Rank NAPA brake pads

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827
Location
Texas
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Can someone explain the difference between all the brake pads available from NAPA stores? For my car they have (some on special order): Adaptive One Ultra Premium Ceramic Ultra Premium Semi-metallic Safety Stop Ceramic Safety Stop Semi-metallic I really wonder, are at least some of these simply re-badges of well known brake pads (e.g. Akebono, Wagner, etc). In addition to these, I also look at Wagner Thermoquet NAO, Akebono ProACT ceramic, and Duralast organic. I am looking for a brake pad for relative's car. He never fixes his car, until things start to fall apart. He also rarely washes his car. Based on this I think I will recommend brake pads with good longevity and relatively low dust factor. However, good initial bite and overall street performance is expected.
 
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263
Location
Kansas, USA
There's a 90% chance that their just different suppliers. Ceramics are generally better then semi-metallic. There suppose to make less noise, but i haven't found that to be true on the vehicle that i've owned. Another benefit is that they should stop better then semi-metallic, this has been true for me. In theory semi-metallic don't grab as good when cold. I've had good luck with Wagner Thermoquiets, on other peoples vehicles, they do tend to make less noise. I haven't used many set's, but so far so good. FYI: In my experience, the ceramics last longer and brake better, but dig into the rotor more. Cheap brakes (off brand) don't touch your rotor, but don't last long either.
 
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19,677
Location
Sunny Florida
^^^exactly backwards in my experience. Ceramics have less stopping bite than semi metallics and less dust is their primary claim to fame. They are also easier on rotors. Note that "ceramic" has become a marketing buzzword so it is rapidly losing its significance. The formula may only be 1% "ceramic". NAPA's adaptive one is IMO one of the finest street pads made, always super smooth and extremely long lasting. But priced accordingly.
 
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3,463
Location
Coastal South Carolina
why not stick with a name brand, the choice among name brands is confusing enought without all the made in china napa choices akebono is toyota oem and is what I would choose.
 
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4,999
Location
Milwaukee, WI
In my experience Akebono's are just fantastic, but the ThermoQuiets are 90% as good for half the price. I don't doubt some of those napa's are rebrands, every rotor I buy has a napa part number along with five others on the box.
 
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3,431
Location
USA
The NAPA pads are very possibly made in China. The Critic even posted a picture of the pricey Adaptive One pads that were clearly marked "made in China." The Akebono ProAct pads are made in Kentucky. I emailed Akebono and that's what they told me.
 
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22,014
Location
CA
If it is a Honda or Toyota, the OE pads will cost the same or less than the aftermarket pads anyway, so there is no reason to use aftermarket. Adaptive One and Ultra-Premium are supposed to be NAPA's best pads. The Safety Stop is their mid grade, and is also the one Midas uses for their "securestop" brake service.
 
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1,009
Location
Minneapolis
Because I have a discount and was able to get pads and rotors for 1/2 price, I went to the semi-metallics on my 02 BMW 325Ci. After a few months of living with them, I have to say they're really good. The bite is as good as any pad I've ever used on a 3-series in the last 15 years, and the brake feel is pretty good as well. By way of contrast, I put a nice set of ceramics with Brembo rotors on the household Audi A6, and their bite is much worse. I need to take that car out and do a series of 80-15mph slowdowns to keep the pads working, otherwise they require increased pedal effort over time. I have no doubt that the ceramics would hold up better on the track, but I don't track. I drive urban/suburban roads and so far the mid-line Napa pads have worked out very well. The only caveat is that I bought rotors that, unlike the Brembos on the Audi, didn't come with a layer of zinc (I think). So all of the non-swept areas start to rust immediately. I wish I had upgraded in that area since, for me, the biggest issue I have with brakes is that the rotors tend to go out of balance because they get so rusty. I drive so little that they don't even really get a chance to wear out.
 
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827
Location
Texas
Thread starter
I needed to get brake pads ASAP this week and also wanted to be able to exchange the product fast if it did not work out well, so I went to NAPA and bought Adaptive One and a set of premium rotors. All of the boxes say "Made in China". Disappointed. It looks like all or most NAPA brakes are now made in China (with the possible exception of Ultra Premium Ceramic, which are supposedly Akebono product).
 
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19,479
Location
Chicago Area
The friction, or 'bite' can vary. A ceramic may be better or worse. There are no rules. Look at the side of a new pad to see the letters. EE,EF,FF, FG, GG, etc. More friction coefficient as you follow the alphabet along. Like motor oil, there is a warm and hot rating, therefore 2 letters.
 
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827
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Texas
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Originally Posted By: mechtech2
The friction, or 'bite' can vary. A ceramic may be better or worse. There are no rules.
Yes, there are probably no rules that are set in stone.
Quote:
Look at the side of a new pad to see the letters. EE,EF,FF, FG, GG, etc. More friction coefficient as you follow the alphabet along. Like motor oil, there is a warm and hot rating, therefore 2 letters.
I have been looking for those letters. However, just like with motor oil, this rating does not tell everything. All premium brake pads sold in Auto Stores that I have checked have FF rating, but reviews certainly differ from brand to brand.
 
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8,598
Location
Florida
I worked at repair shops where numerous NAPA brake parts were kept in storage. The majority of the pads were basic ones made in China, a few were made in India, and an tiny number were made in places with a high standard of living. What kind of car is it? If you have a Honda, you can get AEM pads from tuner companies, and they work extremely well. They are all made by Nissin which supplies many OEM brake parts to Honda.
 
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3,492
Location
NJ, USA
The Adaptive One's are a great street pad with my only complaint being that in some applications a hard low speed stop can cause a grinding sound. The UP ceramics are maybe a hair better at stopping but don't last so long. I've only used the UP semi-metallics in vans and there they have seemed to be very inconsistent.... they all stop quite well, but some of them wear out ridiculously fast. The UP's (ceramic and semi-metallic) alst have some godawful packaging. Getting the UP pads out of the packaging can be more work than the rest of the brake job.
 
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19,677
Location
Sunny Florida
X2 on Mechtechs comments here. There are no rules, just marketing buzzwords. We've used Adaptive Ones on Silverados with excellent results. I currently have a couple of 3500 Savannas running TQ's. I am very wary of the word "ceramic" in advertising. IME it means poor performance and less dust.
 
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1,419
Location
Up State NY
I have Napa rotors and pads on the Jeep and it brakes just as the day it came off the lot. On the other hand I have Bembo pads, made in Italy, on my Grand Am and it brakes waaayyyy better than stock. I have Advance Wearever pads and rotors on the Stratus and after a few thousand miles they're just as good as stock.
 
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827
Location
Texas
Thread starter
Well, I believe that Adaptive One is a decent pad. I just had the issue with NAPA charging premium price for a "made in china" brake pad set. These will go on a 2005 Lancer OZ, also with new NAPA premium rotors.
 
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1
Location
Ontario
NAPA Premium ceramic pads after 20k km made car to shake above 100km/h, replaced under warranty same thing. Rotors Premium wear unevenly with grooves. Will never use NAPA Premium again. On a second car I have NAPA Ultra-Premium pads and rotors. No major issues but rotors developed wear unevenly with grooves too and after I replaced the front ones, same thing. At very low speed braking is a little bit uneven which is frustrating considering they are the top line!!!
 
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4,086
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I used Adaptive One pads on our 2001 Tundra, which is notoriously under braked. Great pad. As others have said, Akebono makes a great pad. That's my experience. By the way, ceramic pads have very little ceramic material. I understand a true ceramic pad (Ferrari) costs thousands.
 
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