Ceramic or Semi-Metallic Brake Pads — Which Do You Prefer?

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Talk of ceramic brakes over metallic ones seems to have stirred up quite a discussion on the Corvette Forum forums. After sorting through a lot of the comments posted, it all seems to be a matter of preference.

Well, at least to some degree because most seem to agree that ceramic pads make it a whole lot easier to keep those wheels clean as the thread here indicates.

“Just thought I would pass along my experience going from cheap $25 brake pads to $66 ceramic brake pads. No freaking dust build up every time I drive!”, posted SFC Rick. “Stops the same, but cleaner rims! That all by itself is worth it.”

Corvette Forum member Mr. Bill added, “I’ve been using ceramic pads for years, and will replace them with ceramic again.”

“Same for me,” posted Donald 4972. “I recently went to drilled/slotted rotors, and ceramic pads. Love ‘em! Great decrease in brake dust. They are quiet and stop just as good. I only wish I’d done it sooner.”

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Well, the above all convey what appears to be the general consensus when it comes to brake dust and ceramic brakes; however, there’s that little statement made by Donald there about how well those ceramic counterparts perform compared with semi-metallic ones that has spurred some good old-fashioned debate on CF.

For example, take Evil-Twin’s response:

“I saw the difference in these compounds first-hand at the GM Proving grounds in Milford,” he posted. “Since the first day I came here 12+ years ago, I have been trying to show people the simple fact that a pad with a high coefficient of friction will stop the car in a shorter distance and with less thermal energy. Take a ceramic tile and drag it across a surface like a sidewalk, and you will see it slides like walking on ice with little to no grab [and] will be very warm.”

Evil-Twin goes on to say that ceramic brakes are nothing more than a marketing ploy that gets people to buy into the idea of trading off safety for cleaner wheels.

Member ScarecrowKC5 argues that whether you think ceramic brakes perform as well as metallic ones could be a matter of your info source.

“Brakes are brakes,” he posted. “It’s hard to find the stopping power of both sets of brakes. It’s all over the board. It just depends on where you look. I know one thing’s for sure: in a panic stop they are damn close to the same.”

Hey, maybe it might all boil down to whether you prefer mostly cruising your Corvette or hitting the track, which I’m betting will probably stir up some debate as well.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>