8 Best Brake Pads for Towing [Reviewed & Rated] in 2021 – An Ultimate Guide
The most crucial component of any vehicle is its braking system as it ensures the safety & performance of your vehicle on tough terrain. To ensure your vehicle performs seamlessly even with more load, your braking system components must be of high quality, including the best brake pads for towing. This is because braking requires more attention & regular inspection due to large vehicle weight & size. To ensure the safety of your and your fellow travellers, it is crucial to have high-quality brake pads for towing as they help you to put less pressure on brakes even in large-weight conditions.
The brake pads require regular maintenance & inspection due to frequent wear and tear, and so it is crucial to invest in high-quality brake pads that last long with excellent durability. There are various types and styles of brake pads available in the market, but to choose the best brake pads, you must consider some crucial aspects which we have covered in this detailed buying guide. So let’s see how brake pads for Towing work for your vehicle and what all features you must consider buying the right brake pad for your vehicle.
What is a brake pad for Towing and How does it work?
The brake pads are the crucial component of your vehicle’s braking system, responsible for quickly & efficiently halting your vehicle. Due to the larger size & weight of the vehicle, it is challenging to tow the vehicle & that is when high-quality brake pads help you out. It is a key component of a braking system responsible for applying friction and pressure to the brake rotor to slow or stop the vehicle. This is how brake pads work in sync with the brake rotor and other components to slow down the vehicle in emergency situations:
Brake rotors are the metal discs connected to the axels to halt the vehicle slowly. The brake pads clamp unto these discs by applying pressure to cause enough friction to halt the vehicle slowly & safely when needed. But when the brake pads apply constant pressure & friction, lots of brake dust accumulate on the brake pads, resulting in degradation & corrosion of the adjacent braking components. Thus the regular inspection and maintenance of the brake pads for towing are necessary for the smooth working of the whole braking system without any damage or failure.
8 Best Brake Pads for Towing in 2021
Benefits of Brake Pads for Towing
Now when you are aware of the role of brake pads in the smooth braking & functioning of the vehicle, it is crucial to understand how the best brake pads can be valuable & efficient for your truck or car. Here are the 3 primary benefits of having high-quality brake pads for towing:
1. Improves Braking Quality & Efficiency
The high-quality brake pads let you halt the vehicle smoothly & more efficiently. It improves the control of your truck’s directional force, which is essential for smooth towing.
2. Reduction in Ambient Noise
The high-quality brake pads for towing help in reducing the ambient noise while you stopping the vehicle because when you apply pressure & friction, it produce lots of noise. By reducing the ambient noise, it prevents damage & excessive sound while towing the vehicle.
3. Improves Wheel System Quality
The main purpose of brake pads is to reduce the force of towing on the braking systems which otherwise damage the rotors and brake calipers. A set of good-quality brake kits increases the life and durability of the truck, without affecting the surroundings.
Types of Brake Pads Available in the Market
There are majorly three types of brake pads available in the market and these are:
1. Ceramic Brake Pads
As the name indicates, Ceramic Brake Pads are made of a dense ceramic material embedded with copper fibres. It is the most popular model of brake pads currently available in the market. The high-quality copper fibres & ceramic material helps in dealing with heat conductivity and reduces friction. Ceramic brake pads are excellent for noise reduction and popular for their quiet operation. These pads are cleaner and last longer than other brake pads available in the market.
But Ceramic brake pads are not ideal and recommended for all vehicles as they don’t absorb much heat, leading to more wear and tear to your rotor and braking system. So make sure that these brake pads are compatible with your vehicle before buying them. Also, they tend to be more expensive than other types of brake pads, so only consider them if you don’t have any budget issues.
One of the best Changing Ceramic Brake Pads you may find online is Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Brake Pads Kit Set. Known for its quieter and cleaner operation, its premium stainless steel hardware & advanced technology provides superior braking performance with low rotor wear and tear.
2. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
Also known as Metallic brake pads, these types of brake pads are known for their high performance, durability and weather resistance. As the name indicates, Semi-metallic brake pads consist of about 30%-65% of metal along with additional material like steel wool, copper, wire, etc. Due to its high-quality material and alloys, semi-metallic brake pads perform excellently regardless of climate conditions and quite cheaper than ceramic brake pads.
As metal is a good conductor of heat, Semi-metallic brake pads ideally stand up to heat and take less time to cool down. Since the metal and alloys used in these brake pads are bound together by resin, they are highly durable and reliable in performance.
The only disadvantage with Semi-metallic brake pads is that they produce more noise and brake dust during their operation, unlike Ceramic brake pads. But if you are looking for an economical option with high durability, irrespective of noise & brake dust issues, you can good to go with these types of brake pads.
