Best Brake Pads

January 10, 2023

best brake pads


Brake repair is one of those things that kind of sneaks up on you, right? Not really, of course. Your brakes start squeaking loudly, and you slide a little more when you’re trying to stop, but maybe you ignore it for a bit too long. Then one day you slide halfway through an intersection on a yellow you maybe shouldn’t have gone for, and you realize, “Hey, maybe it’s time for new brakes!”

“New brakes” can mean a few different things, though generally, it means new brakes as those are the most commonly worn down parts of the braking system. Other parts that might need a replacement include the rotor (brake disc), which can be damaged by worn brakes; or the calipers, which are often damaged and need to be replaced after serious accidents.

Today we’re gonna focus on 3 specific brake pads that you may be interested in replacing your current brakes with. We’ll go over the specific benefits of each, but trust that all 3 of these will give you substantially improved performance overall cheap brake pads, and they’re better than most OEM brake pads too, new or old. If you need brake repair in service, don’t forget, you can always call us and we’ll install, replace your brakes, or even help you find the perfect match for your make and model of car or truck.



best brake pads

Right out the gate, let’s sort out what we suggest for most people who are looking for new brakes but don’t want to break the bank: Raybestos Element 3 Enhanced Compound brake pads. These are the perfect jack-of-all-spades brakes and they’re affordable too.

First of all, you’re gonna notice improved stopping power. Some figures from the manufacturer and other sales sites like to throw 30-whatever % out there, we’ll just tell you, you can definitely feel the difference on stopping power (hardness of the “bite” on pressing the brake and immediacy of the stop) and that’s what really matters.

These are made of hybrid ceramic and metallic compounds, splitting the difference in performance and affordability in a way that is perfectly agreeable. Pure ceramics or other higher-grade brake pads might offer slightly better performance, but normal people aren’t going to notice that small difference anyway just on their normal daily commutes. These, however, are priced right, they work better, last longer than normal, are almost certain to make slightly less noise than OEM, and in case we haven’t reiterated it enough, they’re affordable.

“Raybestos Element 3 Enhanced” is the quick answer, if you were looking for the TLDR.



These Akebono Performance Ultra-Premium Ceramics brake pads are our choice for braking with heavy loads. As a Chico brake repair shop, often we see working trucks, SUVs, Jeeps, and other haulers driving around with worn brake pads. You don’t fail to upgrade to something more capable if you’re putting them to harder work than normal. It can save a lot of damage down the line, the worst-case scenario.

The Akebono’s bite is hard on braking and stops when you tell them to. They’re ceramic and strong. Plus, they don’t make much noise. They don’t even vibrate as much as normal brake pads so if you find yourself braking a lot, installing these may result in a smoother ride. Since they’re higher quality, they should last noticeably longer than OEM or cheap brake pads.

That said, we know from our brake repair experience that nothing can stop a good ol’ boy from eating brake pads for breakfast like they’re Pop-Tarts. Get ‘er down, they say, just make sure you can a close eye for signs of brake fade, excessive noise, or poor braking performance.


Premium Ceramic Brakes

For performance quality and performance braking- and at a reasonable price- we usually suggest the higher end of the Hawk line. For example these Hawk Performance Ceramic brake pads. They typically come out to be more expensive than the other options on this list, but they also offer a unique and often ideal blend of performance qualities that makes them especially appealing, if you’re willing to spend a tad more.

Of course, as with the others, they break better, faster, and harder. They’re made of better components so they last longer, and as with most ceramic pads, they’re relatively quiet. We’ve been told they’re especially quiet, but we haven’t run decibel tests ourselves or anything. We just now they’re quieter.

Above all else though, they’re clean. Silly as it seems, they don’t produce much dust, and people with expensive rides, they want to show off around town. There is actually quite a lot of appeal in brake pads that aren’t going to dust up your driveway or scuff your expensive paint job. And broadly, a reduction in dust reflects better engineering and stronger components, which is reflected in every aspect of Hawk-brand brake pads.



Best Brakes Chico



Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these brake pads. If you want to learn more about brake pads and how brakes work, click on the article link below:

Choosing the Best Brake Pads

We also want to remind you to stick to street-grade brake pads if you’re using them for normal use.  As tempting as it may be to pick up those racing-grade brake pads for a few bucks more- or thousands more. If you really wanna go wild,- they’re not built to spec for normal road conditions. They won’t break better when you’re driving at regular human speeds. So, don’t buy them for that. They’re less safe outside the race track. Use the right tool for the job.

And remember, if you need brake service in Chico, Tedious Repairs is your one-stop Chico auto shop for affordable, quality brake pads. Our techs are ready to provide you with expert brake service, today!



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Buddy Rausch

Buddy Rausch

Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.

After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.

Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.

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