Ceramic Vs. Organic Brake Pads: What’s The Difference?

Every vehicle system is important, but some are more crucial. For example, the braking mechanisms are essential components of the safety features in cars. Believe it or not, the brake system is more important than the engine speed.

Do you know why we rely on braking systems for optimal and accident-free driving? Most of us don’t know how the individual components work and what happens when we apply brakes.

The brake pad is what pushes against the rotor to slow or stop the car’s movement when you depress the brake pedal.

We have three types of brake pads – organic brake pads, metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads. Semi-metallic is a common type of brake pad. However, organic vs. ceramic are arguably the best type of brake pads.

Here, we’ll examine the comparison of ceramic vs. organic brake pads and their merits and demerits. And, if you’re looking for organic brake pads vs. ceramic on MTB, grab a seat and a cup of coffee while we unveil their differences.

What are ceramic brake pads?

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are designed for luxury cars. And they have a comfortable, firm braking sensation and last longer than other brake pads. So, how long do ceramic brake pads last? Carbon ceramic brake pads aren’t made for high-performance cars, but they can last a whopping 70,000 miles.

They are less adhesive. This means they won’t wear much when you step on the brakes. In addition, the ceramic pads create less dust than all the brake pads; the dust is very light and will not gum to the wheels. 

Ceramics are suitable for diverse weather. In fact, they offer optimal performance in extreme weather conditions. Therefore, ceramic is the best brake pad for luxury cars and shiny custom wheels.

The ceramic pads are noise-free. Yes, they may make a certain noise, but you won’t hear it because the noise frequency is quite below human hearing.

Quality products come at a premium price. This, the ceramic pads are much costlier than the Semi-metallic and organic brakes because of the high-quality material used in manufacturing them. Now, you must feel curious what are ceramic brake pads made of?

The ceramic brake pads are made with dense ceramic compounds with fine-tune embedded copper fibers or other ceramic fibers that accelerate heat conductivity as well as friction. What’s next? Let’s look at ceramic brake pads’ pros and cons.

Pros Of Ceramic Brake Pads

  • It emits a noise below normal human hearing range, making it the quietest brake pad.
  • Perfect for several weather conditions without compromising quality
  • It produces little dust, and it is unlikely to stick to the brake disc
  • Ceramic pads last much longer than other types of brake pads
  • It is the best choice for environments or climates with salted pavements
  • It has a better lifespan susceptibility to warping or fading.

Cons

  • Ceramic pads can accelerate brake disc wear if it is not as high quality as the ceramic material.
  • Performs poorly on trucks and other heavy-duty applications when comparing ceramic vs. semi-metallic brake pads
  • They work fine in several weather conditions, but it is not a perfect choice for extremely cold weather conditions.
  • Ceramic is costlier than other types of brake pads.

What are organic brake pads?

Organic Brake Pads

As the name suggests, you can easily say the materials used in manufacturing ceramic brakes. But it’s quite challenging to do so when tracing those organic brake pads. Different manufacturers made it even more difficult to use different materials to create organic brake pads.

However, the organic brake pad is commonly made with rubbers and glass, and some manufacturers add a kevlar to the mentioned materials. One of the reasons most people like organic brake pads is because they are very soft and quiet.

The materials used in manufacturing these pads are quite affordable, and the end product is also affordable. This makes them a good choice for average car owners.

The organic brake pad is suitable for short-distance driving. They wear faster than other brake pads and drop much brake dust on the wheels. Therefore, ceramic brake pads may be the right option if you regularly commute on long journeys or own a luxury car.

If you want to compare the three common brake pads, google search “brake pads ceramic vs organic vs metallic,” and you’ll see a clear comparison of the three options.

Pros of organic brake pads

  • They are soft and friendly to the rotors
  • They are quieter than semi-metallic ones
  • They are very affordable
  • Excellent choice for normal driving within the city

Cons

  • Not suitable for sports and luxury cars
  • They wear faster than ceramic and metallic brake pads and require regular replacement.
  • They don’t work as efficiently in extreme temperatures.

Ceramic vs. Organic Brake Pads Main Differences

Now that we have discussed a bit about ceramic vs. organic brake pads and their pros and cons, you may want to know their main difference for informed decision-making. If you are still confused about their main differences, here is a simplified difference in the table below.

Main Differences Between Ceramic and the Organic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads Organic brake pads
Suitable for luxury cars Excellent for everyday city driving
Excellent for shiny custom wheels A good choice for regular wheels
Pricier than other types of brake pads Cheaper than other brake types
Ceramic brake pads are durable. Organic brake pads wear out faster.
Ceramic produces little dust as they wear Organic brake pads produce more dust
They are reliable in a wide temperature range. Not the best choice for diverse weather conditions

FAQs:

Is ceramic or organic brake pads better?

Both ceramic and organic brake pads are good options, depending on what you want. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, a brake pad for regular city driving, and the best brake pads for your regular wheels, an organic brake pad is the best choice.

However, it has a few setbacks like producing more dust on the wheels, not being an excellent choice for a wide range of weather conditions, and wearing out faster.

Conversely, if you want a good brake pad that performs well in a wide temperature range, lasts long, produces little dust, is noise-free and is excellent for luxury cars, go for ceramic brake pads. However, all these features come at a premium price.

Are organic brake pads OK?

Organic brake pads offer a nice braking experience at a very low cost. The brake pads are manufactured with cheap materials like fiberglass, kevlar fibers, compacted carbons, and other materials, depending on the manufacturer. They also offer a smoother braking experience and do not create dust that will coat the wheels.

Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?

No, ceramic brake pads do not wear rotors faster. Instead, they are an excellent pad choice that has noise control, last longer, and reduce wear on the rotors.

However, ceramic brake pads do not prevent rotor warping. As a result, the rotor will still fade if the driver constantly overheats or misuses the brakes. There is no doubt that the heat-dissipation feature will reduce rotor warping to a certain level but won’t automatically prevent warping.

How long will organic brake pads last?

Manufacturers produce organic brake pads with rubber, kevlar, glass, fibers, and resins. Unfortunately, this makes them have the lowest lifespan compared to semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads.

However, several parameters like the conditions of the brake calipers and rotors, your driving environment, and your driving habits determine how long the brake pad will last. In any case, organic brake pads will last between 20,000 to 30,000 miles on average.

What type of brake pad material is best?

The three common types of brake pad materials are good. But generally, there is no other choice because these pads are created for a specific purpose or with some drivers in mind. For instance, organic brakes are created for low-budget drivers, and it is suitable for city driving.

Conversely, semi-metallic is the best choice for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. And ceramic pads are created with premium materials, making them the best choice for luxury cars.

Are ceramic brakes worth the money?

Ceramic brakes are worth every single penny on your luxury cars. At least for these four reasons.

Durability: They are denser and more durable than other brakes.

Noise-free: The ceramic brakes create very little noise compared to other braking materials.

Driving conditions and temperatures: They are an excellent choice for commuting in wide temperature ranges and offer reliable driving conditions.

Dust and wear: The ceramic brakes produce less dust, making them excellent for luxury cars and custom wheels.

If you choose to invest in a ceramic brake, ensure you go for the best ceramic brakes.

Final Words

You have seen the differences, pros, and cons of ceramic and organic brakes in the course of the ceramic vs. organic brake pads discussion. They are excellent choices for compact and luxury cars. And the main differences between them are the cost and their durability.

The organic brake pad is the right choice if you do short city driving or are on a low budget. Conversely, if you need a noise-free and durable braking experience, ceramic brakes are the right choice for you.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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