One of the best & high-performing Semi-Metallic Brake Pads available in the market is Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad. Unlike other semi-metallic pads, these brake pads are known for their quiet operation & noise reduction property. It has advanced aerospace alloy used in copper-free ceramic and semi-metallic friction formula for high-performance & durability along with low brake dust production.
3. Non-Asbestos Organic Brake Pads
Traditional brake pads used to have asbestos as the primary construction material in them which was later upgraded with non-asbestos organic materials like fibreglass, rubber, cellulose, carbon compounds & other resins that can stands up to high temperature and heat for better performance and durability.
But NAO Brake Pads are less used in vehicles because the fibres and materials used in them make them lighter on the braking system, leading to more wear and tear on rotors & thus only ideal for day-to-day driving. They are the cheapest option available in the market, designed for regular driving only, and requires regular maintenance & replacement. Also, they tend to produce more brake dust than the other two brake pads types and thus you must take care of all these things before buying them.
One of the most known and reliable brands to choose for NAO brake pads online is KMG Front + Rear Brake Pads. Depending upon the vehicle & model type, you can choose the ideal one for you if you are looking for the cheapest brake pads for regular driving.
Ceramic vs. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads: Which One is better?
As we told you about all the three variants of brake pads, it is quite evident that if you want long-lasting, durable and reliable brake pads for your vehicle, you must have to choose one between ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads. To make this decision easier for you, here we have covered some crucial points highlighting Ceramic Brake Pads vs. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads to help you understand which one will be the better for your vehicle. Both Semi-Metallic and Ceramic Brake Pads differs majorly from each other in the following aspects:
Ceramic Brake Pads are versatile in nature and thus performs well in normal temperature conditions, but they are less efficient in extreme heat or cold conditions due to their construction material. On the other hand, Semi-Metallic pads work efficiently in extreme cold or heat conditions as they are a good conductor of heat & cools down quickly. So, depending upon temperature conditions, you can choose the right one for your vehicle.
Since Ceramic Brake Pads are made from high-quality ceramic and copper fibres, it lasts longer than Semi-Metallic brake pads. On the other hand, semi-metallic pads are made from soft fibre & cellulose along with high-quality metal that is economical yet less durable. In other words, we can say that ceramic pads are more durable & long-lasting than semi-metallic ones.
As ceramic brake pads are more durable & long-lasting, they require less replacement & maintenance than semi-metallic pads and thus they can be more economical for you in the long run, however, they are expensive to buy than semi-metallic pads at the time of purchase.
3. Brake Dust
The copper fibres and ceramic compounds in the Ceramic brake pads ensure quick recovery after applying pressure to stop the vehicle, resulting in generating less brake dust than the semi-metallic pads which on the other hand generates huge brake dust every time you apply the brake to stop the vehicle, leaving your wheels messier & dirtier for the regular maintenance.
Semi-Metallic pads are always recommended for heavy towing as they give better performance than ceramic pads. The reason behind this is metal being a good conductor of heat allows the braking system to perform better in even extreme temperature systems by cooling it quickly after applying the pressure & friction, causing less damage to the rotors and other braking system components.
On the other hand, ceramic pads work well only in regular driving conditions due to the ceramic content, and thus they are not advisable to use for heavy towing or racing. So, if you need a brake pad for racing or heavy towing purpose, go for semi-metallic ones.
As we have mentioned above, Ceramic pads tend to produce less noise during their operation and thus quieter than the semi-metallic brake pads which on the other hand generates lots of noise while applying pressure and friction. So if noise is a major deciding factor for you, semi-metallic pads are not your cup of tea.
Feature to consider in best brake pads for Towing: Ultimate Buying Guide
While buying the best brake pads for towing, you have to consider few crucial features in mind to make the right decision. You must have assessed the following features in brake pads to get the right one:
1. Stopping Power
Stopping power is the key factor to decide the performance and efficiency of any brake pad you are looking to buy. Simply put, Stopping Power is the force a brake pad needs to apply to the braking system to stop the vehicle smoothly. The stopping power of a brake pad depends upon the velocity and the weight of the vehicle. A vehicle with more weight/load with high velocity needs more stopping power to halt in comparison to the vehicle with low weight & low velocity.
To find out the stopping power of any brake pad, you first need to determine its Coefficient of Friction. If you don’t know about the Coefficient of Friction, you can understand it as an effort/force requires to drag a vehicle/object across a flat surface, divided by the weight of that object.
The Stopping Power of the brake pad is directly proportional to the Coefficient of Friction, which means the more the Coefficient of Friction, the better will be the stopping power & vice-versa. Most of the high-quality brake pads available in the market come with upgraded lines & higher pedal sensitivity to enhance the stopping power. So you always look for this while buying the quality brake pad for your vehicle.
