Things you need to know about brake pads


Posted by: Testimony Olajire

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No one wishes to have a brake failure which might cost the lives of the car's occupants in the worst scenario. That's why you need to read this post!

The prayer against brake failure is a prayer every religious Nigerian is conversant with. But have you ever wondered how brake failure occurs? Is it sudden and unpredictable? Is it something beyond your control, hence controlled by supernatural forces?

The answer to these questions is a big, bold “NO”.  While human error or action cannot be totally ruled out before a brake failure occurs, there are many signs you will most probably notice and that you need to pay attention to. These signs often spell the difference between safety and trouble. It begs the question: Do you know how the braking system in your car works? Do you know what a brake pad is and what it does? No need to panic!


The braking system is one of the most vital parts in a car

What you need to know about brake pads

We would be exploring with you the meaning of a braking system and telling you what a brake pad is and the purpose it serves in your car. We would also briefly discuss the different types of brake pads and itemize some of the brake pads sold on the Nigerian market. We believe this content will help you learn something new.

A braking system refers to all those component parts involved in the slowing down or halting of a car in motion. This is done by the conversion of kinetic energy to mechanical energy.


Not so hard after all?

What then is a brake pad and what does it do in my car?

The brake pad is arguably the most vital component of your braking system. It is the part that is responsible for slowing or stopping the car by working against the rotor to bring the car to a halt. Without the brake pads, all parts such as the brake drum, caliper, disc, and rotor, will not function effectively. In addition, the brake pads protect all other component parts of the braking system from immediate wear.  Essentially, the brake pad gets you home safe.

The functions of a braking system in a car could be summarized as;

  • It helps in slowing down and stopping the vehicle.
  • It serves as a means to regulate the brake pressure, thereby enhancing the driver’s ability to better control his speed.
  • It facilitates emergency stop when the need arises.
  • The conversion and absorption of kinetic energy to mechanical energy is also a vital role in the braking system.


In this article, you will see what type of brake pad works for your car

When do you change your brake pads?

How can you know when it is time to change your brake pads? Well, it is often difficult to give a general or blanket statement on the length of time a brake pad will last, as it often varies from vehicle to vehicle. Also, the frequency of use and the average distance of that car will also play roles in determining the longevity of the brake pad. For instance, if you are the type to travel over a  long distance weekly, your brake pad’s life span may likely be shorter than the average driver that goes to work over a short distance daily.

How to know if your brake pad is faulty

You may be wondering what signs to look out for in a faulty brake pad. We need to let you know at this point that, it doesn’t matter the distance covered by your car, whether long or short. As long as you have been using the same vehicle over a long period of time, your brake pads will inevitably need to be changed. This is because, every time you apply your brakes, you inevitably chop off bits of the brake pad. The bit-by-bit chop off occurs as a result of the friction between the brake pad and the rotating disc when attempting to slow down or stop the car.

We know ... we know; you want to know those signs to look out for when your brake pad is faulty. Some of those signs, as briefly stated, are:

  • You begin to hear squealing or screeching noises
  • The brake warning light on our dashboard begins to blink
  • When visual inspection of the brake pad reveals less than a quarter-inch of the brake pad.
  • When you hear metallic grinding and growling coming from the brake pad area.

This video will teach you how to check how far gone your pads are. Check it out!

Video: How To Check Brake Pads - How much ▁ ▂ ▅ is left?

>>> Learn more about the braking system:

Type of brake pads

We did promise to give you the types of brake pads we have:

1. Semi-metallic brakes

This type of brake is one that consists mostly of metals with a combination of steel wool, copper, wires, etc. The interesting thing about this kind of brake is that they are largely heat resistant and tend to be more gentle on the rotors. They perform well in low-temperature r cold weather conditions. These kinds of brakes are best used in sports cars.


Sports cars often go with semi-metallic brakes

2. Non-Asbestos organic brakes

This type of brake is made up of fiber, cellulose materials, rubber, Kevlar and other organic materials. Like the semi-metallic brake pads, the non-asbestos is also subtle but it wears out faster than all the others, despite its huge cost.


Non-asbestos organic brakes are considered to be at high costs

3. Low metallic NAO brakes

A product of the combination of copper and steel and other organic materials, the Low metallic NAO possess great braking and heat transfer capabilities, but produce a lot of noise and bring up brake dust. This is all the more reason why they are best suited to medium-sized cars like coupes, sedans, station wagons, etc.


Its drawback is the noise it produces

4. Ceramic brakes

Arguably the most popular choice of all the brakes, the Ceramic brakes are made from ceramic materials which give the unique advantage of being the quietest and cleanest of the lot. They can absorb heat and perform well under the harshest conditions and have excellent braking capability. They are also very expensive. If you have a high performance vehicle like a sports car, then this brake’s features are best utilized in your car.


These are the most commonly used brake pads

We have also gone ahead to compile some brake pads you can get on the Nigerian market to give you a fair picture of prices.

  • Brake pads Premium ceramic with shims - Front set (Acura ILX, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Honda Pilot) Price- ₦5,225


Brake pads premium ceramic with shims Accura ilx 

  • Generic Toyota Front brake pad (Highlander "09-14") Price- ₦30,000


Generic Toyota Front brake pad for Highlander "09-14"

  • Asimco Front Brake Pad (Lexus LX 470 1998-2007, Toyota Land Cruiser 1998-2007) Price- ₦6,400


Asimco Front Brake Pad for Lexus LX 470 1998-2007, Toyota Land Cruiser 1998-2007

While we are glad that we have been able to serve you with information on things you need to know about brake pads, we also advise that you consult with your local engineers and mechanic about your choice of brake pads. Good luck.

>>> More topics on Naijauto.comNewsTips & Advice, and Car Prices

Testimony Olajire
Testimony Olajire

Testimony Olajire


Testimony Olajire is a witty and innovative content writer with He creates top quality educative content on automobiles that readers can both relate with and enjoy. He has a keen interest in understanding what lies under the hood of any car, practical driving and safety tips, automobile history and managing automobile-related businesses; all in the Nigerian context.   

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