 11:50 AM
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This is why I love this board! I don't hang around here often (because I normally don't have much useful insight to provide other DIYers), but when I have a question, I get a real answer from those 'in the know', not a sales pitch. Thank you very much ASE MASTER!


marksr... I have been told that AutoZone no longer offers the lifetime warranty replacement break pads deal. They apparently still honor the warranty if you already have one, but do not give new ones out.....something about them loosing mass money on the deal.
 
  #13  
Old 09-08-10, 01:53 PM
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Autozone's web site still claims a limited lifetime warranty for brake pads. I think maybe you were misinformed.

Brake Pads - Front | AutoZone.com
 
  #14  
Old 09-08-10, 06:42 PM
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WeekendHandyMan,

You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure to help you. Drop back anytime with any further questions you want answered without a hard sell. AutoZone and Duralast are synonymous. Duralast products are made in China for Auto Zone. While many Duralast products still come with a lifetime warranty you shouldn’t use them simply because they are crap. If you’re interested, and you want to know I can give you some routine maintenance tips on how to keep your Scion running smoothly.

Best Regards
Sam
 
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