One of the best performing brake pads available in the market with excellent stopping power is Wagner Severe Duty SX756 OE Style Disc Brake Set. These Severe Duty Front and Rear brake pads have superior stopping power for heavy load vehicles as compared to the other brake pads available in the market. It is formulated with Zero Copper, which makes it eco-friendly. On top of that, it is noise-free performance brake pads for heavy towing.
2. Heat Dispersal
To apply brakes, you need to apply a lot of force which then converted into heat. Ceramic pads are not usually prone to external damage but extreme heat can affect their performance & durability. On the other hand, Semi-Metallic Pads consists of various metals which are a good conductor of heat and thus can easily stand up to harsh heat or temperature conditions without any wear and tear. It is crucial to check the heat dispersal ratio of the brake pad as it directly affects its durability and life span.
3. Backing Plate
The backing plate is the crucial component of the braking system that holds all the other components of the brake kit in place and together. That is why it is crucial to ensure the quality of the backing plate because a poor-quality backing plate can lead to the bad performance of the brake pads and brake rotors, resulting in unwanted noise production and longer stops.
Always look for a backing plate that has a decent thickness and smooth edges because poor edges can lead to the bad performance of the whole braking system. Also, the connecting area of the brake calipers to the brake pads must be smooth. The high-quality brake pads come with a mechanical attachment to the backing plate to ensure strong support and security.
One of the best braking pads with excellent backing plate quality you may find online is ACDelco 171-0974 Front Brake Pad Set. Equipped with a superior quality blacking plate, it is a noise-free braking pad that generates less brake dust for heavy towing vehicles.
4. Noise Reduction
One of the major concerns while buying the brake pad is the noise production produced as a result of high friction. As noise can be a distracting factor while driving, most of the high-quality brake pads come with excellent noise reduction properties for quiet operation. To ensure you get the best noise reduction in the braking pad you are going to buy, look for the following features:
The physical dimension of the brake pad like size, shape, length and width determines the reduction in vibration & noise. Look for the angled chamfers that contribute to the reduction in disc damage and noise production. If there are grooves on pads, it would be beneficial as it will help in improving the pads fade resistance.
Brake shims not directly impact the noise reduction but a good-quality shim can indeed prevent noise production during the brake operation as they are equipped with a good-quality sound insulator. Always check the quality of the shims on the backside of the pad to ensure they are made from high-quality sound insulator material.
The lining of the brake is the crucial component of the brake pad that comes in contact with the brake rotors while applying the brake. If the brake linings are riveted, it reduces the noise production when brake pads apply pressure and friction on the braking system. The riveted lining also produces less brake dust during the operation and only certain manufacturers provide riveted lining brake pads for the maximum noise reduction and minimum brake dust release.
One of the high-performing premium ceramic brake pads that comes with excellent noise reduction and low dust production is Powerstop K6268-36 Z36 front and rear brake pad set. The brake kit comes with both rotors and brake pads, equipped with dual-layer high-temperature rubberized shims sound insulators for heavy towing & noise-free operation.
Friction Material Attachment
There are two types of backing plate attachments that come in brake pads contributing to the high friction and noise reduction. These are:
The bonded attachment connects the lining to the brake pad through a temperature-resistant powerful adhesive for durable & long-lasting service. The only disadvantage with this type of friction material attachment is that it is not flexible unlike the riveted attachment, thus they tend to produce a little more noise than the riveted pads.
In Riveted pads, the lining attachment is attached to the brake pads through aluminium or copper rivets. Since riveted attachment is not fixed through a high-strength adhesive, this type of lining is more flexible and convenient in noise reduction and friction production.
Riveted attachment provides more security to the braking system as some ratio of the lining thickness is below the rivet, ensuring more durability and reliability of the brake pad. It withstands perfectly high temperature and pressure without any wear and tear.
It is one of the most common attachment types found in high-quality brake pads due to its high performance, durability and efficiency. Most of the semi-metallic pads come with riveted lining only to produce low dust and noise.
Apart from the above-mentioned crucial features, there are some other important considerations you must keep in mind while buying the performance brake pads for heavy towing, and these are:
The brake pad material is one of the most crucial things to consider while buying the right one for your vehicle for heavy towing as the performance and the durability of the brake pads primarily depends upon its material quality. Amongst the all brake pad materials we have mentioned earlier, Ceramic is highly efficient for heavy towing as it contains the perfect blend of carbon fibres that produces excellent pressure and friction during heavy load to halt the vehicle smoothly without any damage.
Cost is the most obvious considering factor we all look at while buying the high-quality brake pads for our vehicle as they require regular maintenance & replacement. So going for highly expensive brake pads apart from their maintenance cost can be problematic for you. Look for the affordable options that come with nice performance and durability so you don’t have to invest in the replacement and maintenance too early.
