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What is The Difference Between Brake Pads and Brake Shoes?

Brakes: Pads vs. Shoes

Both are designed to slow or stop your vehicle. Brakes are one of the many important systems that are for you and your car's safety allowing you to slow or stop your vehicle when necessary.

Brake Pads

Brake pads are flat and made from synthetic materials that prevent them from wearing down too fast, due to the friction and heat that's needed to stop your vehicle. They have different grading and padding too. The very first break pad was made from camelhair and applied to wagons.

Brake pads are applied to the rotor set up with the calipers (which supply force to the pads to stop the vehicle). Break pads squeeze the rotor to stop. Most cars and trucks are equipped with them and are a safer variation from the older models and styles of brake shoes.

There are available upgrades that help dissipate heat quicker and help prevent brake fade. (when the brakes get too hot, crystallizing them and preventing stopping.) at your local auto part store or on-line. Brake pads have a metal tab on the back that when worn down will begin to squeal and screech letting you know it's time to replace them.

Brake Shoes

Brake shoes are curved or rounded to better hug the wheel. Most of the time these days they are known as drum brakes. These brake shoes are attached to a vacuum plate and are held together by springs and a park brake cable. Then enclosed with a drum. Break shoes push on the drum to stop the vehicle.

Brake shoes come in two application styles. One that is glued on and the other that is riveted in place. Most heavy-duty trucks have them in both front and rear. Older models and smaller makes and model cars use this braking system that used to be made using asbestos before the adverse effects were known. Since asbestos is no longer in use, they are created using mostly the same materials as brake pads. They are easier to make so they cost less, but not all braking systems are created equal. A higher price tag does not guarantee a higher quality brake shoe. 

If you find that you need a brake service or brake pad replacement, we invite you to give our auto repair shop a call today!