One of the affordable braking pads with high-quality material & performance available online is Bosch BC914 Quietcast Front and Rear Brake Pad set. These high-quality noise-dampening brake pads come at a great price with incredible performance and durability to extend the life of the braking system for reliable & smooth operation.
Every brand comes with a certain Warranty period that needs to be checked before buying one. The best brake pads always come with a good warranty period to assure the best value for your money so you don’t have to invest again and again in the repairing and replacement of the brake pads. That is why always check the warranty period to ensure you get the best services and support from the manufacturer when needed.
4. Easy to Install
Not every brake pad comes with ease of installation and thus requires professional assistance, causing you to spend some additional bucks on the installation. Brake pads must be easy to install so you can easily replace and repair them in case of emergency without waiting for the mechanic.
One of the best brake pads we found in terms of easy installation and high performance is Hawk Performance HB302P.700 Severe Duty Brake Pads. Easy to Install, Hawk Performance is a Ceramic Premium Brake Pad for severe duty trucks with a high Coefficient of Friction and Fade Resistance.
Durability is one of the most important factors to consider while buying the best brake pads for your heavy-duty truck or vehicle. The durability of a brake pad can be decided by two factors:
- Durability to withstand the extreme temperature
- Durability to handle constant motions and vibrations
If the brake pad is able to withstand with above-mentioned conditions, it is highly durable for heavy towing and you should always go for such brake pads only without any doubt in your mind.
When to Replace Brake Pads? – Warning Signs
Now when you are clear in your mind about the buying criteria of the best brake pads available in the market, the next thing to understand is when you need to replace the old brake pads with the new ones. As we mentioned earlier, brake pads undergo extreme pressure and heat during their operation, resulting in wear and tear & thus needs regular maintenance and replacement.
As a general rule, brake pads must be replaced after every 50,000 miles, but in some scenarios, you might need to replace them soon. If you are getting the following warning signs, you must replace the brake pads as soon as possible:
1. Squeaking Metal Sound
When there is a problem or any wear and tear with your brake pads, you will hear a strange squeaking metal sound during the ride, which normally occurs in rainy weather. But if the squeaking sound persists even after the rainy season, then it is a sign that you need to replace your vehicle’s brake pads soon.
2. Vibrating Brake Pedal While Applying Brakes
When the stopping power of the brake pad starts declining, you will feel the brake pedal vibrates every time you apply brakes with pressure. The vibrating brake pedal is the signal that your brake pad has been worn out and you need a new one to replace it.
3. Decrease in the thickness of Brake Pads by 3/4th
You can simply inspect the thickness of the brake pads to understand whether they need a replacement or not. If the thickness is less than 1/4th, then the brake pads won’t work efficiently anymore and you need to replace them soon.
4. Turning On of Brake Light
In some vehicles, there is an indicator light in the braking system that starts blinking or turn on when the brake pads get faulty or damaged. It is an easy & useful indication that tells you about the condition of your brake pads and when they need to be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How to Clean Brake Pads?
The regular maintenance of brake pads includes the cleaning process to remove the excess brake dust accumulated on them for smooth operation. To clean your brake pads regularly, you can follow these simple steps:
- Park your vehicle in the parking area by setting up the parking brake. After it, loosen up the lug nuts slightly and use a jack to lift the car.
- Remove the brake calipers in contact with the bolts using the wire and hang it out of the way without stretching much.
- Now open the brake fluid reservoir through its hood and clean the friction area of the brake disc & brake rotor with a clean rag.
- If there is some dirt that cannot be wiped with a rag, you can use a brush to wipe it off from the braking system for smooth operation.
2) How long does the brake pads last?
Usually, the average life span of the brake pads is between 30,000-60,000 miles. Some high-performance brake pads last for 50,000 miles and need replacement after that. The actual durability and life of brake pads depend on many factors like material, brand, usage, heavy towing, pressure applied, heat conditions, etc. But on average, experts advise replacing the brake pads after every 50,000 miles for a safe and smooth drive.
3) What is the reason for having uneven tears on brake pads?
There can be multiple reasons for having uneven tear on brake pads like:
- Reduction in the movement of the piston of the brake caliper or the sticky caliper
- Overflow of the brake fluid from the reservoir
- Degradation of the friction material used in the brake pads
By taking care of all the mentioned reasons, you can take care of the brake pads & the braking system. In case of uneven tear on brake pads, you must try to replace them as soon as possible to avoid any damage.
The high-performance brake pads for heavy towing can be challenging to find with so many options available in the market, but to get the right one for your vehicle, you must consider all the crucial factors we have mentioned above. Always go for reputable brands like Bosch, Wagner, Hawk Performance, etc. to get the best deal at an affordable price with a Manufacturer warranty and support. Also, regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary for the ideal functioning of the brake pads for a long time. If you have any queries related to the brake kit or braking system, don’t forget to ask us in the comments.